So, what did I learn?
- Some candidates responded right away.
- Some responded with an additional reminder.
- Some said they would, but in the end, they didn't.
- One candidate told me how I was doing it all wrong and how I should fix it.
- One candidate accused me of a lack of transparency by not giving a deadline. (And copied in all the other candidates.)
- One candidate then came to my defense.
- Some candidates answered the question I asked.
- Some candidates did not answer the question I asked.
Now, I have to admit that I did not know at the outset that candidates had been asked by a variety of sources to complete written statements, questionnaires and so on. I wrote from the position of an ordinary constituent and thus I was not privy to this knowledge. So I truly appreciate the effort that candidates made to respond to my request. And, with the broadcast of last night's LWV Candidate Forum, we have even more to go on as we assess their fitness for office.
Now...drumroll, please...the reason I did this was two-fold. 1) to stir up interest in the Board of Ed race, which I consider to be one of the most important races we will be voting on this year. 2) to see how candidates would respond to an out-of-the-ordinary question. A third reason evolved as the experiment unfolded. As it became clear that candidates were also responding to requests from LWV, HCEA, and so on, I began to think about where I, as an ordinary constituent, fit in.
Yes, I have a blog. But in comparison to civic organizations, unions, newspapers, and so on, I don't delude myself. I am a mom, I am interested in education, and I vote. And so I look at how the candidates responded from this perspective:
"The true character of a man is revealed by how he treats people from whom he has nothing to gain."
Candidate forums will give you a chance to hear views on the achievement gap, redistricting, STEM, music and arts ed, and more. But imagine you have an issue with the school system. It matters enough to you that you decide to write members of the Board. How will they treat you?
Will you be respected? Will your voice be heard? Will you receive a thoughtful response? I want to know where the candidates stand on this issue, too.
I hope this has helped you learn something about the candidates and I hope you will continue to pay attention to this race. Read, watch, participate, learn: vote.