As election day looms, there are a lot of lists of recommended candidates to vote for floating around. We equate these to voter cliff notes-if someone is deemed trustworthy, theoretically you can trust their list. However, every organization or individual publishing a list has a different litmus test used to endorse a candidate or not. Most often, these lists are based solely on political party lines. We challenge you to look beyond that. On March 8, your vote is your vote. - but make sure it’s an informed one!
We evaluated the candidates based on the following criteria:
Incumbents – we reviewed the past three years of meeting minutes and videos to determine:
how often did they demonstrate independent, critical thinking?
did they vote in favor of students and teachers?
is there a conflict of interest (which would result in financial gain) that would prevent them from doing so?
were their words consistent with their actions?
why are they running (is it beyond a single issue)?
are they able to ask the tough questions?
have they demonstrated the ability to collaborate effectively?
PACT had multiple conversations and discussions with the candidates to learn about their background, motivations for serving their community and the mission of PACT. Candidates then completed a lengthy profile form. A group of 10 then discussed all of the information we had and determined if our group was a good fit for the candidate. Political ideology played no part in our process and our candidate list reflects candidates that are liberal, moderate and conservative, but that are all committed to keeping politics out of our schools. It is undeniable that candidates that are endorsed by political parties benefit from an infrastructure and coordinated outreach that the average candidate does not. Which is why we exist in the first place—to help candidates survive the “social media machine” controlled by a small group in our community.
PACT and the Issues
Over the past week, many have asked where PACT stands on certain house bills or issues. The answer is complex. Neither the PACT group nor the candidates we support share one brain or one viewpoint. As you will see, many of our candidates do not agree with one another on every issue and we believe this is healthy and important. PACT is not pushing a particular narrative or viewpoint on any issues, but rather to encourage critical thinking and a student and teacher centered focus from leadership on the School Board. In fact, there is a race in which we have no endorsement (Swasey School Board). Why? We don’t know much about either candidate and were not able to uncover enough information to accurately determine whether they would be a good fit to our mission.
At the end of the day, if you only care about which political party a candidate identifies with, then there are plenty of endorsement lists for you to choose from. If you are tired of the political nonsense and care about electing independent, critical thinkers who will be responsive to the community, then our list is for you.