One More Day…

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Tomorrow is the day…the polls open in less than 24 hours.

This will probably be my last opportunity to converse with you on a personal level prior to tomorrow. It has been a whirlwind ride, and an exciting road. And tomorrow will provide us with the fruits of our labor.

First off, let me indulge in a moment of clarity and wisdom.

Many of you have sent e-mails and messages about last Thursday evening when I couldn’t make the forum at the last minute due to a family issue; I sincerely and wholeheartedly appreciate all of them. I have been campaigning actively since December of 2006. In that time, I’ve made sacrifices for my family. I’ve been away campaigning many of days and nights, and I’m not the best at balancing things. But what I’ve learned on the campaign trail is that no matter what happens, family comes first, because they’ll always be there when you need them.

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Answers to YES! Weekly Questions

My friend Jordan Green from YES! Weekly was at last week’s forum. Here are the questions he asked, and my answers to them in an e-mail over the weekend:

1. If the $412.3 million school bond fails on Tuesday, what should Guilford County Schools do to pay for construction of new schools?

A: Not only does our school board want to have one of the largest taxpayer-unfriendly bond issues in county history, they’re so confident that they failed to conjure up a Plan “B” should it fail. It is irresponsible. I support responsible school construction in Guilford County by seeking public-private partnerships. I also support our county commissioners getting more involved in school construction matters (such as what is happening in Wake County) where our county board could acquire land, construct schools themselves and lease it back to the school system. I support best practices when it comes to school construction that is taxpayer-friendly, and one way to do that is to have all real estate and construction matters outsourced from GCS to an outside firm or agency that is charged and experienced with real estate and construction.
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2. Over the past 10 years we’ve seen a philosophical and legal shift in the desegregation aims of Brown vs. Board of Education. Each of you, drawing from your experience, research and political philosophy, explain whether or not you believe that students of color and students from poor backgrounds benefit academically from schools that are balanced along racial and socio-economic lines.

A. I believe all of our schools should be integrated and I believe in strong diversity in our schools. But I also believe in natural integration in neighborhood schools, not forced busing. We have magnet programs that can aid in this effort, but our magnets can be strengthened at all levels; they’re not working to their full potential. I’m in favor of children attending their closest neighborhood school.

Too many children are being bused all over this county, daily. And with diesel fuel at an all-time high, it is senseless. To that end, I’m also in favor of ensuring ALL of our schools have access to the necessary supplies, resources and manpower for them to succeed so that our children can succeed. Social experimentation on our children is wrong. It failed in High Point. It continues to fail countywide.

I feel very strongly that neighborhood schools are the anchor for every neighborhood and community, and must be treated as such. Our neighborhoods and communities must embrace these schools and embrace these children and do all they can to help these children succeed.

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3. The School Climate Task Force has recommended assigning one social worker to each school and reducing class size to improve student behavior and improve academic outcomes. Firstly, do you agree with the recommendations? And if you do agree with them, how would you be a forceful advocate to pay for these somewhat costly initiatives?

A. I agree with many of the recommendations from the School Climate Task Force. Safety and school discipline is a top priority in my campaign. As such and in addition, I have a six-point plan on school discipline. It includes:

1. Audit, examine and strengthen existing school rules. Enforce the rules GCS has on the books and enforce them uniformly across all schools.

2. Conduct an internal audit all of GCS’ existing alternative environments: In-school suspension, SCALE, etc., to determine their effectiveness (or ineffectiveness). Strengthen these programs where necessary.

3. Expulsions for serious offenses.

4. Examination of the “Charlotte model.” Specifically, it is looking at a unique alternative program Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has, which they call 10-day/30-day “suspension centers,” to determine their effectiveness and see what can be duplicated here in Guilford County.

5. Expand partnerships with area churches and other local faith-based organizations.

6. Audit and examine miscellaneous programs GCS has to combat school violence: keep what’s working, toss out what’s not working.

My plan also includes keeping school resource law enforcement officers, adding and expanding closed-circuit camera surveillance systems in schools, and ensuring parents and teachers are part of any changes, through school PTSAs and school leadership committees.

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Another endorsement

From the very beginning, we have had a good deal of support from Guilford County’s active blogging community. Over the weekend, we received a very public endorsement from conservative blogger Joe Guarino. And some very kind words from a very kind gentleman.

On his popular blog, Guarino writes:

Many of us have had the opportunity to watch Erik’s thought process unfold on his blog on a daily basis for a long time; and he appears ready to serve with the right principles guiding him. He is a vast improvement over McKinney and Alexander….I am urging my readers to unite behind E.C. Huey because he has demonstrated over a prolonged period the rightfulness of his positions, his grasp of the issues and his passion for the job.

Many many thanks, Joe. I’m very humbled and honored with your confidence in me to do the job of putting our children first.

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Early voting appears successful

N&R reports yesterday that long lines greeted voters on Saturday, the last day of early voting statewide. This could be a good thing for us. My wife and I early-voted Friday at the Jamestown Town Hall. Traffic was brisk, but the line moved well.

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Vote the whole ballot…please

We’re also getting reports of people not voting the whole ballot. According to yesterday’s N&R, many voters chose their presidential preference, then stopped. Please vote the whole ballot. Your Board of Education selections can be found in the middle of the ballot. Many candidates have worked hard for your votes.

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Plans for tomorrow

Polls are open at 6:30am. I will do just one blog entry tomorrow, and will add updates to it throughout the day. I will hit some polling places tomorrow, then enjoy dinner with the family as the polls close at 7:30pm. I’ll watch the first set of returns come in from here at campaign HQ, then will go down to the Old County Courthouse about 9pm. Any and all of my supporters who are free tomorrow evening are welcome to come too.

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One last word…

I want to take a moment and thank you all. Many of you have spread the word about this campaign, and with us crossing 45,000 visitors to this site a couple of days ago, it has worked. We may not have taken in a lot of money, but this movement has grown in intensity. If we’re successful in tomorrow’s primary, the race starts all over on Wednesday. We’ll have to raise a fair amount of cash…fast.

Michael McKinney may have garnered a number of the “corporate” endorsements (for someone that entered the race in late February), but there are some pretty significant philosophical differences between him and I in terms of how to represent our children. If we’re successful tomorrow, and if it comes down to a Huey vs. McKinney matchup (as many are predicting), this campaign will spell out those differences.

I’ve met a lot of nice people on the campaign trail and I’m truly blessed to have met you all. Your support has been invaluable. I’m hopeful that it will pay off tomorrow.

And no matter what happens tomorrow, I will go to sleep tomorrow night knowing that we tried to do some good for the children of Guilford County.

Thank you again, I love and appreciate you all.

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E.C. )

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2 Responses

  1. Good Luck EC!!!!!!

  2. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

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