PEA to Hold Candidates' Forum
“Meet the Candidates Night” will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (March 24, 2009) in the Plainfield High School cafeteria, 950 Park Ave. The entrance and parking are off Stelle Avenue.
Seven candidates are vying for three three-year seats. They are incumbents Rasheed Abdul-Haqq, Patricia Barksdale, Lisa C. Logan-Leach and Joseph M. Ruffin Sr., as well as Brenda Gilbert, Mahogany Hendricks and Joanne Hollis. Three others, Katherine Peterson, Tammy Westbrook and Terrence Williams, are competing for one unexpired two-year term. The forum will follow a structured format including opening statements, questions and answers and closing statements.
Connie Jenkins-Buwa, chairperson of the PEA School Board Elections Committee, said this year’s election is especially important to the 400 PEA members who live and work in Plainfield, due to anticipated “statewide budgetary cuts in education.”
“PEA is expecting a much greater voter turnout than in past elections,” she said.
In all, the union has 1,200 members, including teachers, bus drivers, security guards, secretaries and other non-administrative staff.
The union has sent letters to over 400 members and has even teamed up with local Parent-Teacher Organizations to invite the community “to take a close look” at the candidates, Jenkins-Buwa said. Endorsements are expected to be announced by March 30, she said. Although candidates have announced two slates, the PEA endorsement may go to individuals or to a slate.
The PEA forum is the second so far, Jenkins-Buwa said, noting the NAACP has already held one.
Correction: The NAACP forum is March 22 at 5:15 p.m. in the Whitney Allen Young Community Room, according to NAACP President Peter R. Briggs Jr.
Other forums: Parents Empowering Parents is holding its forum from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 30 at Washington Community School, 427 Darrow Ave. The traditional League of Women Voters of Plainfield Candidates’ Forum will take place at 7 p.m. April 16 in the Plainfield Public Library, 800 Park Ave.