My View / ELYNN SIMONS – Why this election is important

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The election in November is exciting. The election in November could be historic. The election in November could see a record number of voters and make true our desire for a truly participatory democracy. The Washington Post stated there has been a major increase in voter registration among 18-25 year olds. This is great, but registering alone is not enough. Many college students, home for the summer, are working on my campaign.  Getting involved in a political campaign is great, but it still is not enough.  Until you cast your vote you have not fulfilled your civic responsibility.  And now, when we are in the grips of the dog days of summer, Alexandrians are being asked to go to the polls to cast a single vote. Granted, it is only one position.  Granted it is only a school board seat. Granted it is not going to change the world, but it will have an impact on our city, our schools, and our children.

As someone who has been involved with Alexandria City schools for over two decades, first as a parent, next as a tutor and most recently teaching college preparatory courses and summer school at T.C. Williams, I know the important role that schools play in shaping our city. If we have strong schools, then we have a strong community. If our schools are thriving, and I believe that they are, then our city is also thriving. If our city is thriving, then people will see Alexandria as a great place to live. If people see Alexandria as a desirable place to live, then our community is even stronger. 

I also know that it is the school boards role to set the tone for education in our city. We have wonderful schools. Our school board needs to focus the spotlight on our schools and the wonderful programs that are going on within our schools. Publicity about our schools should be about our teachers and our students and all that they are accomplishing. The fact that we have outstanding schools should not be a big secret.

That is why this election is important. We need someone who will work in harmony with the existing school board and the new superintendent. The time for discord and divisiveness is over. These can be very exiting times for our city. Our schools are strong, but they can be stronger.  Being remiss about voting is not an option. I urge each and every citizen of our city to step forward and do the right thingVOTE.

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