15 Minutes…Four Questions

The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.sitins.com/style/images/simkins_george_1980.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Last night was my first-ever encounter with the Simkins…the George Simkins Memorial PAC, that is. The experience was one to be remembered.

I arrived a few minutes before 7pm. Sitting inside Greensboro attorney R. Steve Bowden’s office (where the candidate “interviews” were to be held) were oppositional candidates Sandra Alexander and Michael McKinney. Candidates David Crawford and Alan Hawkes were not in attendance. Our initial meeting was cordial and friendly, and after exchanging pleasantries for a few minutes, Bowden escorted me inside “the conference room.”

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:Ng3HbE7j__tBeM:http://www.co.guilford.nc.us/images/commissioners/alston.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:bm7HRR_ubMfbAM:http://www.ncleg.net/House/pictures/396.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:17OzbEOGn8S5nM:http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/5E72622D-316C-42DE-BC58-392CC24D1306/0/Wells.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:CVl0OAfTYe8aXM:http://www.guilforddems.org/images/coleman_000.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

In that room were various members of the PAC, including County Commissioner Skip Alston, State House Rep. Earl Jones, Greensboro City Councilman Goldie Wells and County Commissioner Carolyn Coleman. Greensboro attorney Joe Wilson and Diane London were also there.

15 minutes…four questions.

Actually, the first question was for me to tell them a bit about myself…which led to question two:

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:lPPRZbsicP2PSM:http://www.northcarolina.edu/images/directory/bowden.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Bowden: why are you running for School Board?

Answer: I’m running for School Board because we have serious issues in our county schools, and these issues require serious answers. I’m concerned that we have children with no textbooks. I’m concerned that we have teachers who spend much of their own money on supplies–much of which should be county-supplied, I’m concerned that we have gaps in resources in our highly-impacted schools, I’m concerned about the amount of money we’re spending on school construction projects, I’m concerned that teachers (and many principals) cannot speak freely and address complaints about things going on in their schools–there’s a culture of fear that permeates GCS. I’m running for school board because I have a seven-year-old daughter in the GCS system; that squarely puts me on the playing field.

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:bm7HRR_ubMfbAM:http://www.ncleg.net/House/pictures/396.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Jones: What would you do to address the achievement gap as many of our African-American students have some of the highest suspension rates and some of the highest dropout rates?

Answer: There’s no excuse why any child in this system has to fail; there’s no reason why any of our schools have to fail. All of our children and all of our schools can succeed. It’s a matter of providing as many resources as possible to our highly-impacted schools and they’re not getting them right now. I want to plug the resource gap among all of our schools. That being said, within the first 30-60 days of me taking office, I will call for a full and thorough examination of funding going into our high-impact schools so that…

[that hard break was intentional…Jones had to cut me off for time, they were on a tight schedule, so I had to keep my answers brief.]

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:lPPRZbsicP2PSM:http://www.northcarolina.edu/images/directory/bowden.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Bowden: What are your thoughts on the situation at Grimsley? There were two neighborhood groups that had a dispute and apparently the school system was not aware of the problems that were brewing…and those kids that were kicked out weren’t even getting an education [while suspended]…what are your thoughts on that?

Answer: The situation there was tragic, and it did not have to happen. Long-term, if there was a problem that was brewing, then it obviously required some proactive dialogue between GCS, school itself, the city, police officials, neighborhood groups, etc. There was a breakdown somewhere in dialogue. If it was a case of GCS knowing something was going to happen and failed to act, that’s a problem. In the short-term, those children should have been receiving services at SCALE and it turns out that SCALE was ineffective in providing what was required. I said since I began running for this seat that we need to retool what we’re doing at SCALE.

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:bm7HRR_ubMfbAM:http://www.ncleg.net/House/pictures/396.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Jones: What is SCALE?

Answer: SCALE is the alternative learning center on Pisgah Church Rd. It’s the GCS facility that houses students that are on long-term suspension. GCS hasn’t expelled a student since 2000, so when children are given long-term suspension, they are sent there.

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:lPPRZbsicP2PSM:http://www.northcarolina.edu/images/directory/bowden.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Bowden: You’re accessible and available if we have additional questions?

Answer: Yes…and you can reach me through phone or e-mail…or my website [as I reached over and handed them some campaign fliers].

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:Y7Tqx-5MCl9sYM:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/jthigpen/skip.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Skip: you have a website?

Answer: yes.

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:Y7Tqx-5MCl9sYM:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/jthigpen/skip.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Skip: who did your website?

Answer: me.

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:Y7Tqx-5MCl9sYM:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/jthigpen/skip.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Skip: it looks like it.

7:15pm…time’s up, a friendly handshake, and that was it. I wished McKinney and Alexander well in their respective campaigns and I was on my way.

Thoughts…I don’t compromise on my principles and my positions. I made it a point to convey that I would fight for ALL of our children and that I wanted to put ALL of our children first.

That being said, I may or may not get the Simkins endorsement. Maybe they think Alexander or McKinney is better…it will ultimately be up to you, the citizens to decide. We’ve run a heck of a campaign so far, and it will continue right into election day.

The image “https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_donateCC_LG.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

E.C. )

Advertisements

11 Responses

  1. Thanks, Eric. You certainly have transparency and accessibility going for you.

  2. I think iyou did great. What in the heck did Skip mean when he said, “It looks like it?” Was he ‘dissing’ your site?

  3. Beth,

    I think he wished that he had one as professionally done and information-filled as Huey does.

  4. If he had to ask if you had a website, how did he know that it looked like you did it yourself?

  5. Earl Jones didn’t know what SCALE was or was that a testing question to see if you did?

  6. Others were puzzled too, Stormy, about what SCALE was…I think they genuinely didn’t know.

  7. Thanks Roch, and everyone for the good words.

    Stormy, Beth, I’m not sure if it was a diss or a digg or what…I will say this…my site may not be the most professional or have all the glitz and glamor or the bells and whistles, but it’s functional, has been since December 2006, and for what it’s worth, it has brought 36,000 visitors through the turnstiles.

  8. […] County school board candidate E.C. Huey was recently interviewed by the Simkins PAC. Two of the, uh, better questions and comments came from state Rep. Earl Jones […]

  9. Speaking of functionality…my site is very-much capable of accepting your credit card campaign donation (subtle plug-subtle plug). We’ve received a few donations so far, more is always welcome. Remember, your donation will help print signs, bumper stickers, buttons and maybe a media buy.

  10. EC, I especially like the fact that you have been 100% transparent since day 1. Jones and Alston would do well to learn from you.

  11. Billy,

    Your comment applies to the school administration and school board equally well.

    Erik, I think that one of your campaign promises should be to get the district check register placed online for all to see. That would help bring some transparency to the district’s financial transactions. That would have never been possible with Grier here, but now let the sun shine in on the district’s finances.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: