I too grew up in Chicago during the Richard J. Daley Administration. I saw many a political maneuver used by those who were fighting the Boss’s Machine.
They were fighting because they were marginalized and disenfranchised from city politics. They used these ploys as a way to bring attention to their plight.
I am not comparing the machine politics of Chicago to the Denver school board. I am trying to reframe the issue with the recent school board hearing and Lake Middle School voting, from one that focuses on the intended results from the political maneuver to what I see as the more important issue: a lack of community voice in the reform movement in Denver.
Let’s use the recent events not as a moment to cry foul, but to look at the reason why people felt that they had to prematurely remove Michelle Moss from her seat. The issue is access to the process.
DPS knows it has work to do in bringing the community into the various conversations about reform. But what concerns me is that there is no formalized effort to monitor or set benchmarks to ensure that the community is involved.
DPS has established the Office of Community Engagement. Good step in the right direction. That Moss was unceremoniously removed from her seat should not cloud the real failure here. It truly was a failure to constructively engage the community.
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