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2004 Green Party Questionnaire
1. Please describe your skills and the experiences that qualify you for the position you are seeking.
I took a course in child development at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College in the spring of 1994. Two of the projects that I completed for that class: A research paper about ability-grouping practices and a field report about gender-related differences in the behavior of preschool children.
I have done a considerable amount of research and writing about educational practices since 1997, including analyses of data collected by the Minneapolis School district related to student achievement and student enrollment broken down by race and income.
I have been a parent of Minneapolis Public School students at the elementary level in the 1980s and 1990s. I was personally affected by and opposed the district's promotion of part-time tracking (reassigning students to classrooms for reading instruction according to perceived ability) and 'ability grouping' in the early elementary grades from 1997 onwards.
I have attended school board meetings or listened to broadcasts of board meetings on a regular basis since early 1998.
I was a plaintiff in the NAACP / Xiong v. Minnesota educational adequacy lawsuit in 1998-1999
I was a member of the Minneapolis NAACP branch education advocacy committee chaired by Catherine Williams 1998-1999, and the education advocacy committee of the Minnesota conference of the NAACP chaired by Evelyn Eubanks in 2003.
I stood for election to the Minneapolis Board of Education in 2001 and 2002, won a place on the ballot in the general election and received over 20,000 votes in 2002.
As a charge nurse I have participated in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of patient care plans, and have functioned as a team leader. I was employed in charge nurse / team leader positions in nursing homes from 1992 to 2003. I am currently working for a home health care agency. In some respects my duties as a charge nurse are similar to the duties of a teacher. For example, individual patient care plans are similar to individualized educational plans to the extent they are based on systematic observations and include measurable goals and time lines. And the ethical duty of nurse to act as a patient advocate is like the ethical duty of a teacher to act as a student advocate.
2. Please describe your understanding of the 10 Key Values [of the green party]. How would your candidacy demonstrate your commitment to the 10KV
The 10 KV are:
Social and Economic Justice
Respect for Diversity
Personal and Global Responsibility
and Future Focus
Each of the 10 Key Values can be understood to mean different things to different people, but do convey a sense of what the Green Party is about. And I think that within the Green movement / Party there is a broad consensus that some sort of "regime change" is necessary. In my opinion, education is a basic human right and a quality public education should be accessible to all on an equal basis. And the strategic goal of Minneapolis Public Schools should be to make a quality public education accessible to all on an equal basis. Education is a right, not a privilege!
3. Are there any positions in the platforms of the Green Party of MN and 5th Congressional District with which you disagree?
I do not agree with the idea that racism is "prejudice plus power..." In my opinion, that concept lends itself to a form of racial identity politics in which all whites are classified as racists and all people of color are regarded non-racist, anti-racist, or powerless victims of racism.
I define racism as a belief that one "race" is superior to other races, and discrimination that is based on and / or reinforces that belief about racial superiority (including "colorblind" racism). In my opinion, racism is best combated by raising demands on governmental and corporate entities to comply with / enforce laws that prohibit race-based discrimination. There is only token enforcement of fair employment and housing laws in the US, and unequal access to education at the K-12 level and higher is being achieved with "colorblind" methods of discrimination which have a disparate impact on people of color.
4. Please discuss your campaigning skills, strategies and goals. Be specific.
I plan to focus on the issue of making a quality education accessible to all on an equal basis. I have some supporters who have offered to play an active role in my campaign, and I plan to put them to work within the next few weeks. Goals: Convene a campaign committee meeting by early June. Hold several constituent meetings, distribute 15,000 flyers door-to-door, knock on upwards of 2000 doors, and raise $1,000 before the primary election in September. I also want to get 100 yard signs up during the first week of the lawn sign season in August (I have the signs now).
5. Successful candidates and office holders often concentrate on specific policy issues that they view as critical to their campaign and constituents.
Which policy issues would be the focus of your campaign or tenure in office?
Closing the academic achievement gap, making a quality education accessible to all students.
What strategies will you use to enact these policies if you are elected?
I will continue to speak out and do what I can to promote grass roots organizing to enact reforms that will help to close the gap, regardless of how the election turns out.
What individuals or groups have you identified as potential allies in your efforts?
A majority of the voters and public school community members in Minneapolis.