Editor’s note: On election day, Minneapolis voters selected Kim Ellison as the at-large school board selection, Kerry Jo Felder as the District 2 member, Bob Walser as the District 4 member and Ira Jourdain as the District 6 member.
Students of color within the MPS district these candidates hope to serve.
In each of the schools in the district of Minneapolis there are students of color whose education is impacted by the decisions made by the board of education. Based on my experience with Animate the Race community forums, I have gotten a chance to see who in my opinion is pro-“students of color” and who is pro-“personal agenda,” or status quo.
In District 2, Kerry Jo Felder and Kimberly Caprini have both shown passion for the students they hope to serve. To me, Kerry Jo appeared to be the stronger of the two candidates. Having a DFL endorsement, campaign funds, and attention to detail shows me Kerry Jo understands not only what’s needed to improve the education in her district, but also how to play the political game. She would have claimed my vote. For Kimberly Caprini, I hope she will continue her pursuit of a seat on the board of education. Moving forward, I hope Kimberly continues to serve as a volunteer and parent advocate, not only for her children but for the community she clearly cares dearly about.
During the last Animate the Race forum at The Children’s Theater, Josh Reimnitz won my support for District 4. For starters, his opponent, Bob Walser, provided the evening entertainment. Bob felt he was a victim of payola. Bob stated he was hurt by being invited to a space where his fate was pre-determined. Making the accusation that monies have been given to bloggers and other outlets in support of his opponent. It was an ugly display. Escalating to the point where Mr. Walser was given the option to turn around his behavior or he would be asked to leave by moderator Reynolds-Anthony, who offered up questions for the evening. Josh was a qualified candidate.
I’m disappointed that Mr. Walser won yesterday. I only can hope he will remember that he serves the students all students, and includes their perspective when making decisions in regards to the work that needs to get done. Especially for students of color.
My District 6 vote would have gone to Tracine Asberry. She has been present at all of the forums I have been able to attend. Reynolds-Anthony started the evening making a note that being present is a huge part of the process in terms of the work that needs to take place with improving education in the district. Tracine’s opponent, Ira Jourdain, refused to show up at these community forums. I only can hope he will “show up” for Minneapolis Public Schools students.
Kim Ellison earned my At-Large support, and I’m pleased that she won last night. Doug Mann: it’s time to retire the idea of being on the board of education. I respect your persistence, and wish you the best!
Getting education right will correct many ills in our society. The Minneapolis Public Schools board of education is a critical piece to righting the ship, and it’s going to take an “all hands on deck approach to elevate and move the district forward.”
Thank you to Animate the Race for this opportunity, and salute to my fellow AtR Fellows. Let’s continue to build!