PATERSON – Three incumbents are among seven candidates running for seats on the Board of Education in what is an unusually low turnout in a state known for its high-profile political battles.
For decades past, Paterson’s school races have been conducted with all the political machinery that towns around town reserve for their major struggles: campaign signs, write-ins, lawsuits and candidate forums.
But all those few forces were in Paterson’s 2022 school election. This reporter spent 30 minutes driving around different sections of the city on Tuesday and could find no sign of any of the candidates.
So far, there has only been one forum or discussion, a virtual event organized by the parents of the village. Incumbent Corey Teague, who is running for the fifth school board election in 10 years, said the various city groups typically hold six or seven forums or discussions, sometimes with more than one on the same night.
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“I remember in previous years leaving one market and going to another,” Teague said.
The Paterson Education Fund’s advocacy group Oct. 2 decided to cancel the forum when three candidates told the group at the last minute that they would not be making the event and a fourth never responded, said Executive Director Rosie Grant.
“I don’t get it,” Da said of the carelessness of the school race. “It’s sad.”
City Hall has hosted the school’s candidate forum for several years, but this year it’s not happening in 2022. First Councilman Kenneth Morris, who often served as State Hall’s event director, said he didn’t know why there wasn’t one. this year.
“I think it’s so critical for people to see who the candidates are and what their positions are,” Morris said, noting that board seats are particularly impacted now that Paterson has full control over its schools and the process of reading. new officer
The city’s teachers’ union has come out of its practice in recent years by deciding not to recommend any candidates. Union President John McEntee Jr. He refused to say why. In 2021, the union endorsed a candidate in four fields, a challenger in three needed advocates, all of whom he ended up winning.
Major Andre Sayegh, state Sen. Nellie Pou, Assembly members Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly and most of the nine members of the Paterson City Council did not immediately respond to questions from a reporter about who they are recommending in school elections.
Council members Al Abdelaziz and Michael Jackson — who are often at odds — receive two of the three candidates separately.
Abdelaziz said he needs to support Vincent Arrington and challengers Della McCall and Eddie Gonzalez. Jackson Teague is supporting himself, incumbent Emanuel Capers and challenger Valerie Freeman. Meanwhile, Councilman Luis Velez said he supports Arrington and McCall.
The seventh candidate is Akkheem Dunham. Arrington and McCall run to get tickets.
Jackson said of the key campaign that he thinks is part of a strategy by some political leaders to manipulate the election in favor of allies by keeping voter turnout low.
In one school election forum, none of the district candidates’ four-year streak with double-digit percent tax increases, nor did they propose detailed plans to address Paterson’s poor school programming or low student test scores.
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Who is running for the Paterson Board of Education?
Here are snapshots of the candidates;
Vincent Arrington: He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the school board in 2018 and won a three-year term in the 2019 election. Arrington, who works closely with Wimberly, emphasized what he called his “special expertise” for technology. He cited the use of Chromebooks in Paterson classrooms and the purchase of Alexander Hamilton Academy’s structure as among the skills.
Emanuel Capers: Founder 4th* and Unciarum, a sports-oriented non-profit group, has been Capparis on the Board of Education since he won the seat in the 2016 election. Paterson of the room Paterson cites the termination of the assignment for educators training and making cultural changes in holiday regions, as among their work. Cappar was suspended six months ago in an ethics case two years ago involving a trip he took to Arizona.
Akkheem Dunham: This is Dunham’s first run for public office in Paterson. He who had recently moved to the city recognized his role in the election of the dog. Dunham said he wants the district to implement mental health programs as part of its special education offerings.
Valerie Freeman: Freeman, a free state activist, made “free people in politics” a campaign slogan. Libertus said he will fight against what he calls a bad fiscal district. She talked about trying to get more parents involved in the school system.
Eddie Gonzalez: One of the top officials in the Paterson-based nonprofit group New Jersey Community Development Corporation, Gonzalez served on the school board for 15 years. He then ran for city council and school board seats several times and lost. Gonzalez said that the country needs to “have the successes we’ve had” and those that “were not good”.
Delia McCall: She now works as Sayegh’s secret assistant and was previously his chief of staff. McCall unsuccessfully claimed 4″th* A seat on the City Council in 2016. He said he decided to run for the school board to pursue new opportunities to serve the city. He said he could get the people to work together.
Corey Teague: A social justice activist, Teague organized numerous parties and protests against Paterson police officers. Teague was first elected to the school board nearly a decade ago on a campaign in which he highlighted poor districts’ track record in special education programs. He lost two subsequent school elections, but won in 2019.
Joe Malinconico, editor of Paterson Press.
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