For Immediate Release
From: Guilford County Association of Educators
Contact: gcaenc (at) gmail (dot) com
Guilford County Association of Educators Endorses Candidates for Greensboro Races
The Guilford County Association of Educators (GCAE) has endorsed candidates for the hotly contested 2017 Greensboro municipal elections. Standing firm to the belief that “student living conditions are student learning conditions” the group decided this election was too important to sit out.
GCAE President Todd Warren commented, “A huge number of our students and families live in the city. City Council and the Mayor oversee local housing policy, public transportation, and local economic development. If we are going to move the needle on racial and economic justice in this town, we absolutely must get City and County resources on the same page for the benefit of children.”
Speaking to the issue of connecting City and County services, At-Large candidate Michelle Kennedy pushed for collaboration between the two entities stating, “If we want to continue to produce some of the brightest young minds in this state and country, Greensboro must begin investing in children from the youngest age.”
GCAE Endorsements include: Nancy Vaughan for Mayor; Yvonne Johnson, Dave Wils, and Michelle Kennedy for the At-Large positions; Sharon Hightower for District 1, Goldie Wells for District 2, Craig Martin for District 3, Gary Kenton for District 4, and Tammi Thurm for District 5.
It’s notable that only three of the endorsees are incumbents. This should be a clear signal to Greensboro municipal government that new blood is needed to move forward on pressing issues like student homelessness and rising poverty rates.
Dave Wils, candidate in the At-Large race, is a Civics and World History teacher at Grimsley High School as well as a member of GCAE. Responding to questions about living wages as a strategy to reduce student poverty, Wils takes a strong stance stating, “Any incentive that is given for a business or corporation must have the requirement that a living wage and benefits are part of the hiring practices of that company. No exceptions.”
The group’s endorsement process included a Mayoral and At-Large Candidate Forum held last week at Smith High School, feedback and endorsement recommendations from members, a personal interview with the GCAE Government Relations Committee, and a thorough questionnaire pushing candidates on policy issues affecting students’ lives. To be considered for endorsement, candidates were required to participate in at least one of the above activities, but many did all three.
Framed as the “Cities Our Students Deserve” the GCAE Candidate Questionnaire was hefty. Warren noted, “Several candidates remarked that it was the most lengthy and in depth questioning they had gotten so far. That made me laugh a bit because many of our teachers provide that level of documentation on a daily and weekly basis.”
Links to candidate responses are included along with the GCAE Endorsements on their website found at http://bit.ly/2lfZsKl