Courage, clarity, conviction. Brilliance of public speaking. These are the reasons I, and many moderate Democrats and Republicans like myself, are voting for Elrawd MacLearn for the Santa Barbara Unified School District board.
He is perhaps the finest candidate for school board that I have seen for 10 years or more.
Twenty years ago, I co-founded Coalition for Neighborhood Schools based on the values of parental involvement. I have found a candidate who aligns with these values.
Here are a few of the principles on which he is campaigning:
— Parents are the most important people in a child’s education
— A high school graduation requirement of a course in logic
— Literacy as a basic civil right
— Focus on improving reading, writing, and math skills, which are unacceptably low
— He even dares to suggest that the district reduce administration and direct some of those funds back into the classroom!
Since he announced his candidacy, Elrawd has regularly spoken out at board meetings and made blunt criticism of improper leadership and educational outcomes. Yet never an ad hominem or trace of personal vitriol.
Elrawd possesses a brilliance and a clarity in public speaking — so much so that one wonders how is it that his major at UCLA was biology, and not political philosophy and rhetoric?
Central to his persona is his extraordinary life experience.
Elrawd’s family experienced the failure of public schools in his Orange County school district. Here is a young black man who, as the third of 11 siblings in a low income family, assumed the role of a father figure when his parents divorced, and worked graveyard shifts in order to homeschool his younger siblings. He parented his younger siblings. As I said, not your typical candidate.
Our school board is presently 5-0 of one political viewpoint, and it’s not a moderate or centrist viewpoint. Elrawd will create a counterpoint on the board.
Although he has fire in his belly, he possesses a thoughtful and gentle temperament. I believe he will be a very effective board member and will be deeply respected by all other members of the board.
Ask around – for all of these reasons, a wide coalition of traditional Democrats who support Laura Capps, Republicans, and no-party preference voters are all backing Elrawd MacLearn.
He’s just a great guy and we need him! Find him at learnwithmaclearn.com.