Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Wheel's 2022 RISD Runoff Voters Guide

For RISD trustee in District 2, I recommend Vanessa Pacheco.
For Dallas College District 1, I recommend Catalina E Garcia.

Election Day (again!) is Saturday, June 18. Even if you voted in the May 7 Joint General Election, you have to vote again in the Joint Runoff Election. Have to. Even if you voted for a different candidate in the first election, you can vote for the right candidate this time. ;-)

Even if you didn't vote in the May 7 Joint General Election, you are still eligible to vote in the June 18 Joint Runoff Election. So vote!

RISD is electing a trustee in its District 2. But even if you don't live in RISD District 2, you can still vote in another important runoff. Dallas College is electing a trustee in its District 1, which includes almost all of RISD. The Wheel's Voters Guide is here for you to learn which candidates to vote for, and which to avoid.

RISD District 2

The Wheel RECOMMENDS Vanessa Pacheco.

Vanessa Pacheco: My first impression of Pacheco came from her first run for RISD trustee three years ago. She has an inspiring personal story and the education, experience, vision, as well as the temperament that prepare her to serve on the Board of Trustees. She will advocate for diversity and for equity and inclusion for all students, requirements to unify our school district. She supports better community engagement and parental involvement. She supports hiring more dual language teachers. She was the only candidate to provide Spanish language versions of her answers to the League of Women Voters questionnaire. She supports pre-K for all children. She supports programs like peer mediation to reduce bullying and violence in our schools. In one candidate forum, she was the only candidate who said that the departure of former Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone was "not a good thing for RISD".

During her campaign, she earned the support of an unprecedented nine former RISD trustees, the people who know best the challenges and requirements of the job. They are: Karen Clardy
Pat Epstein
Anne Foster
Lanet Greenhaw
Karen Holburn
Kristin Kuhne
Katie Patterson
Bettye Stripling
and David Tyson.

She was also endorsed by former Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone, who said:
"I strongly endorse Vanessa Pacheco for her brilliant mind, her honest intentions, and her genuine heart - all which align with our RISD educators who dedicate their lives to serve ALL children and families."

Sherry Clemens: NOT RECOMMENDED.

There are way too many dealbreakers with Sherry Clemens to recommend her for school trustee for Richardson ISD.
Dealbreaker #1: She's Extreme Even for Conservatives
Dealbreaker #2: She's Turning the RISD Into Southlake
Dealbreaker #3: She's Aligned with Lauren Davis
Dealbreaker #4: She Fought Against COVID-19 Mitigation Policies
Dealbreaker #5: She's Against by Books with Serious Themes
Dealbreaker #6: She Lies about CRT
Dealbreaker #7: She Thinks She Speaks for All Christians
Dealbreaker #8: She Thinks RISD is Better Without Dr. Jeannie Stone

For all of these reasons, Sherry Clemens is not recommended.

This is the first Voters Guide in which The Wheel covers the school board of Dallas College (formerly Dallas County Community College). District 1 includes almost all of RISD.

Dallas College District 1

The Wheel RECOMMENDS Catalina E Garcia.

Garcia is the only candidate with a post-graduate degree. I admit that degrees don't guarantee wisdom or even superior competency, but all things considered, if there's a job where a post-graduate degree might be considered an entry level requirement, the board of trustees of a college should be one such job.

Garcia has a very long resume of service on boards, commissions, and foundations. Not just service, but a founding role in several. Her commitment to our community college system is clear. She identifies strengths and weaknesses of Dallas College. She wants it to provide an accessible, and less expensive, opportunity for local students to obtain higher education. That's exactly what the board's focus should be.

Garcia has managed to win the endorsements of five other trustees, along with many other officials in Dallas County. If you want a trustee who can work with others to get things done for Dallas College, Catalina E. Garcia is your candidate.

Lynn S. Davenport.

No. Just no. Unless you want a board member who is abrasive, not collaborative, someone who never has a good thing to say about our schools, someone who seems even more negative now than she was in 2017 when she ran for RISD school board and was rejected by the voters, someone who peddles conspiracy theories involving Bill Gates and Anthony Fauci, and claims that robotics classes in schools are a conspiracy to replace our kids with robots, that education is digitally enslaving our children on the blockchain, and that public schools are advancing schemes like "transhumanism." Despite years of trying, she still hasn't convinced me of any of this.

Glenn Beck, LSD, Louie Gohmert

Lynn Davenport? No. Just no.

On another website, someone offered this personal rule: "If you are going to post an endorsement of a candidate you should include the following information: Who are you and why does your endorsement have value to this campaign? WHY are you endorsing this candidate?"

Well, my name is on the website. I don't claim to be anybody you should care about. I don't claim my endorsement has value. I do say WHY I am endorsing the candidates I do. If your opinion differs, that's fine. If I got any facts wrong, that's not fine. Let me know in the comments and I'll offer corrections.


Tim Griffy said...

Mark, I just want to say thank you for all the time and effort you spend casting a good clear light on these elections. I have been a Richardson resident for 40 years, active in volunteering both on City Boards and Commissions and in various RISD initiatives. While there have been many issues over the years where citizens have taken different views (often energetically) it was never partisan. Well, until the RISD elections this year. Thank you for showcasing the outside PAC involvement and the extraordinarily misleading use of CRT as a "wedge" issue, when of course it really had nothing to do with the race. I'm very proud of Place voters tonight for seeing through that, and believe you had a not insignificant role in helping that understanding come about. Again, thank you.

Tim Griffy

Mark Steger said...

Tim Griffy, thanks for your analysis and you're welcome.