Seattle Educators Endorse Liza, Molly, & Chandra School Board
Both the Seattle Education Association–the union representing some 5,000 educators in Seattle–and the Social Equity Educators–the social justice rank-and-file caucus–have endorsed a bold and committed slate of candidates for the November 5th School board election.
Molly Mitchell, Liza Rankin, and Chandra Hampson, are longtime community education advocates and all have powerful rerecords of being in the struggle against institutional racism and for equitable schools.
I have had powerful conversations with Molly and Chandra about their vision for opposing corporate education reform, combating institutional racism, and fighting for the schools our children deserve.
I have worked closely with Liza Rankin for many years, ever since she launched the groundbreaking initiative during the 2015 Seattle educator strike, “Soup for Teachers.” Soup for Teachers organized parents to deliver food to the picket-lines at every school in Seattle. This was a vital demonstration of parent solidarity with the strike that was crucial to the success of the strike. That strike resulted in the expansion of the racial equity teams into dozens more buildings around Seattle–something Liza believes deeply in.
Since then she has been an unyielding advocate against the abuses of high-stakes standardized testing, school privatization, and a strong ally in the Black Lives Matter at School movement.
We have a real opportunity to advance the struggle for social justice in the schools by electing this slate of educational leaders.
Below is an excerpt of the Social Equity Educator newsletter that republished the candidate’s statements.
Vote for Molly Mitchell Seattle School Board Director, District 6
(Editor’s Note: SEE and the SEA encourage all SEA members and allies to vote for Molly Mitchell for School Board Director, District 6. Below we reprint why she’s running taken from her campaign’s website. Remember you can vote on all the races no matter where you live.)
I’m running for the Seattle School Board Position 6 to ensure that every student has a pathway to success. Our schools can do more to serve the needs of diverse students and families in our city. In my 20-year career in education the core of my work has been centering equity and social justice. I will continue to advocate for marginalized groups and work to center student achievement. Evidence of my commitment to equity is in receiving the WA statewide “Equity Award” for Community and Technical Colleges.
As the Director of Student Support Programs at Seattle Central College, I am focused on serving students with the highest barriers to completion and students furthest from justice throughout their entire education, including their lived experiences outside the classroom. I also organize to expand educational opportunities inside WA state prisons as a way to reduce recidivism
We have a responsibility to ensure that Seattle Public Schools meet the needs of every student to address the opportunity gap. We must ensure that we are encouraging and challenging students at all levels of achievement.
For all students to succeed, we must create learning environments that are safe, welcoming, and inclusive for all. When every student is included and engaged in their learning environment, all students benefit.
As a mom and a community organizer, I believe solutions are most effective when they engage all stakeholders and are accountable to the community. The School Board must better collaborate with families, community organizations, and local agencies to generate policies that support every students’ educational success. I pledge to represent your voice and to work for high-quality education for all Seattle’s students.
Check out her campaign website: https://mitchell4schoolboard.com
Vote for Liza Rankin Seattle School Board Director, District 1
(Editor’s Note: SEE and the SEA encourage all SEA members and allies to vote for Liza Rankin for School Board Director, District 1. Below we reprint the “About Liza” section from her campaign’s website. Remember you can vote on all the races no matter where you live.)
Liza has been supporting teachers and families in Seattle beginning when her older son started at the infant-toddler program at the EEU at UW, a comprehensive early childhood school community that provides inclusive education to children with and without disabilities. Since then, she has been heavily involved in all things public school-related, always seeking information and solutions. She has served on the Boards of several community organizations, including SPACE in Magnuson Park, Seattle Council PSTA, and the Wedgwood Elementary PTA. As a volunteer or invited visitor, she’s been to half of Seattle’s 102 public schools in person, and has relationships with community members at all but a handful of the second half, giving her great insight into the successes and the challenges of the Seattle school district.
Liza’s professional career has been as a designer and educator. With a Master’s degree of Fine Art in Scenic Design for Theater, she was a faculty member at CUNY: Queens College as well as a freelance designer and painter On- and Off-Broadway, NYC, and the surrounding area for several years before moving back to Seattle in 2010. Soon after the return to her hometown, she became deeply engaged in special education and early learning, which lead to supporting educators and quality public education for all students.
A firm believer in equity and inclusion, Liza has assisted families with open enrollment, attended IEP meetings as a volunteer advocate at the request of parents, organized supply drives, written resource guides for families and teachers around specific issues, rehabbed playgrounds, connected communities across the district to advocate together, packed weekend food bags, walked picket lines with educators and bus drivers, and written oh so many emails.
At the district level, she has testified at and attended countless school board regular and committee meetings, supported engagement and advocacy of parents all over Seattle, and worked directly with Superintendents and staff on high-level issues and policies. She has advocated against staffing cuts and displacements, for equitable boundaries and student assignments, for inclusive programs and stability for special education students, for a bell time and transportation schedule that eliminated unreasonably early and late start times, for unique programs that serve our diverse student body, and for student- and educator-led efforts like Black Lives Matter at School and Ethnic Studies.
This work led her to engaging in Washington State legislative issues, and Liza has advocated in Olympia, created artwork and messaging for advocacy campaigns, and provided understanding of issues and sample messages to encourage broader advocacy efforts in the SPS parent community.
Liza has become a trusted and knowledgable source of information and support all over the district, online via the Facebook group Soup for Teachers, and in PTA as a vice president, legislative chair, communications chair, and leader in parent equity work, engaged in the above-mentioned efforts. Her collaborative skills, board experience, and deep knowledge of education and Seattle Public Schools’ diverse communities and central offices will make her an effective and engaged board member in the work to better serve Seattle’s kids.
She lives in the Meadowbrook/Lake City area of North Seattle with her husband, two sons (both SPS elementary students), three cats, the best dog in the world, and a rotating cast of foster dogs.
Check out her campaign website: http://elizasrankin.com
Vote for Chandra Hampson Seattle School Board Director, District 3
(Editor’s Note: SEE and the SEA encourage all SEA members and allies to vote for Chandra Hampson for School Board Director, District 1. Below we reprint the “About” section from her campaign’s website. Remember you can vote on all the races no matter where you live.)
Chandra has a B.A from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Washington. Her experience includes community development and traditional financial services. She spent seven years in commercial banking as a Bank Examiner and Regional Manager for Native American Banking Services. Later, at Craft3 (CDFI in Seattle), she developed the Indian County Initiative to provide culturally responsive, equitable capital for Tribes and Member-owned businesses.
Prior non-profit management and community development roles include: Community Partnership of Santa Clara, American Indian Alliance; Manager of Sand Diego Foundation for Change; University of California at San Diego Extended Studies and Public Service Program Manager.
She has served on Boards of Directors for non-profit organizations for fifteen years starting with Potlatch Fund. Currently, she is Board Member and Lending Committee Chair for First Nations Oweesta Corporation and Board Member for First Nations Development Institute.
Locally, she has been active in school advocacy and community service for the past six years. She is a former President of Seattle Council PTSA, now serving as a board member and is Vice President of Title VI Native Education Parent Advisory Committee. She served on her local PTA for four years, including as President. She volunteers in the Huchoosedah after school program at her children’s school.
Chandra served on the Building Leadership Team at Sand Point Elementary for three years. She was also selected to serve on advisory and selection committees for Seattle Public Schools including Family Engagement Task Force. Most recently, she was a member of the District’s Strategic Planning Team which led the development of the current five-year strategic plan.
Having recently finished a three-year term on the Magnuson Park Advisory Committee, a four- year stint on Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange she remains active on the Magnuson Community Center Advisory Committee. Chandra also coaches softball with Northeast Seattle Little League.
Check out her campaign website: https://www.electchandra.org