Why I’m Running For Re-Election As A Richmond School Trustee – Norm Goldstein
Norm Goldstein for Richmond School Trustee

Why I’m Running For Re-Election As A Richmond School Trustee – Norm Goldstein

It is time, again, for Richmond to choose their elected officials  The last 3 years went by quickly.  I thought about why I ran in the first place, what’s been accomplished, and what is left to do.  A good chunk of my first term was spent learning the ropes. The District has made good progress in re-defining inclusion and recognizing specialty programming for all students – both special needs and programs of choice & enrichment. I feel I should stay the course and aim for a second term on the Board. RITE Richmond is vibrant, Richmond is my home, and I am looking forward to another term of focused community service.

Why I Ran For Richmond School Trustee In 2011

Those of you who don’t know me may be wondering why I ran for the position of trustee, in 2011. Friends of mine confided in me that I was the last person they thought would ever run for public office.  While my son was in high school, I, and a bunch of other parents, were very concerned about a direction being taken by the District. Like the proverbial penguins around the hole in the ice, we pushed and shoved until I fell in. In truth, I was looking forward to a new experience in life, and one where I am able to concretely and directly give back to the community.

For the last three years, I have learned more about Robert’s rules (look up Robert on the net), raising my hand before speaking (another important kindergarten skill), understanding $180M budgets, writing policies,  and talking to, and understanding a wide variety of good people.  The life of a trustee is full of paradoxes: I vote to give direction to the District, but individually, I have no authority; The Board is the employer of many staff, but does not negotiate the contract (and has very little influence on those who do); I am voted in by the people of Richmond, and vote my conscience on issues that arise, but would the majority of Richmondites agree with my choices? (never mind that only 25% of eligible Richmondites vote).

Making Your Vote Count

One of my goals in this election, and a major goal for RITE Richmond from now to election day, is to get more people to vote. Yes, of course, we would love them all to vote RITE Richmond, but I would be delighted if the voting fraction doubled to 50%. What do you think it would take to reach that goal? Remember, our goal is for people to make informed choices at the polls, so it does not work to legislate people to vote, or to enter voters names into a sweepstakes draw. People have to want to actually exercise this crucial aspect of democracy.

My Experience And Why This Election Is Important

The Richmond School District is on the cusp of change. The District is re-evaluating how programming is offered to all students, including a redefinition/clarification of the central concept of inclusion.  This endeavour is consistent with my philosophy on how to deliver education, and is in line with the reasons that I ran for the office of trustee in 2011. I have sat on a private school board, taught at university, and with the past three years experience on the Richmond Board of Education, I look forward to another term, where I will be able to support and guide  the District for further positive change.

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