WASHINGTON, DC — In addition to voting for president and vice president of the United States in the Nov. 3 general election, voters in Washington, D.C., will choose a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives; at-large member of the D.C. Council; member of the D.C. Council for wards 2, 4, 7 and 8; U.S. senator; U.S. representative; at-large member of the State Board of Education; member of the State Board of Education for wards 2, 4, 7, and 8; and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner.
Charles Boston, a 45-year-old tradesman and operating engineer, is running for the Ward 7 seat on the State Board of Election.
As part of its coverage of the 2020 election, Patch has asked candidates in select races in D.C. to fill out a questionnaire to describe why they think they’re the best person to fill the job they’re running for.
Age (as of Election Day)
Ward 7 State Board of Education
Married with two children in DCPS
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
Beers Elementary School, Studied at Georgetown University and University of Maryland
Tradesman, Operating Engineer with 15-years experience
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
The single most pressing issue facing D.C. is students who are underprepared for a career, college, or life, and this is what I intend to do about it.
I plan to tackle this problem at the root by strongly advocating for work-based learning, vocational education, cooperative learning, and have the faith community, businesses, and non-profits forum consortiums to address the myriad of external challenges that hinder students academic achievement and performance.
Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?
I support educational justice and non-violent protesting for social injustices.
What are your thoughts on the campaign to “defund” the police?
I think the campaign is irrational and misleading to those politically immature. As long as we have poor public policy that perpetuates the cycle of poverty, police will be needed.
What are your thoughts on the state and national response to the coronavirus pandemic? Do you favor such measures as limiting operation of non-essential businesses or restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a nationwide mask mandate?
I definitely support a nationwide mask mandate. Country’s that have gotten ahead of the curve and minimized the spread all mandate mask wearing. As for business operation and dining, there’s too many variables from staff feeling safe, actual business, to employees with school-aged children at home. Comprehensive planning clearly need to be happening at the highest levels.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I will pledge my entire salary throughout the duration of my term to create several school-based gardens and farms at four schools. I am running a traditional campaign and did not accept any campaign contributions from supporters. I am very knowledgeable of both the construction and transportation industries, which will be an invaluable resource for students as vocational education is implemented.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)
The Ward 7 member has completely ignored the concerns, complaints and voices of Ward 7 students, parents, and teachers. In addition, there has been no vision for a 21st-century education.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
Education justice. Parents, students and teachers rights. Mandatory librarians. I am against the STAR rating framework, Mayor control and PARCC testing.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I am use to finding a silver line have been on thr front-linrd strongly advocated for youth for close to ten years. I was a safety and policy office at the University of Maryland, I founded the Districts first and only private vocational trade school, I have been an instructor and mentor to hundreds of troubled youth for over a decade.
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?
Physical Education and Recess reform or civics and vocational education requirements or work-based learning requirements or cooperative learning or student selected SAC members for the SBOE or the elimination of standardized testing.
Why should voters trust you?
I’m not a politician, I’m a parent. I don’t talk around the issues or lie to voters. My campaign website displays that unlike any of my opponents. In addition, I believe our young people are our social and economic future, and will shape policy to ensure they have every opportunity to be successful members of society.
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?
There needs to be complete transparency within the Public and Public Charter School systems. Money appropriation and management must be a priority. For example, nine million dollars was set aside for the fair election campaign while school librarians were cut from school budgets and some students started remote learning still lacking devices and or access to the internet since March. That’s totally unacceptable.
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?
The best advice ever shared with me was:
Never doubt your ability. If you fail at something blame it on your effort and try harder the next time.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I believe two-thirds of what it takes for students to be successful in the classroom actually occurs in the community, so I will focus on policy to fix those issues to give students every opportunity to become productive and professional members of society. That’s not only mu plan, it’s my purpose.
This article originally appeared on the Washington DC Patch