Democracy is only as good as what we make it together. Fueled by Trumpism, public education today is under attack.  We are a nation in crisis and it hits right here at home in the shadow of a White House occupied by an ideology that is against education.

In DC we’ve seen how this ideology impacts our schools. The incumbent in this At Large seat has weaponized DC students, has made racist comments, and has pathologized low income families as violent and ignorant.  This is not what acceptable and this is not the unspeakable joy I see when I look out my window and our kids are walking to school with excitement and passion.

As a professor of politics and I believe we must do everything we can to defeat the ideology of Trumpism and its influence on our young people. I believe I am best equipped to master the politics to make the system work for all.  My life’s work has been dedicated to working within institutions to make them better. You and I both know that our students deserve better than – as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said – the ease of gradualism.  Students are in crisis and in need of immediate solutions.

For over ten years, I’ve taught young people in 7 states how to beat the system at its own game by achieving the best education possible.  I know that that education requires targeted resources to produce real outcomes.

I’m an expert on cities and American politics. I study the impact of politics on the most vulnerable.  For generations, my family has devoted over 100 years – and millions of hours – to educating the left out, the left behind, the presumed to be incapable.

I know a thing or two about being counted out.  I was born premature in my native Ohio destined to fail, left to die, but God had other plans. I’ve been living with HIV since 2003.

After being another Black boy statistic of presumed failure in my public school, my public school teaching parents — with my grandparents’ help — enrolled me and my sister in private education where we both became their first Black graduates of middle school.

I ended up there because as a Black boy with energy I was regularly paddled and threatened with suspension in my second grade public school.  I know what it feels like to be expected to be bad just because of who you are.  As a Black young man driving in my hometown, I know what it is like to be racially profiled by police. I was introduced to guns because police officers have pointed them at my face and back more than once.  As a Black gay male adult I have since facilitated anti-bias police trainings at the request of police departments across the country.

The ideologies that are anti public education also want to dismantle government, pollute the air, cut clean water standards, eliminate food in schools, and so much more.  Selfish politics has no place in DC public education.

My roots in DC run deep and my life journey east of the Mississippi prior prepared me to work alongside you to ensure the absolutely best education for all of DC students, and the best professional environment for teachers and staff.

Educational equity is the baseline standard of what our students deserve. Closing the digital divide is a moral mandate. Every DC household deserves free access to the world.

We are all in this together. Whether we’ve lived in DC for generations or moved here recently, each of us is responsible for the social, emotional, and academic well-being of every DC student.  This is our collective responsibility as citizens in a democratic republic. Join me fighting for every student, every teacher, and every staff member in DC public schools.

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