Monday, July 20, 2009

An active week as a candidate for Akron School Board

It was a very busy week for this candidate, and I'm loving every minute of it.

My family and I arrived back in town from a camping vacation to jump right into Monday's Board of Education meeting. There was much on the agenda, and I particularly wanted to attend to hear the Board honor former member Linda Kersker, who died while we were out of town. I was moved to hear the board members talk about her legacy and doubly motivated by her service. Linda had encouraged me to run for the Board when we spoke in the Spring at the State of the Schools luncheon. She was a special lady.

Monday's meeting was long, even before the executive session, but it was quite interesting as the board handled many legal and construction issues with much accomplished. A special meeting was added for the coming week; I will get to that one as well.

Tuesday's campaign highlights included an exciting opportunity arranged by a family friend, Reverend Byron Arledge, former Akron School Board Member and Executive Director of Pastoral Counseling Service of Summit County, Inc.

I had the pleasure of meeting and having lunch with several dedicated pastors from across the Akron area. They included Rev. Jeff Dennis, Rev. David Nelson, Rev. Luther Cooper, Rev. Malfred Elliot, and Rev. Horace Jake. All of these gentlemen wanted to hear my reasons for running for the Akron School Board and to share some concerns of their congregations. I learned a great deal, and I hope that this is the beginning of an open dialogue with these gentlemen and their churches -- not just in this campaign but for the long term.

That evening, I was invited by Rev. Jake to an Akron-area Baptist Ministers Conference prayer meeting at Mt. Olive Baptist Church. I was so happy to attend, and I met several others who passionately serve this community. Rev. William Button was kind enough to let me address these pastors.

On Wednesday, I went to the Board of Elections to drop off copies of our petitions for pre-check. We took in about 500 signatures. We'll see how many of them end up being "good" as we need 300 to be validated as a candidate. I'm hopeful to have the petitions filed soon and have that portion of the campaign completed. Thanks so much to all who have helped in this part of the process.

Friday was something new for me -- talking to the media as a candidate. I spoke to Matt Patrick on his talk radio show on WHLO (640-AM). I have known Matt since Eric first started at the "old 23" (WAKC-TV) back in the early 90's. We have spoken several times both off and on the radio particularly through our work with the Children's Miracle Network in both Radiothon and the annual telethon to raise money for Akron Children's Hospital. However, this interaction was a bit different since the "cause" I was speaking about was me. Matt was gracious as always, recognizing my past service and letting me tell the basics of my reasons for running. (If you missed the interview, click here.) I think the interview went well and can't wait to get another chance. I am sure if I'm elected there will be times when Matt takes me to task, but I am grateful for the opportunity to talk to him as always.

Up Next: This weekend (July 25-26), we are looking forward to talking with residents and passing out campaign balloons at the Hardesty Park Arts Festival. I'll also be attending a workshop for school board candidates in Columbus.

I'd love to hear more from those who have concerns and ideas for the Akron Schools. Please email me at Remember, election day is coming November 3rd and there's still time to register to vote.

Thanks again to all who are supporting this effort. You're the best!