This summer has whizzed by and I've been enjoying following all the new trustee candidates. There is such energy and enthusiasm in this new batch. Five candidates are under the age of 30, I believe... a phenomenon in itself!! They are using all the tools at their disposal to reach the electorate: twitter, blogs, webpages, uploading videos, connecting with each other through informal meetings, and of course, using tried and true strategies like doorknocking. One candidate has already knocked on 3000 doors and distributed 15,000 pamphlets in the first round, is about to release the second edition with more detailed information and is even talking about a THIRD! 180 lawn signs are going up on private homeowners' lawns next week for one candidate- just a starting point, he says. In the "Go Big or Go Home" vein- they are all going big.
I have to say, I'm impressed.
It suggests to me an awakening, an awareness of the importance of education. These young people are stirred up, passionate and engaged. They do not see board life as "bored life"... and, if elected, they will bring a vitality and a level of inquiry that will, undoubtedly, shake things up a bit.
And that, I think, would be a good thing.
Boards have operated more or less in the same manner for 128 years. In my opinion, if they are to have a future that is vital and relevant, they will need to change. They will need to become more generative and creative. They will need to become more diverse, in thought, experience, race, age and culture. Boards will need to engage the public in new ways and understand the public's growing expectation for collaboration and shared authority. Policies will need to be drafted in a different way- harnessing the power of technology to crowd source and create better ideas out of multiple perspectives and mulitple understandings. Boards will need to adopt a servant leadership model that truly embraces openness and transparency. To build trust and accountability, board work will need to be done almost exclusively in public. Data will need to open, easily searched, understood and applied. Most importantly, trustees will need to connect deeply and respectfully with the communities they serve.
Public education is public work for the public good. It is owned by everyone and suddenly, with this election, young people are starting to understand that everyone includes them! When I ran, at the age of 40, I was the "young thing". Now, at 43, I'm the old veteran. This makes me smile.
If you want to know more about EPSB trustee candidates, you can visit this grass-roots, community website.
EPSB's home page also has a page with election info. Links to official candidates will be posted, after nomination day (September 20, I believe).
To find out the ward you are in, visit this map
Oh, and I will be part of a panel discussing trusteeship on September 12. MLA Janice Sarich is also on the panel. You can find more info here