‘Working democracy and … acts of humanity could save this city’

8/4/2017, 9:57 a.m.

Re: Who’s running RPS superintendent search?” Free Press July 27-29 edition:

I agree wholeheartedly with the Rev. Ben Campbell that we should welcome Richmond’s major corporate leaders who are willing to help our community solve its most pressing problems.

I believe that the offer made by iconic local business leader and RPS Superintendent Search Committee member William Goodwin, widely respected for his civic generosity, to gather funds to help pay our new schools superintendent was unfortunate.

We live in a democracy, where taxpayers carry the freight for government services and the personnel who deliver them.  Our public servants should never be beholden to special interests — no matter how well-intentioned — as they perform government’s basic responsibilities.

While I believe firmly in public officials’ independence, I do believe that Richmond’s wealthy businesses, foundations and individuals may be critical to alleviating the twin crises confronting our city: A failing school system, partly caused by huge facility shortcomings, and an economic divide that cripples families’ opportunities to advance and fundamentally destabilizes our community.

Working democracy and unprecedented acts of humanity could save this city.  Richmond’s corporate leadership could team with city government and others and work the wonders we so sorely need.