Richmond 7th District School Board race

Ronald E. Carrington | 10/25/2018, 6 a.m.
For Broderick, the key is organizing priorities for limited resources; Burke attributes success on board to experience, engaging the community; ...

Gary Broderick

Gary Broderick

Gary S. Broderick

Age: 37

Occupation: Community organizer and UPS truck loader

Education: Bachelor’s in media arts, New Jersey City University

Civic/community activities: Organizing with parents, students and teachers to defend and transform public education in Richmond

Email: broderick4schoolboard@gmail.com

Telephone: (804) 347-4942

Website: www.garysbroderick.com

I became a candidate for the Richmond School Board because: We can build a top-notch public education system in Richmond. However, it requires taking a fundamentally different approach. We need a School Board that sees advocacy as a core responsibility, particularly fighting for full funding. That means leading the School Board in engaging in a public, needs-based budget process as I have pushed for as a community organizer. It also means pushing for the School Board to pass a resolution in favor of raising the corporate tax rate, then making funding a core assignment of the state lobbying subcommittee. We need a paradigm shift. Together, we can make it happen.

Top two issues facing Richmond Public Schools: These priorities, if addressed, will have a domino effect in addressing other critical issues.

  1. We need more adults in the school buildings. Our students need more attention from teachers in smaller classrooms, reading specialists, guidance counselors and social workers. Our staff needs sustainable workloads to make the job a sustainable professional career choice. That also benefits students with the stability of seeing the same staff year after year.
  2. We must improve literacy. If we don’t improve literacy rates in elementary schools, we are undermining the ability of our students to fall in love with learning and perform well academically.

How I plan to address those issues as a School Board member: The Commonwealth Institute just put out a report noting that, compared to 10 years ago, K-12 funding statewide has declined by 9 percent, staff levels are down and student enrollment is up.

With engaged School Board leadership, we can make sure our whole city knows. We can marshal the progressive energy and aspirations of our city to demand corporations pay their fair share of taxes to enable full funding of schools.

Increasing literacy rates will be possible similarly as we win funding for more reading specialists and displace the focus on SOL tests, which undermine reading comprehension.

For Broderick, the key is organizing priorities for limited resources

Gary S. Broderick moved to Richmond in January 2017, but he has deep ties to education advocacy and a track record of bringing together people of diverse backgrounds to demand high quality public education.

The 37-year-old community organizer and UPS truck loader has worked with New Virginia Majority and others to advocate for public schools. He has pushed for more money for public education and said he has lobbied for the School Board to adopt a needs-based budget and for there to be more public input in Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s Education Compact.

He served in a volunteer leadership role with 3rd District School Board member Kenya Gibson’s winning campaign in 2017. Now, he is seeking a seat on the board.

“I have a track record in advocacy, and that’s what we need on the School Board right now,” Mr. Broderick said.