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A terrific Tuesday talk

Last Monday (October 12th), a considerable number of Georgia residents took advantage of the early voting process. Combined with the absentee ballot process, it allows people to partake of the most accessible means of political engagement in exercising the right to vote.

While some are still doing their research on candidates, there's an opportunity for those in Gwinnett County to engage with candidates for an essential entity, the county school board. With an estimated 180,000 students in the largest school system in Georgia (and an estimated population of 936,000 per the United States Census Bureau), nearly 1 out of 5 residents attends public school.

On Tuesday, October 20th, at 8pm EST, there's an online engagement opportunity for county residents to hear from three of the candidates for their respective districts. Hosted by Joe Beasley along with Mayor Awet Eysau, Mada Dao, Otunba Rasaq Ibrahim, and Edafe Sodje (with Sequn ADeyina and Samia Abdulle as the moderators), candidates Karen Watkins (District 1), Tanisha Banks (District 3), and Dr. Tarece Johnson (District 5) are participants voters can learn more about, including contributing to their respective campaigns (as it is viewable via Zoom, so make sure to reference the flyer for more details). With an extensive background in higher education and marketing, Dr. Johnson's investment and engagement in the arts and learning, and application of best practices in areas related to diversity and inter-related fields (click HERE to review her bio), her platform is centered in representing the people, understanding their needs, and work towards real change that will support a better, more safe, and prosperous life for each person, including those in District 5 (click HERE and go to the 25:00 mark of her interview); a blend of professional acumen and community advocacy (click HERE and go to the 12:00 mark of her interview) merged with her larger vision, which includes focus areas on the curriculum to improved advocacy for share and stakeholder, aligns with the larger county motto of providing a "world class" education (click HERE to review her platform).

With an early emphasis within her family of the importance and relevance of a quality education, District 1 candidate Karen Watkins has a platform grounded in the preparation of students to achieve at all levels, producing students who are well-rounded and prepared for an ever changing world, and improved fiscal accountability. Within her larger mission of empowering all students to want to achieve and become productive, sustainable individuals who will have the capability to contribute positively to society, she is focused on the opportunity to provide a sound approach to system-wide area of concern (click HERE to learn more about her vision and mission).

Clark-Atlanta alumnae Tanisha Banks is the District 3 candidate with a resolve and commitment to public education and believes all children deserve equitable access to a high-quality education. Her platform's "Triple-A" approach centers on augmented accountability and transparency, accessibility and visibility, along with improved advocacy (click HERE to learn more about her outline of key areas of concern).

Talking with and listening to are still ways to gain insight on any candidate, along with exploring their platforms, mission, and larger purpose.

Tuesday evening, have a talk with the candidates.


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