IN FAVOR - Gary Z.

This statement is in support of endorsing Mysiki Valentine in his candidacy for the D.C. State Board of Education at-large seat. Because Mysiki is running as an independent, this election is on the general election date of November 3, 2020.

Mysiki has clear record of experience that make him well-prepared to take on the roles encumbered by the SBOE.

Mysiki understands how our educational system works: Mysiki has taught and mentored students, worked with students and their families across DC, and has managed extra-curricular and after-school programming for students and schools. He understands how well supported public education systems translate into better life outcomes for students and their families, and he wants to work within the SBOE to make sure that happens. His clear record of experience certainly makes him qualified to take-on the work engaged by the SBOE.

But Mysiki also understands how policy affects these educational systems. Through the Fair Budget Coalition, Mysiki has experience advocating for policy change at local levels of government. This makes him particularly well suited to stand on the SBOE, which demands someone who not only understands the outlook and perspective of those he is advocating for, but also demands knowledge of how to go about introducing, passing, and implementing policy once elected.

Mysiki understands how profit-maximizing logic has undermined public education, and wants to work on the SBOE to correct that.

In DC, there are clear gaps in racial and economic equity. Mysiki believes that we can begin closing these gaps by advocating for a well-supported public education system. Mysiki has expressed how he believes the structure of capitalism enriches the few while denying many the support they need to receive a good education, and has identified how this logic proliferates decision-making on the school board. Mysiki wants to advocate for policies that uplift and support all students in our education system; this provides MDC DSA an opportunity to better understand, and better demonstrate, what a socialist educational policy program looks like in practice: supporting teacher unionization efforts, resisting unquestioned expansion of the cities’ charter school program, advocating for well-funded public programming that supports students and their families, and standing up to the influence of education lobbyist proposals in city government.

Mysiki helps us build a wider movement.

MDC DSA is on path to drastically swing the ideological disposition of DC’s elected government. If Mysiki wins, we will further entrench that perspective and help ensure our allies in city government have a wide network of like-minded allies in DC. Boosting campaigns that build the socialist ideology – wherever they arise - across city government means building a DC that represents the people who live here – not capital interests.

Mysiki has shown himself to be a clear avatar for economic justice. He has elucidated not only the problems with capitalism – but what a counter, more empathetic set of policies would look like. With that, to ensure that MDC DSA continues building power in the city and our region, I urge Metro D.C. DSA members to vote YES on endorsing Mysiki Valentine.