Newcomers Get Political Baton

APS Board Candidates

APS Board Candidates

In 1965, the Court ruled that Atlanta had not fully integrated the school system.  In those early days, efforts were made to increase diversity and to integrate schools with limited success. As we continue to reflect and celebrate the historic March on Washington, it is a reminder of our arduous past and our ambitious future.  As a woman, I could not have been mayor of Atlanta when I was born or even when I graduated from high school or college. Today, Atlanta has seen its first woman mayor and there are several women vying for the notable distinction as Georgia’s first elected woman senator. 

After Labor Day we are likely to hear a lot more about the upcoming election and Atlanta political candidates. Atlanta School Board candidates in 2005 and 2009 were rigorously recruited to join the reform movement of the city’s public schools.  Candidates hoping to join the Board are making the rounds, raising campaign funds and friend-raising. Among the candidates are two first time candidates who have caught my attention.

Matt Westmoreland was a middle school student who attended dozens my 2001 campaign events. He asked questions (my favorite was urging my support for the Midtown Festival) and offered his volunteer support four years before he was eligible to vote.  Matt is running for school board District 3.

Though Eshé Collins is a new friend, the Spelman alum has a passion for community engagement and development that is evidenced in her civic service. She is an attorney and a former Atlanta Public Schools teacher running for the Atlanta School Board, District 6 seat.

Both of these candidates worked hard in high school and college, they love the city enough to dedicate their time and resources to pursuing public service. If elected they will be role models for students not much younger than they are.  As the elections approach, I encourage you to take a look at their websites, read their literature and listen to what they have to say.

Passing the baton of leadership and public service to committed, smart young people is part of the legacy we can leave to the city we love. They are running because they care and because they are committed to good government, honesty in government and smart government.