Today is the last day of early voting. You can still vote early today. There’s a lot of information on this blog.
If you’re going to wait until the official Primary Election Day, Tues. June 24, you will be able to vote closer to home – check the new voter card you should have received in the mail to see if you have a new voting location. You can check on your registration and your ballot here.
One of the important elections is for local school board. We’re in District 9. The county’s candidate list is here (PDF). The “sample ballot” provided by County Executive Rushern Baker or the Democratic party lists only one school board candidate even though this is supposed to be a nonpartisan position. I wanted to look at all of my choices, so I asked the other candidates about what they stood for and if they have a website to learn more. Here is what I have received back:
Johnnie Isaac responded almost immediately, though he apparently does not have a website, he has a lot to say: “Here are just a few items we plan to focus on:”
- Replace all existing (>20 yrs.) Schools (starting in District 9) with state of the art, multi~use, community complexes.
- Funding will be acquired through a combination of developers, corporations, local and state taxes, grants, and federal awards. The facilities design goals would be to operate totally off power grids, using solar, wind and innovative sources.
- Halt privatization through charter school programs.
- Pair student development with school~based community services.
- Students should be career ready by 9th grade, skillfully employed by graduation.
- Any student that is career ready by 9th grade not only is more prepared for college at graduation but can pay for it themselves if they choose to attend. College isn’t just academic it’s purposeful. We must develop a driving purpose to attend and money should not be the only reason.
- Reform teachers salary scale to make more market sensitive.
- Provide cultured centered academic programs/Projects
Denise M. Joseph also replied not too long after the request and she wrote: “Thank you for contacting me. It is an honor to run for School Board for District 9 and I am passionate about making a bigger difference here in Prince George’s County. Here is my website www.votedenisemjoseph.com for more information about me and why you should vote for me for School Board in District 9. In addition, to find out more information on my School Board Race, go to http://voterguide.wamu.org/race-detail.do?id=12710258, this is a link to the candidates and information about the essence of who I am. I was also on two blog talk radio shows and here are the links to the shows: http://forestoftheraineducation.weebly.com/this-weeks-educational-view-the-importance-of-after-school-programs.html, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stilettos-convos/2014/06/17/stilettos-and-convos-with-miss-lee-racism.”
I asked if she knew David Cahn of Citizens for an Elected Board and she replied:
“I know Mr. Cahn very well. He personally supports me and I attended his training on May 24th. It was very informative. I worked as an Intern with PGCPS and I gleamed best practices and policies to help our system to become greater. I graduated from the SUPES Academy that helps leaders transform school systems and I have been working with teachers, students, the community, and a coalition of non-profits to help our system become better. Here is the link to that program – www.supesacademy.com. Lastly, I am an Education, Community and Youth Advocate that is set out to continue to make a difference to help increase student achievement and help our students become more than “Awesome!” Let me know if you have any other questions and hopefully I won your vote and the vote of your friends, family, and colleagues.”
I have not heard back from Dominique Flowers who is the other candidate to whom I sent a query, but I will add her information to this page if I get anything or you can comment hear if you know about her candidacy.
The candidate being promoted, who is also our current Board of Education (BOE) representative appointed by County Executive Rushern Baker to serve out Donna Beck Hathaway’s remaining term, is Sonya Williams and can be found on this web site.
Donna Beck Hathaway was devoted to the children in the public school system in this county and was awarded for attending the most consecutive BOE meetings as a volunteer mother (known as a government watchdog) before she was elected to the BOE. She resigned to spend more time with her “growing family” including her 4 grandchildren. She resigned just as the bill was passed to allow County Executive Rushern Baker to appoint the school superintendent (now known as the CEO) and several BOE members.
We can vote for two out of the 4 candidates that will then be on the ballot in the general election. You should not have to be a registered Republican or Democrat to vote for nonpartisan candidates.