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I met someone last night who said something to the effect that it would be good to have been in a coma during the last six years and over the next couple so you did not have to experience and live in George W. Bush's America.  I thought about that comment and realized that I am glad to be awake during this time.  Given the damage done to this country, I want to look back and say that I was an active particpant in the change that made this country better.  That is why I, Eric Kenney, have decided to run for the Madison School District Governing Board here in Phoenix, AZ.

I am a first-time candidate with no experience in politics.  I am just a 26 year-old graduate student in Geography at Arizona State University, but I cannot sit idly by allow my country change for the worse without a fight.

About the District:
The district is pretty small, about 4 square miles.  YOu will need to be familiar with Phoenix to understand my description, but please bear with me.  The boundaries of the district are roughly Northern Ave on the north, Indian School Rd on the south, 32nd St on the East, and 7th Ave on the west.  It has about 32,000 registered voters; approximately 11,000 registered Democrats, nearly 14,000 registered Republicans, and about 7,000 Independent/Other.

It is a relatively conservative district, mainly fically conservative.  It also is very economically diverse.  The northern portion is pretty wealthy and the southern portion is lot more middle and lower-middle class families.

About Me:
My name is Eric Kenney and as I said, I am a 26 year-old Master's student in the Department of Geography at Arizona State University and have lived in Phoenix since 2003.  I earned a Bachelor's degree, as a first generation college graduate also in geography from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2003.  I attended public school all through my primary and secondary education.

I grew up in Salt Lake City, UT in very middle-class family.  Both of my parents worked all while I was growing up to make sure that me and my sister could have what we needed but not everything we wanted.  Neither of my parents have any college degrees, but they have been very supportive of me getting to where I am now.  I also owe a lot of my success from a well run school board that put policies in place that made school a place of learning and education rather than politics and games.  I want to offer kids in the Madison School District the same opportunities that I was given.

I have experience in both the private and public sector and understands the importance of education for employers.

Presently, I work at the State of Arizona in the Office of the State Forester.   I have also worked at the City of Phoenix, Arizona State University, and University of Colorado.  My private sector experience was working for New World Restaurant Group, the parent company for Einstein Bros. Bagels and Noah's New York Bagels, for more than 5 years.

The Issues:
With the state mandate that all high school seniors must pass the AIMS test in order to graduate we need to make sure that we do not create an environment where kids are taught to take tests.  We need to make sure that kids learn to read, write, and think critically.  That way when they get to the required tests they can succeed in the test and be prepared for college and the workforce.

Let's start this process by teaching real science in science classrooms.  A student who understands and can use the scientific process will be able to go into any situation or problem and consider all angles and come out with the best solution.

We also need to reintroduce the teaching and importance of geography.  If we are supposed to live in a globalized world and all be good global citizens then we need understand the world.  Geography teaches about places, people, culture, and the relationships between them.

How to help:
First and foremost I need contributions to help me reach voters.  I also need volunteers to help me reach voters.  Please visit my webpage, to learn how you can help and more about me and my campaign.  I am looking forward to this campaign and getting out there serving the needs of the residents of the Madison School District.  Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you have any questions.

Eric Kenney

Originally posted to TheOtherOne1979 on Fri May 26, 2006 at 12:39 PM PDT.

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