Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Turning 40—Amazingly, Nearly 10,000 People Once Supported Me For Cincinnati Board Of Education


This is part of a Texas Liberal series of reminisces as I turn 40 this week.

Amazingly, in 1997 almost 10,000 voters thought I should be elected to serve on the Cincinnati Board of Education. ( The picture is of Cincinnati in 1862.)

Among 12 candidates I finished ninth. The top four were elected. I was glad not to finish last and felt I’d done well given my resources. I think I raised about $3,500.

I ran because I thought it might be fun.

It was fun. I enjoyed going to community councils and making my case. I enjoyed having friends help gather ballot access signatures and come out with me on campaign appearances.

My main issue was corporate involvement in Cincinnati schools and corporate control over members of the incumbent board. Large Cincinnati companies were heavily involved with the schools at the time. I suggested this compromised the board’s advocacy for students in the district.

“We’ve got to take back this school board from Kroger’s and Procter and Gamble!”

An issue in 1997 was the Cincinnati board joining other big city Ohio boards in pushing a lawsuit that would have helped equalize funding between urban and more affluent suburban districts. I believe Cincinnati was the only big city board not supporting the lawsuit.

I was endorsed by the local UAW and AFL-CIO. I was endorsed by a few other unions, but I can’t remember which ones specifically. I was also endorsed by Stonewall Cincinnati.

I had nice union made bumper stickers and union printed brochures. I cut a radio ad I think I had enough money to run about 30 times.

I was not endorsed by the Hamilton County Democratic Party. I was asked to interview but I said no. I felt the county party had done a lousy job in assisting the poor and average working people and, also, was a creature of corporate money and sleazy donors. Today, I suppose, I would likely do the interview

I felt I served the public by running for the Cincinnati Board of Education and I remain appreciative of people who voted for me and of the friends who helped me with the campaign.

September 13, 2007 Posted by | Cincinnati, Elections, Turning 40 | 1 Comment