Downtown Parents Meet with School Board Candidate
Members of the steering committee for Parents for a Better Downtown met with school board candidate Rick Burke to discuss the pressing need for a downtown school. Thanks to Elizabeth Campbell of the 36th LD Democrats for organizing and hosting the meeting at her downtown apartment complex! As Elizabeth put it, Downtown needs an elementary school to coalesce into a community with a sustainable middle class. Not to mention, Downtown needs a school to serve the Downtown baby boom!
Rick is running to represent District 2 (centered on Greenlake), and while Downtown neighborhoods are split between District 5 (represented by Dr. Stephan Blanford) and District 4 (represented by Sue Peters), School Board candidates run citywide in the general election.
Coming from District 2, Rick was not previously well-versed on the need for a downtown school or the history of community efforts to obtain one. Nevertheless, we found him to be receptive to the idea and curious to learn more. We conveyed some of our concerns regarding state law provisions that could preclude a creative Downtown solution, such as the prohibition on capital funds to pay rents in a downtown building. We also discussed possible locations all over downtown that could serve as a school.
We appreciate Rick’s willingness to sit down with us on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, and his open-minded approach to our issues. We left with the strong impression that Rick will respond to data that supports the need for a downtown school—data such as those the Downtown Seattle Associationpublished nearly two years ago. You can find out more about Rick at his website, www.rickburke4schools.com.