Monday, March 9, 2020

A Predictable Calamity

None of us are getting out of this decade alive…would have been the lead sentence of this post.  But I thought I would put on what you would call a happy face (in your mind, you should hear these words as if read aloud by Adam Driver as Kylo Ren from the SNL Undercover Boss sketch).

Coronavirus, a plunging stock market, que sera sera.

On a more life-affirming note, I was, as no one says, punch-pleased at how well the Candidate Meet and Greet turned out at the Alphabets Montessori School in Elkridge on Saturday.  The event was co-hosted by several sponsors, including Forward Maryland.  Thirteen Board of Education candidates along with various well-wishers, hangers-on, groupies, entourages and, most importantly, voters attended this Very Special Event.

I had the opportunity to speak with every candidate, including one who seemingly forgot how to make eye contact when I greeted them by name at their table.  Interestingly, I spent the most time chatting with D5 office-seekers. I will likely be writing a separate piece on District 5, but that will follow later in March.

I met for the first time Antonia Barkley Watts, a very strong candidate for D2, and I had a good conversation with Jolene Mosley from D3.

Let’s turn to D4.

This blog is not doing formal endorsements anymore. I thought the trope was a little tired, so it has been re-tired, at least through the April primary.

That said, as a District 4 resident, I am voting for Jen Mallo.  While toughness, historically, has generally not been perceived to be an essential candidate attribute for BoE races…it is clear that the upcoming Board of Education will need folks who can step up and make difficult decisions. When Superintendent Martirano’s original proposal segued from formal recommendation to non-starter, Mallo (and Chao Wu separately) developed their own alternatives in an effort to find a solution to the redistricting impasse. While it should not have been the role of the Board to come up with such options, this is where the Board found itself.  I appreciate the courage of those who were willing to stake out a position, knowing they would face opposition, and attempt to find the most equitable solution for all of Howard County’s public school students.  While not perfect, but then, who among us are, it is my devastatingly accurate and humble opinion that Mallo’s voice is the one most needed for the Howard County Board of Education from District 4.

If you need me today, I will spreading sunshine all over the mf’ing place.

In solidarity.

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