Letters to the Editor, April 30

Apr. 29, 2014 @ 04:00 PM

Vote for Lisa Gordon Stella

I am extraordinarily excited about the school board candidacy of Lisa Gordon Stella in District 3.  She is informed, hardworking, stresses fiscal responsibility and already can identify the bloat in the Durham Public Schools budget better than any current school board member.  

Please vote for Lisa and ask your friends to do the same.

A private corporation regularly hired by DPS, North Carolina New Schools Inc (NCNS), employs Lisa’s opponent, Matt Sears. The nearly $500,000 STEM fiasco at Neal, detailed in Lisa’s recent press release (lisaforschoolboard.com), is an NCNS program. Mr. Sears is director of NCNS’s STEM EDUCATION program.

Who wouldn’t like to be on the board of a major customer?? But we all know that would be a major conflict of interest.  Taxpayers and voters can certainly see it.  Why can’t Mr. Sears??

Incredibly, Nancy Cox is vacating the seat Mr. Sears is running for, because she felt serving on the board limited her business opportunities!!

Please share this information with your fellow voters.

It’s a clear choice between a transformative candidate, Lisa Gordon Stella, and a candidate who lacks the judgment to see a conflict that will impair his work on the board.

Dick Ford

Durham

Vote for Diaminah

It’s no secret that a school benefits when parents, teachers, and students invest time and energy in creating a positive, community-oriented school environment. But this is easier said than done. It requires exceptional leadership.

Enter Sendolo Diaminah. Sendolo is running for the District 2 School Board seat. When asked how he would improve Durham Public Schools, Sendolo replied, “The first thing I would do to improve Durham Public schools [would] be to make parent, teacher and youth engagement a regular part of school and school system decision-making.” This is not wishful thinking; Sendolo has proven that he has the skills to do this.

As a part of the Umbrella Coaltion, Sendolo led a successful campaign that saved 185 Durham teaching jobs from budget cuts. This work required identifying stakeholders and empowering them to negotiate with officials and to speak publicly. As a community organizer for People’s Durham, Sendolo worked with residents of Lincoln Apartments to successfully delay their unfair eviction and to acquire city resources to help them relocate.

Sendolo has shown that he has the skills to research a situation, to educate and train others to lead, and to successfully mediate discussions between those in power and those outside the circle of power.

Sendolo’s vision is not to solve people’s problems for them, but to engage people collectively in facing and solving problems together.

Successful schools, and indeed a successful democracy, need this kind of leadership. If you live in District 2, vote for Sendolo.

Ned Kennington

Durham

Thanks to government workers

Across the country and in communities like the Research Triangle Park, government employees serve and protect our nation every day.  During Public Service Recognition Week, May 4-10, we gratefully acknowledge their service.

I want to personally thank members of the Durham Chapter 0566 active and retired federal workers in North Carolina.

Federal employees care for veterans and work side by side with our military to defend our country.  They conduct cutting-edge research to improve public health and regulate the safety of our food and medicine.

Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences play a vital role in keeping our environment safe.

Let us not forget the roles of the employees of the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, or the U.S. Postal Service.

And right here in North Carolina, air traffic controllers at area airports ensure the safety of thousands of passengers every year.

These are all critical services.

We may not realize all that America’s public servants do for us on a daily basis.  Let’s not take for granted the service they provide.

During Public Service Recognition Week, and throughout the year, please take time to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees to ensure our government is the best in the world.

Carolyn C. London

Durham