Running for local office

As of this month I’m doing something new: running for political office.

It’s a very small office, and a hyper-local one.

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 I’m seeking election to a new school board for our county.  The policy and politics mean a great deal to me, and I’d like to increase my involvement in local education, alongside all of my national and international work.

Here’s the story.

ACSU logoMy town, Ripton, is one of seven that share a common school district, the Addison County Supervisory Union (ACSU).  Each town has its own school board, which oversees their elementary schools.  Another board surveys our unified middle and high schools.  Yet another board stands above all.  I’ve been on my town’s board for several years, and also served on that ACSU-wide mega-board.

This year the state of Vermont issued a new law, Act 46, which encourages (and also forces) districts like ours to collapse that multiplicity of boards into one.

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 Our towns are going to vote on that unification strategy on March 1st.

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 If we agree, the ACSU becomes the ACSD, the Addison County Supervisory District.

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Also on March 1st we will vote for a new school board, assuming Act 46 passes.  I’d like to be on that board.

To support my campaign, I started up some online work.  I built a little, simple website and added a Facebook page, blogged about one key policy issue, kicked off a discussion on that topic over on Reddit, then posted about the campaign on the local FrontPorchForum.  In person I’ve gone around the district pressing the flesh, asking everyone to vote for me.  I’ve solicited endorsements.  Later today there’s a candidates forum, which I’m looking forward to.

Hopefully the next ten days will see a good debate about policies and concepts for the ACSU/ACSD.  I’ve shared my thoughts (demographics, technology, student agency, community-based schools, democracy) here.

It’s exciting to connect my professional work to this handful of towns, to link the future of education as a whole to the very, very immediate problems facing nine small schools.  It’s a terrific learning opportunity – I’ve learned a lot by serving on the Ripton and ACSU boards, but now unification forces us to work even more closely with other towns and schools

I’ll blog further about this process.  Wish me luck.

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7 Responses to Running for local office

  1. Good luck! I’ll be following to see how you do!

  2. Seth Goodman says:

    I applaud your effort to serve and contribute at the local level. Your community has no idea the value you are going to bring the table …yet! I wish you success in this run and in your first years in office. I worked at my state legislature as a staff member for about five years and I can’t think of a time in my work career when I learned so much in so little time.

  3. lukjan says:

    Today Ripton, tomorrow the world.

    The district will be fortunate to benefit from the scope and depth of your background and it’ll be interesting to hear about the implementation of some ideas.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  4. VanessaVaile says:

    I see you have a Facebook page for your candidacy — heading over to like it now. I’d vote for you if I could, but I can’t. We’re not in Louisiana anymore…

    PS I’m sharing your posts on local Mountainair pages ~ also in election throes.

  5. Thank you for the positive thoughts, friends.

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