Arguably every school board election is important, but this one is critical—this is a race for control of the majority. Maya Cole and Lucy Mathiak, two admirable, excellent candidates on their own, if elected today will shift the majority, in combination with Ruth Robarts and Lawrie Kobza. The result will be a new day in district politics. This new era will be marked by civility, public accessibility, accountability and cooperation, a far cry from the way the current board majority has run things. But BOTH Lucy and Maya must be elected for this to happen.
Arlene Silveira, Maya Cole’s worthy opponent, is firmly in the Carstensen, Keys, Lopez, Vang and Winston camp. Arlene has their support along with the endorsement of MTI. I have been impressed with her easy, professional manner. However, I disagree strongly not only with her blanket commitment to heterogeneity but also as to what her election would represent–business as usual,
If nothing else, this race has shaken up Madison politics. So-called progressives smear a graduate of Camp Wellstone/social justice activist as conservative. The liberal newspaper endorses what would in any other year have been described as the “pro-business” candidate while the conservative paper endorses her opponent, the stay-at-home mom. Local “progressives” spread rumors about PAC money from conservatives despite the strenous protests of an incredibly independent candidate who has always disavowed PAC money.
The only way I can really make sense out of it is that it’s outcome-based –do you want the board to continue on the current path, or is it time for a change? Thus, the CapTimes can endorse Mathiak and Silveira because this will keep the status quo in charge. The WSJ wants to see a change so endorses Cole and Mathiak.
Today is a perfect early spring day in our fair city. My neighborhood will echo with the happy shouts and laughter from the Randall playground when I leave the house this morning. Please take the time to stop by your ward and vote. This is for them.
One last thought: thank you to the candidates and all the members of the school board. While I may disagree profoundly with some of you, I have the greatest respect for your commitment to our schools and dedication to public service.