Saturday, May 17, 2014

A School Board election caucus, and some deja vu: can journalists and bloggers run for office?


Today, I did go to the Arlington County Democratic Committee School Board Caucus link at Washington-Lee High School, from which I graduated in 1961. 

The parking was a mess, as one major lot entrance was closed for a cycling class, so the event wasn’t planned that well.

A Caucus takes more time than a regular election.  You fill out a form, get verified, and get a paper ballot to rank the candidates in order or preference.  If you want to be sure your vote counts fully, you would have to stay around all day to see if there is a runoff.

The candidates were there, all well dressed and greeting voters, as were their volunteers.  And there were plenty of volunteers for the Party running the caucus.  There seemed to be some high school students, or possibly some college undergraduates returning right after spring semester finals.  That’s probably a nice way to start the summer.

I wondered about the whole process of running for a local election (let alone a state or national one), pimping to get people to give you money, and volunteer time.  That’s something journalists can’t do.  Yet I sometimes get questions from people as to why I won’t do that.

I did get to speak to one candidate after the election, Barbara Kanninen, who did a photo op with me.  I talked about the issues for substitute teachers, as I experienced the job from 2004-2007.  A lot of my most important coverage of the issue is on the July 2007 archive for this blog.  This day, although a Saturday, brought back some déjà vu. 
Update: May 18

Kanninen has been reported to have won the first slot in the caucus. 

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