I’m not going to make a habit of this, but I’m going to offer
an endorsement a recommendation in the D.C. At-Large Councilmember race. Shoot, vote for whoever you like, but if you’re interested, I’m going to be backing Sekou Biddle.
I’ll spare you a rehashing of his biography. It’s on the campaign site linked above. The key point—for me—is that Biddle has a long, long track record in education. He was a classroom teacher for 8 years (in Atlanta, New York City, and D.C.), and served on D.C.’s Board of Education. He’s also a product of DCPS, which is not a negligible consideration. If, like me, you’re worried about Mayor Vincent Gray’s commitment to education reform, he’s exactly the sort of guy you’re looking for.
I mean, compare Biddle’s education reform credentials with his opponents. There is no comparison. His classroom experience (to say nothing of his clear, decades-long involvement in education reform in other capacities) can’t be overestimated. We’d be lucky to have him.
Heck, one of his leading competitors is a former Pepco executive. That’s right: Pepco, the very-profitable comedy troupe trying to pass for a local utility company; Pepco, the scourge of the local infrastructure.
One other thing, though, that I should probably explain. As regular blog readers know, I’m very skeptical of Mayor Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (this is hardly a “lone-voice-shouting-against-the-multitude” position at this point, I know). Both Gray and Brown are backing Biddle’s candidacy. Cause for concern?
I don’t think so. Here are two reasons why:
1) Biddle’s got a pretty long track record in the public eye (again, D.C. Board of Ed.) and hasn’t given us any reason not to trust him (unlike Brown). See David Alpert’s excellent post on Biddle at GreaterGreaterWashington for more.
2) All of Gray’s “One City” talk is meaningless unless he has some actual collaborators around him. As I’ve argued repeatedly here and in the Washington Post, Gray’s credibility as a figure for political unity is undercut by the expectations of some of his biggest backers. Let no one fool you—education remains the primary political issue in the coming few years in D.C. Since Biddle has both classroom and administrative experience, he’s uniquely qualified to understand how to cut through DCPS’ worst political impasses.
So that’s that. Take it or leave it. The election is coming up on April 26th, and it’s just a recommendation, but c’mon…you’re not voting for the Pepco guy, are you?