May. 3rd, 2009

tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (oregon)
I had a hard time finding any info on the candidates, so here are the few things I did find. I think I'm not going to bother voting in the uncontested races (I think this may be the first time in my life not voting on a specific contest). In my district, at least, there are three contested races:

- Multnomah Education Service District, Director, Position 2, At Large. I almost wasn't going to vote in this one either, because the best candidate seemed like Sean Schafer, the incumbent, and why vote for an incumbent? However, candidate Eric Holmes seems like enough of a douche that I decided to vote for Schafer just to make sure he doesn't win. The third candidate, Chuck Moffit, doesn't seem too bright; plus, I don't really want a former accountant and member of the military making decisions about schools.

There are audio transcripts of a community forum that featured most of the MESD candidates, but I was none the wiser after listening to them. If you're wondering just what the MESD is, their mission statement won't clear things up. The Willamette Week explained it more succinctly: "Oregon has 20 education service districts, which act like co-ops for area school districts to pool services like special education, health programs and, more famously, Outdoor School." (The Willamette Week also has endorsements, possibly most useful for voting against whoever they endorse. Same goes for the Oregonian's endorsements, though they've only endorsed school board candidates and not MESD candidates, so far. The Merc hasn't bothered to endorse anyone or cover the election, as far as I can tell.)

- Portland School District #1JT, Director, Zone 4. When I read the Willamette Week's comment, "[Steve] Buel’s bomb-throwing has zero appeal to anyone but the Bill Ayerses of the world," I figured this was probably the guy I should vote for. After a little more research, turns out I was right: he's a longtime activist for school desegregation with strong progressive creds. He is also very much in favor of de-emphasizing testing. Buel is the only candidate in this election who I'm particularly enthusiastic about supporting.

- Portland School District #1JT, Director, Zone 5. I was lukewarm about both Pam Knowles and Scott Bailey, but picked Bailey because Knowles is a leader of the Portland Business Alliance, the last two words of which generally make me reach for my gun. Bailey has some nice things to say about art and music education, school libraries, and redressing inequality; who knows if they'll actually be realized, but he's got to be better than a business leader.

Community & Parents for Public Schools Portland has school board candidates' answers to various questions.

All right, enough civic involvement for today!


tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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