School Board candidate Stephan Blanford wants to meet you, and he promises to keep the introduction short in the hot weather— he will be holding a campaign kickoff Saturday starting at 3 PM at Miller Community Center.
Blanford is running for the 5th district of the Seattle School Board, and has been endorsed by current Board member Kay Smith-Blum. Currently an education consultant, Blanford has served on the boards of United Way of King County, Group Health Foundation, Social Justice Fund, and Social Venture partners.
Blanford said a major focus of his campaign and his plans for Seattle Public Schools involves shrinking the achievement gap between high-income-area schools and low-income-area schools. He said he opposes charter schools, and hopes that the district can come up with “new and innovative ways” of addressing underperforming schools.
“I haven’t given up on the district,” he said.
The event will include ice cream, popsicles and a short program.
Smith-Blum announced last month that she will not be seeking re-election. From KUOW:
The candidates for her seat are Stephan Blanford, an educational policy consultant; LaCrese Green, a retired state worker who also ran for the board eight years ago; and Olu Thomas, an unemployed social worker.
In her letter, which the Stranger quoted, Smith-Blum recommended Blanford as her successor:
I am optimistic about the perspective he will bring to the board. I will support his candidacy in any way I can.
Blanford said his endorsement from Smith-Blum shows the viability of his campaign.
“I think it’s important to show that someone who has been doing the work for 4 years thinks that I have the background and experience to take the baton and run with it,” he said.
“What we’re planning (for Saturday) is pretty simple,” he said. “We’ll keep speeches down to a minimum and hopefully get people in and out.”
The event will be held at Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave E. in the Multipurpose Rooms (downstairs).