(This is a guest post from Anthony Wilson, candidate for D6 school board, I offered to allow any of the candidates to post on my blog, and that offer is still open)
When I decided to run for Oakland School Board in District 6, it was precisely for the reasons why others would not: the district is in financial crisis, teachers are unhappy, adults are divided along district-charter lines, and inequity against children is high. It kept me up at night: the condition of our Oakland schools and what was being done to prepare our children for their self-determined futures.
And while many said it was hopeless and shouldn’t be touched, I saw an opportunity to make things right for our children. I knew the condition of the OUSD meant a prolonged delay of justice for East Oakland children, and there was no way that I could sit by while that inequity remained true for kids on my block. So I jumped headlong into the D6 School Board race as a first-time candidate, with all my passion and proven leadership, alongside a committed brigade of volunteers. We have set out to win the District 6 seat and exact justice for children.
Lessons From the Community on the Campaign Trail
Along the campaign trail, I’ve had the humbling pleasure to meet hundreds of my East Oakland neighbors. Everyone, from grandmothers who sat me on their sofas and offered me fresh black-eyed peas, to passersby I interrupted as they entered Eastmont Mall, to parents I met on apartment stoops, all have two simple asks: for our schools to work and for the board to do its job. Community leaders, like Bishop Bob Jackson, who want to work in concert with the district to better serve Oakland kids and families echo these demands: they want community schools, and a unified district.
As a decade-long educator, national-awarding-winning teacher, Forbes-recognized education innovator, community organizer, public school advocate and nonprofit strategist, I know how to get to results for kids. And as the son of two gangsters, the first in my family to graduate college, and the uncle to ten of the most gorgeously nerdy children you’ll ever meet, I personally understand the critical need for quality public education. In my career I have successfully organized districts, unions, superintendents, and community partners to dramatically improve education for students, and I want to serve Oakland in the same way.
A Write In Campaign for D6 Families
I am not on the ballot, but thanks to democracy, there is still a way to earn a spot on the school board. Not an easy way, but a way. My campaign as an write-in candidate demonstrates that I would do whatever it takes to serve kids and families justice in District 6 and across Oakland. And just like our students, our campaign has had to find a way or make one.
On a shoestring budget, my volunteer team of mothers, students, and invested community members set out on a massive campaign effort to win the District 6 seat for Oakland’s children. They believe that an advocate who understands students, who has been a successful teacher, and who has vision and servant’s heart should represent student, teacher and community interests on the Board. They have believed, against all odds, that for the sake of equity for Oakland children, Anthony Wilson could be written into the ballots of thousands of East Oaklanders.
Write in Anthony Wilson
This election year, the stakes are too high and the potential reward is too great to allow the incumbent to run unopposed. Her time is up. I am not afraid to lose: winning was going to be tough whether or not I was on the ballot; rather, I am terrified of children losing because we who can did nothing. We cannot ask our children to wait four more years –they only get one shot at school.
To win, our campaign requires intense, participatory democracy where voters will have to write my name. It requires a herculean effort to ensure Anthony Wilson is at the tip of tongues and pens across District 6 come election day. Every scribbled variation of Anthony Wilson will be earned because of a knock, a phone call, a handshake, or a debate; it will be earned because voters believe that we can make our schools equitable for our kids in our lifetime.
So, if you are tired of being left out of the political process, of community members being left out of the decision-making, and of kids getting swindled out of their share of equity, write Anthony Wilson in as your District 6 School Board Director. It would be a vote for justice for all Oakland children.
Write in Anthony Wilson in D6.