Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who's backing the school board candidates? The endorsements

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge At-large candidate Crispin Rea has racked up the most endorsements
  • At-large candidate Crispin Rea has racked up the most endorsements

Whether apathetic, uninformed or just plain fed up, few residents typically cast a ballot in elections for the Kansas City, Missouri, School Board (see this week's feature, "Board Brawl"). Bitch and moan about our failing schools? Sure. Bother to attend a candidate forum? Uh, no thanks.

But a crowded field of at-large candidates and a battle in Subdistrict Four (not to mention, a ton of press about Superintendent John Covington's school closings plan) could make this election a little more participatory.

A handful of influential groups have made their preferences clear. So who's got the backing of teachers, labor unions and political organizations?

The following groups have made public endorsements:

AFL-CIO

(Labor union that represents more than 100,000 workers in the Greater Kansas City area)
At-large: Rose Bell, Crispin Rea
Subdistrict Four: Joseph Jackson

American Federation of Teachers
(Labor union that represents 2,400 current and retired teachers and school staff)
At-large: Rose Bell, Crispin Rea
Subdistrict Four: Joseph Jackson

Freedom Incorporated

(African-American political group)
At-large: Crispin Rea, Kyleen Carroll
Subdistrict Four: Joseph Jackson

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City
At-large: Crispin Rea

Kansas Citians United for Educational Achievement

(Political committee headed by current school board member Airick Leonard West)
At-large: Crispin Rea, Kyleen Carroll
Subdistrict Four: Joseph Jackson

Service Employees International Union

(Labor union representing, among other groups, janitors and health care workers)
At-large: Crispin Rea, Kyleen Carroll
Subdistrict Four: Joseph Jackson

The team of candidates managed by Spark Bookhart -- Cokethea Hill, Kenneth Hughlon, Linwood Tauheed and Marilyn Simmons -- haven't garnered any official endorsements. But "the only endorsement we are seeking is that of the community on April 6," Bookhart told me in an e-mail.

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