Loser: Mayor Mike McGinn.
In a press release titled "Educators endorse McGinn for Mayor," Mayor Mike McGinn rolled out a couple of new endorsements yesterday, including two Seattle School Board members, first-term members Betty Patu and Sharon Peaslee.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 925 leader Kathy Yasi (925 represents school district nurses and child care workers) and Rainier Beach H.S. principal Dwane Chappelle also announced they were endorsing McGinn.
A Carville/Stephanopoulos-style rapid response buried McGinn's play, though: The Murray campaign fired off a press release following McGinn's announcement with a parade of education endorsements they've gotten during the campaign that represent a broader show of support coming from both the teachers' union side (which is where Patu and Peaslee land), along with their adversaries on the reformist side. Murray also noted a longtime School Board supporter of his own.
On the impressive list: John Okomoto, executive director of the Washington state teachers' union, and Rod Regan, the political director of the union. And those endorsements were rounded out by George Scarola, the former longtime lobbyist for the League of Education Voters, the reformist group that's often at loggerheads with the union. Longtime Seattle School Board member Michael DeBell, who's retiring after two terms, was also on the Murray list.
And to complete the war room-style rejoinder: Murray noted that he'd also been endorsed by Kerry Cooley-Stroum, the Vice President of Schools First—the committee that advocates for the very Seattle school levy that McGinn takes credit for on the stump.
Winner: Mike McGinn.
This was in stark contrast to the deep cuts we saw proposed by his opponenThe thing about Murray's response, though: It was just a list of names. Rod Regan and George Scarola aren't running for mayor. Murray is. And, well ...
In contrast to Murray's rejoinder, McGinn's education announcment came with a substantive list of McGinn's accomplishments, including the mayor’s attendance campaign (attendance at 52 schools improved from 2010 to 2011, and attendance at 43 schools improved from 2011 to 2012; and between 2010 and 2012, there's been a two percent increase in the number of students with an attendance rate above 90 percent) and McGinn's specific to-dos, such as his inspiring goal to fund preschool for all kids.
Other education specifics: the city's Office of Civil Rights' work with Seattle Schools to counter racial disparities in discipline; McGinn's Education Leadership Team of business, labor, philanthropy, and education leaders that has worked to improve education from preschool to college to career and also advocated in Olympia for education funding and improvements; and McGinn's Read and Rise literacy program.
Another one of McGinn's supporters at yesterday's education announcement, Noam Gundle, a Seattle Public Schools science teacher in Ballard, said: "In the depths of the Great Recession, [McGinn] worked to double the Families and Education Levy, protect funding for youth in the city budget, and launch an attendance campaign. This was in stark contrast to the deep cuts we saw proposed by his opponent when he wrote the senate’s budget in 2011.”