District 1 Board of Education candidate closing statements

Brenda Muhammad (I)

As the campaign season comes to a close and voters make their choices known at the polls, I end the race the way I began it; with the firm belief that every child has the right to expect a first class educational experience in Atlanta Public Schools.  There should be no divisions of class or color or geographic location. I will be part of the governance that closes the gaps of race and class in this school system.  I will use my voice to speak on behalf of those who have traditionally been silenced.

There are three things I intend to advocate for if given the opportunity to return to the board:

  • First, make sure that kids zero to three are ready to participate when they enter the school system.  That will mean expanding relationships with community partners to accommodate more pre-K children.
  • Secondly, I want to give children who are not going to attend college an option, by emphasizing career academies, or vocational technical schools.  Not every child can, or should go to college, but every child can be prepared to enter the work force with a marketable skill.
  • Finally, and perhaps most important, I want to make sure we find the best superintendent available to manage the Atlanta public school system.  I’m looking for a visionary… a transformational leader who can revive a stagnant system.

Williams Yeates said, “Education is not the filling of a pail; it is the lighting of a fire.”  We must light some fires.

At this critical time in the evolution of Atlanta Public Schools, you want and need leadership that is trusted, tried and true. I have worked hard to earn your trust and will continue to do so.

It is my duty to represent each and every school and community in the district. We must make decisions and govern in a way that is in the best interest of the entire system.

I will be the representative who makes your needs and wishes heard. I take my cues from you; I respond to your directives.  With continued student, parental and community involvement, I know we can accomplish what we set out to do.

Let’s move this district forward… together.

Leslie Grant  

My name is Leslie Grant and I’m running for the District One seat on the Atlanta Board of Education because I am excited to be a resident of Atlanta at this time. I can see great promise for a more connected and livable city through the innovation and vision of projects like the Atlanta Beltline. However, I am dismayed at the state of our school system—the inefficiencies and inequities we allow to exist are unacceptable—and I’m tired of wishing things would get better.

I am running for the District One seat because there is a clear mandate for change. I’ve seen it in the energetic support I have received—over 680 donations so far and over 600 signs in front of homes. And I have heard it from voters all around this district that want to be “represented” by someone who is visible and accessible, thoughtful and intelligent, willing to get out in front and lead on an issue, and most importantly they want someone that is interested in serving on this board in order to improve the education of our children, not someone focused on the political fringe benefits.

I am running for the District One seat because I truly believe that the opportunity, for positive change, is here and now, with this election. We have an opportunity to re-imagine our system and to make it work for all of the children of Atlanta. In order to make this happen, we must have an intelligent, thoughtful, capable and collaborative board in place, and that requires new leadership for District One.

On November 5th, I need your vote so that we can select the right superintendent, the right operational model when the time comes, and so that we can build a globally competitive education system that is able to attract families back to our schools— an educational system that is worthy of all the bright minds we entrust to it daily.

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