MEET YOUR CANDIDATES! 2016 School Board Pt. 1


Richmond NAACP Candidate Forum for School Board & City Council Candidates Districts 1-5 August 23, 2016 at 3rd St. Bethel AME Church

The following are answers given by the candidates running for School Board in the City of Richmond, VA (and my own commentary) in response to the question “Who are you and why are you running?”  


Liz Doerr: She and her husband love RVA and are excited to start a family and send their kids to RPS, but they read the paper and have concerns. “The status quo cannot stay.” Ms. Doerr refers to the infighting between the Board, Council, and the Mayor's office. She is running so that every child has a ladder to success. Doerr has a strong background in finance, which would be beneficial, and would advocate for any program or class that helps prepare kids for the 21st century economy.  She is exactly what I would expect from a candidate for school board in the 1st District. Except she did not have an iced non-fat 6 pump sugar-free vanilla latte on hand.

Dawson Boyer: John Edward “Dawson (Leery)” Boyer is married to a teacher, a product of THE public school system (Capeside, Mass, perhaps?) and the incumbent. He is running to continue his involvement in RPS. In February he was appointed to replace Glen Sturtevant, who moved onto State Senate. Before that he was the President of the TJ Vikings Fund, a non profit that raises money to fund scholarships and resources for TJ students. When the board position opened up, Dawson knew he could use the connections he has to help all the children of Richmond. He is excited to continue to be involved in RPS and being a boring white dude that may have been an angsty teen who cried weird. Joey and Pacey not included.


Mariah White: She is a proud mom, wife and 26 year veteran of the Army! Thank you for your service, ma'am! She is a product of RPS and has spent 7 years advocating for schools to the School Board and City Council. It is now time to fix our schools. She kept it short and sweet. Ms. Mariah was not about to have anyone pull a WRAP IT UP! box on her. 

Scott Barlow: Public education is in his blood. (It courses through his veins like water flows from a hallway fountain in a Richmond Public School) He comes from what sounds like an education dynasty. He realized that his mom was teaching in schools that didn't have the resources like that of the community where he was growing up. After law school he came back here and saw that the kids in RPS aren't getting equal education. He's here to help address that. Yup. 


Jessee Perry: Graduated with a triple major in political science, philosophy and communications studies. She currently works in the insurance industry managing sales and recruitment for Virginia and is used to achieving goals and getting positive results.  She believes we need to work together to improve poverty, racism, segregation, and a number of other factors that plague us in RVA. Jessee is calling for open dialogue and accountability across city government. 

Kevin Starlings: He is a product of RPS and he knows the quality of education they are able to provide. Over the last several years he believes the students have been “failed day in and day out due to a lot of circumstances within the system.” Being an active advocate in his community he was able to address some concerns, but not all. He is running to bring about positive change and to hold leadership accountable.  *As of now, Mr. Starling's fate in this race has been handed over to the state AG for analysis. Starlings was effected by the SCOVA ruling striking down the Governor's Restoration of Rights of Ex-Felons.*

Jeff Bourne: This man needs no introduction, therefore he does not introduce himself. It sure is a pleasure for him to be here and see so many friends, though. FRIENDS ARE AWESOME! Bourne is the incumbent and the current RPSBoard chairman, but you knew that already. #RichmondFamous He ran for School Board so that his kids would get a great foundation for life, like he did, from the public school system. Bourne states that we have a “tremendously tragic poverty problem” in Richmond. The best way to make a dent in that is through Richmond Public Schools and giving every child an opportunity to succeed. He sounds so confident, almost as if he's used to getting his way. Oh, please don't make yourself comfortable. Incumbents have to work harder than ever this year for their votes. Challengers are out there pounding the pavement, using new fangled stuff like Social Media to get the word out. The old ways of campaigning aren't reaching the eyes and ears of the new voters of today. This November is gonna be a hot one, folks!


Barrett Hardiman: He lobbies for various business interests at the General Assembly. Every kid should have a great education and he wants RPS to be top choice in education over private schools. STOP MOVING TO THE COUNTIES, DANG IT!

Sean Smith: He's not supposed to be here today, that's what statistics said. A black male who grew up in Richmond in poverty and faced with trauma. He is running to erase the stigma that RPS students do not have a chance to succeed, to address poverty, and the lack of competent fiscal management on RPSBoard and in the system. How can I snark on this? I cannot. He is also a damn snappy dresser and I tend to get mesmerized by excellent color and fabric choices. 

*Irving Reaves, Jr. and Jonathan Young in the 4th and both candidates in the 5th DISTRICT, Patrick Sapini and incumbent Mamie Taylor, were no shows. Maybe we will catch them another day at one of the many many other upcoming forums that you can find on our COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR.