3rd District Richmond School Board

11/3/2017, 2:20 a.m.

3rd District Richmond School Board

With the litany of problems facing Richmond Public Schools, we believe the best person to represent the parents, students and residents of the 3rd District is Joann Henry.

As a former RPS teacher and administrator, Dr. Henry has the kind of first hand knowledge about city schools that will make her service in this policy-making position invaluable. 

Since opening Dream Academy Richmond in 2010, she has gained insights into learning and the business of education that can only be understood when one truly operates at the helm.

She also has been out of the RPS system long enough — seven years — that we believe she will function effectively on the School Board without getting caught up in the politics of relationships within the school system.

While current 3rd District board member Cindy Menz-Erb has brought strengths to the table with her background in fundraising and programming for nonprofit organizations, we believe RPS should have its own development arm and not rely on School Board members to dial for dollars.

That said, we encourage Ms. Menz-Erb to continue working for the betterment and support of RPS, where the older of her two young children is a student.

House of Delegates

In the Richmond area House of Delegates races, we endorse the six Democratic candidates, in large measure to strengthen the opposition to the GOP’s rigid vise grip on the House that has proven a disaster for average Virginians.

With the GOP’s current 66-34 control over the 100-member House, Republicans have blocked expansion of health insurance to thousands of Virginians, continued the assault on women’s reproductive health rights, worked to jeopardize the restoration of voting rights to people who have served their time in jails and prisons, allowed gun purchase loopholes to go unchecked and tried to protect by law the hundreds of offensive statues and monuments honoring the Confederate cause of slavery that litter public spaces throughout the commonwealth.

We believe the advocacy and service of Richmond area Democrats, several of whom are unopposed in this election, is sorely needed to try to counter such regressive Republican measures.

We mention one race in particular, the 68th District contest between GOP incumbent Delegate G.M. “Manoli” Loupassi and Dr. Dawn M. Adams, a Democrat.

While Delegate Loupassi has become the key legislative backer of the Richmond schools modernization referendum on Tuesday’s ballot, his voting record in the General Assembly on dozens of issues heavily impacting the African-American community has been abysmal.

He has supported measures that prohibit cities from increasing the minimum wage, require a photo ID for voting, prohibit state funding of abortions and mandate an ultrasound prior to all abortion services, repealed the one-gun-a-month handgun purchase limit, and prohibit establishment of sanctuary cities.

By comparison, Dr. Adams supports increasing state funding for school districts like Richmond with high concentrations of poverty, health care coverage for all, including more comprehensive mental health care, curbing student debt for higher education and campaign finance reform.

We believe she would be a better representative for the people of the 68th House District.

Richmond schools referendum

An editorial published in the Oct. 19-21 edition of the Free Press details our position on Proposition A on the Richmond schools referendum. While passage of the referendum gives no additional money to support the modernization of Richmond schools, we believe a “Yes” vote signals the priority it should have with Richmond’s mayor and City Council.