The Stranger Is Rescinding Its Endorsement of Erin Jones and Will Back Chris Reykdal in the General Election

Comments

1
So basically, The Stranger giving an endorsement based on affirmative action rather than properly vetting the candidates came back to bite it in the ass.
2
Spineless Weasels go scurrying for cover when the PC Police show up…..
3
Now if you could stop endorsing Patty Murray...
4
@1 - Yeah, that's pretty BS. Effectively The Stranger said: "Don't vote for the white guy with good policy and experience . . . unless its the case that his female, minority competitor is a bigot against LGBTQ."

Funny how judging candidates simply superficial measures like their gender and skin tone, versus their policies and beliefs can turn out. I wonder if this will serve as a lesson to the folks at The Stranger?
5
Her alarming comment was nothing more than anyone trying to understand transgenderism. Are not people entitled to grow? Why is the perfect the enemy of the good here?
6
Jones' answer might have been clueless, but isn't asking whether kindergartners should be taught transgenderism akin to asking "have you stopped beating your wife"? The question seems loaded and flawed.
7
@1 and @4...SJWism is the most important thing for the regressive left and particularly The Stranger. We must never look at policy positions, character or qualifications. We must only look at the color of the candidates skin and or their genitalia. Anything else would be racist and sexist.
8
@3, I wish the WA State Democratic Party would wise up and get somebody else besides Ms Fast Track TPP, but nobody wants to upset or challenge the Dot.com/Aerospace PTB.
9
How does not answering a question as adequately as desired by a journalist and calling LGBTQ "identity" by another, once freely used noun, equate to "such a high degree of unacceptable, harmful ignorance when it comes to the intersection of LGBTQ equality and education policy". You sound like an idiot trying to make 2 + 2 = 222222222222. Take it easy on the hyperbole bud. By the way, gay guy here.
11
@7: I've stopped calling them SJWs. They're SVWs at this point, honestly...
12
Candidates for public office simply must learn all the Politically Correct terms and pat phrases and answers before venturing into the public arena.
We shouldn't even be having to discuss this in 2016
13
Here is the issue: We are suppose to replace what we know about a candidate based on an interview and a few questions that confuse the issues of gender identity and orientation. We are suppose to replace that with the one liner about what level should a child, in school, learn about this. We are suppose to believe that she is homophobic leaning. I have known Erin Jones for 2-3 years now. I know that she adopted 2 children that were thrown to the streets because their parents found out they were gay. If ever there is room to doubt, doubt that she is like the article says she is, but believe that two ,LGBTQ, children were given a warn, safe, and loving home to grow and reach their potential. Teen sucicide rates are highest concerning LGBTQ and being without the love and support of family and friends at their most vulnerable time in their lives. If you need more information, Stranger Election Control Board, know this: Erin Jones and her family, may have very well saved the lives of two LGBTQ children by taking them in and loving them as they are. The discussion of when a child should learn this is a mute point because the children that she adopted did not learn it from there birth parents, but received love, respect, and acceptance modeled to them, from Erin Jones and her family; a lesson seemly not taught in school. This " Yellow journalism" , is asking us to put greater stalk in an article than the demonstrated life of Erin Jones. I have too many friends, as adults, that cannot talk to their parents and invite their partners/spouses to meet their parents because of this divide. I can assure you that that takes away from the human spirit in a way that no question about whether being gay is a choice or not ever could. If we are that syndical to place stock in this article and turn our backs on a woman destined to make history, maybe being gay is not the choice, but being ignorant is.
P.S. What message do you send when you don't keep your word and position because you did nt like the way a candidate answered a few questions taken out of concept, and , without being good journalist, asking - does this truly represent the intent of the person as we know him or her, or have we missed something.. put I know deadlines can speak louder then truth.

Chris Porter
Seattle, WA
14
She is affiliated with the Koch Brothers. If you look at the legislators who support her, such as former ALEC member Joe Fain, as well as Ed Murray, who is drooling to remove local control and charterize everything, it's not hard to see that she is a shill, big time. You should have endorsed Reykdal from the start.
15
@13 If you have any connection to Ms. Jones, you might want to suggest to her that these points should have been brought up by her during her Stranger interview; Instead of using words like "lifestyle," which anyone who works on/writes about LGBT issues knows precisely what it means.

@5 Of course people are allowed to grow and evolve. That doesn't mean they are owed a major state position. This was in a link from the article.
16
What were Reykdal's responses to the same questions?
17
Chris @13, you brought out an issue that I have trouble with namely, her use of language. First she said she adopted these kids. Then she said they were "surrogate" kids and now she told me she adopted only one (and told The Stranger she and her husband "informally" adopted them.)

Words have meaning especially for a candidate. Why couldn't she just say, "we took them in?" Adopting is different even if the intent is good for taking them in.

And if she had these two LGBT kids in her house, how could she get her statements to ERW so wrong? I find that confusing as well.

I'm not sure that it's any journalistic fault here; I think it's more that Jones is not using clear language. Or back-pedalling. Or clarifying.

We ALL need to keep learning and evolving but I"m not sure that's a good trait for someone currently running for office.

I think her bright and passionate but I'm not sure she's ready for office.

18
Sock accounts gotta sock. You're not fooling anybody, you know.
19
She doesn't have to be "evil" or a horrendous person or even a demonstrable wrong-thinker on non-straight issues. Just not "getting" these issues is a serious knock against any candidate, regardless of personal life.
20
I have a hard time grasping how she didn't come out and say that these kids' sexual orientation is not a sin. Maybe she is uneasy making clear statements in general, and is afraid of pissing anybody off? Making clear statements and even pissing some people off is a job requirement.
21
Since Obama's "guidance" to schools regarding transgender student's rights, and anti-trans bathroom bills being passed in some states (along with a failed attempt here in WA), the issue of transgender students has been all over the news, and a hot topic of discussion in educational circles.

So, yeah, I think it's reasonable to expect that a person running for the top state education position should be pretty well versed in the subject, and should be well prepared to answer questions about it. This isn't some obscure gotcha question that came out of nowhere.
22
This is really bothering me. She was a parent of some type to these children, and her heart wasn't to speak out intensely and clearly, their orientation is not a sin?

Does she feel it but she has a hard time saying no to the person in the room with her, even for her kids? Or she would but she doesn't want to lose votes? Or she's not sure about it herself?

Some possibilities speak more to her as a person, some more to her abilities to lead, but none I see say great things.
23
This was one of the most bias and completely backwards articles I've ever read.
Why did you endorse her in the first place without knowing these things about her?
Seattle has the highest per-capita population of gay and lesbians living here in the country and you just now asked these questions, POST-endorsement??
Or could it be that you're being fed some ugly gossip from a source that you'll never name, and you're running with the juicy attention you get from your readers, whether or not it's fact??
To address the person above to questioned whether she "adopted" those LQBTQ kids or not, I have a 21 year old special needs daughter that came to me 5 years ago through Foster Care and will likely never leave me. She's not legally adopted but I call her my adopted daughter because to me, she's my kid, to her I'm her mom and it doesn't take a piece of paper for us to make that decision. When we are out in the world it's the easiest way to explain our relationship and it's no ones business other wise. If you haven't walked in those shoes, you shouldn't judge the decisions being made.
But back to Mrs. Jones and this slanderous article, it's tiring to see the opinion of a writer so willfully and intentionally woven into this ugliness instead of direct quotes from this supposed conversation.
This campaign has given Mrs. Jones a run for her money.
First, it was "she loves charter schools" when in reality, she doesn't support them but she did testify in support someone she believed in to run them since it appeared that they were inevitable.
Now it's "she doesn't get the LGBTQ community" when she's "socially adopted" multiple kids who's parents have denied them for their sexuality and they have reached out to her family for the unconditional love and support they deserve.
You cannot take pieces of information that's unproven and misleading and portray it as fact.
She is not perfect. She is not politically polished at every turn mostly because she's not a politician. Erin Jones is about having an open heart and learning and growing herself to help serve the children and adults that she serves, rather than putting up some appearance that she is without flaws.
She is also not a career politician trying to run for a position that they are not qualified for.
Mr. Reykdal hasn't seen a classroom in near 20 years. He taught for a whole 3 years in a classroom, from 1994-1997. He has been a career politician for some time now and I'm curious about why it doesn't seem suspect that he wants this job now, right when the McCleary Decision needs to be funded. Does he want to take the credit for "fixing" education in WA and can do so by being OSPI when the legislative body needs to get themselves in gear to implement McCleary?
Again, I don't know what his intent is, but it definitely seems like a suspect time to make a move into leadership.
Does it seem like a suspect time for all this "revelation" to come out about Erin when Chris was behind her by 80k votes in the primary and he is traveling the State getting rejected over and over as he attempts to get "dual endorsements" from public entities, community groups and unions?
I don't really know.
I don't know where any of the stuff in this article came from to be honest, but what I do know is that from the moment I met Erin, I've asked really hard questions of her and I've gotten to know her fairly well and while I think it's unfortunate that "The Stranger" took and ugly turn to get some attention based on rumor and falsehoods, I am confident that she will move forward, she will rise and she will win and serve the children of our State the best she can, no matter how many slanderous, calculated, lie-filled articles are written about her.
Politics is ugly and she's learning a hard lesson her. Unlike her competition she isn't a politician so she's learning the hard way but this magazine should be embarrassed to call this article journalism.
24
This was one of the most bias and completely backwards articles I've ever read.
Why did you endorse her in the first place without knowing these things about her?
Seattle has the highest per-capita population of gay and lesbians living here in the country and you just now asked these questions, POST-endorsement??
Or could it be that you're being fed some ugly gossip from a source that you'll never name, and you're running with the juicy attention you get from your readers, whether or not it's fact??
To address the person above to questioned whether she "adopted" those LQBTQ kids or not, I have a 21 year old special needs daughter that came to me 5 years ago through Foster Care and will likely never leave me. She's not legally adopted but I call her my adopted daughter because to me, she's my kid, to her I'm her mom and it doesn't take a piece of paper for us to make that decision. When we are out in the world it's the easiest way to explain our relationship and it's no ones business other wise. If you haven't walked in those shoes, you shouldn't judge the decisions being made.
But back to Mrs. Jones and this slanderous article, it's tiring to see the opinion of a writer so willfully and intentionally woven into this ugliness instead of direct quotes from this supposed conversation.
This campaign has given Mrs. Jones a run for her money.
First, it was "she loves charter schools" when in reality, she doesn't support them but she did testify in support someone she believed in to run them since it appeared that they were inevitable.
Now it's "she doesn't get the LGBTQ community" when she's "socially adopted" multiple kids who's parents have denied them for their sexuality and they have reached out to her family for the unconditional love and support they deserve.
You cannot take pieces of information that's unproven and misleading and portray it as fact.
She is not perfect. She is not politically polished at every turn mostly because she's not a politician. Erin Jones is about having an open heart and learning and growing herself to help serve the children and adults that she serves, rather than putting up some appearance that she is without flaws.
She is also not a career politician trying to run for a position that they are not qualified for.
Mr. Reykdal hasn't seen a classroom in near 20 years. He taught for a whole 3 years in a classroom, from 1994-1997. He has been a career politician for some time now and I'm curious about why it doesn't seem suspect that he wants this job now, right when the McCleary Decision needs to be funded. Does he want to take the credit for "fixing" education in WA and can do so by being OSPI when the legislative body needs to get themselves in gear to implement McCleary?
Again, I don't know what his intent is, but it definitely seems like a suspect time to make a move into leadership.
Does it seem like a suspect time for all this "revelation" to come out about Erin when Chris was behind her by 80k votes in the primary and he is traveling the State getting rejected over and over as he attempts to get "dual endorsements" from public entities, community groups and unions?
I don't really know.
I don't know where any of the stuff in this article came from to be honest, but what I do know is that from the moment I met Erin, I've asked really hard questions of her and I've gotten to know her fairly well and while I think it's unfortunate that "The Stranger" took and ugly turn to get some attention based on rumor and falsehoods, I am confident that she will move forward, she will rise and she will win and serve the children of our State the best she can, no matter how many slanderous, calculated, lie-filled articles are written about her.
Politics is ugly and she's learning a hard lesson here. Unlike her competition she isn't a politician so she might not know how to say all the "right" things on command but she in true to her cause and wants what's best for the families of the State of WA.
This magazine should be embarrassed to call this article journalism.
25
The Stranger should do another article with Jones and reconsider. Look at her work getting this state to look at students as worthy. She has been leading our great state - as one that wants to include all - in the democratic conversation about getting education right. Her work in conducting focus groups across the state and making each one a safe place to think out loud about what is not working for the children was truly remarkable. Every ethnic group was invited to participate over the course of the project multiple times and in multiple venues. As a parent, a researcher, a teacher, and school administrator, I am impressed with her vision for each child in our state. Her willingness to advocate tirelessly on behalf of kids is her strength. Compare that to the other candidate...
Erin should be celebrated by The Stranger, not vilified. She has always been your friend and champion. Stay true. Support the experienced educator who will continue to focus on improving student learning. #4EveryStudent!
26
Good post, Thatgirl.

HEY "STRANGER":

Why don't you A) put a notice at the top informing people that there will be a delay before they see their comment appear -- and that they might see it initially appear and then disappear -- so they don't double-post; and B) when people DO double-post, if the second is EXACTLY THE SAME, why don't you just delete it?
27
Why on earth hasn't the Stranger reached out to Erin Jones for comment?? Responding less-than-perfectly to a badly worded, loaded question isn't cause to get out the pitchforks. Erin Jones has posted an open letter in response:

"Today I have been left saddened and in disbelief after reading the Stranger article earlier this morning. I am saddened because I am a longstanding, strong supporter of LGBTQ children and adults and their rights to be treated equally, respectfully and lovingly in their schools and communities. My lesson learned today is that I have work to do as a person and professional to align my language with my lived values. I recognize and regret using overly equivocal wording on issues related to the LGBTQ community that has let friends and supporters down. I am sorry that I used language that could be too easily interpreted as murky.
I have been asked over the course of this campaign if I think being LGBTQ is a choice or a sin. My answer to both is NO. I do not believe one has a choice in the matter of sexual orientation or gender identity, just as a person has no choice as to what color they will be or what blood type they will have. I also believe we should teach the most accurate, compassionate and open-hearted curriculum in our schools to help support every child, including age-appropriate instruction about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
In my answers to the SW Washington Blog and some of my responses to the Stranger, I made mistakes. As a leader, I have shown true commitment to grow in my understandings of these issues. I have spent hours on the phone talking with friends who are members of the LGBTQ community, allies, experts on sexual health, parents of LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ youth themselves. I plan to continue these conversations long after the campaign has run its course.
I have intentionally sat in spaces to learn and gain better understandings that will help me best serve our students and our communities, because, for me, this conversation is not just about a campaign. It is about growing as a person. As a teacher of teachers on issues of culture, I am always very open that we all have blindspots. Not one of us (including me) is free of bias and prejudice, because we are human. We have all been socialized to believe certain things. The worst thing I or anyone else can do is not acknowledge and address blond spots when they are made evident.
My personal and professional life experiences and actions with the LGBTQ community are a mirror into who I am, and have always been. As a teacher, I worked to ensure that all my students felt safe and knew they were accepted and loved for who they were, regardless of their socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, gender identity, expression or sexual orientation. As a mother, I have two biological children, an adopted daughter who is biologically my niece, and two surrogate children who were ostracized by their families after “coming out.” These young people are not biologically mine, yet I have embraced them and they adopted me as their surrogate mother, because I accept and love them for who they are. The thought of rejecting a child for being his/her/their authentic self makes my heart sick.
I am running for OSPI precisely because of my combined personal and professional experiences. These experiences have led me to serve for over 20 years in classrooms and schools with some of the highest need, highest poverty, and most ethnically, culturally, and sexually diverse communities in our state. I am proud of my work and support for the rights of all people—and all children—regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity or economic status. Again, I have work to do as a person and professional to align my language with my values. But I know my values, and they are strong - to make sure every child is valued, that every school environment is inclusive, that every student is supported to be able to become his/her/their best selves. I believe these values fully manifest in my work, life, and commitment to the students of our state.
My sadness today is not about an election, but about the attack on my character. I am sad because I want to be the best human I can be and I want to make sure I engage with all children...all people in a way that shows value, not merely tolerance.
~Erin Jones"
28
Erin's "open letter" was self-serving. She painted herself as a victim and the letter was all about herself. She didn't commit to do anything for LGBTQ kids or help fight sexism and homophobia and transphobia in our schools. I really don't think she gets the problems that LGBTQ kids face in our schools. It's still not a priority for her. Now she and her backers are attacking the Stranger, which is not going to go well for them. But I'm sure she'll gladly tell her right-wing and Republican supporters "hey, those liberals at the Stranger don't like me, you know I'm good!"
29
@6 precisely. The Stranger ran to the sound of the transgenderism dogwhistle, wrote that article for public consumption, and the editorial board rescinded their endorsement and gave it to Reykdal (who, yes, is a nice white guy, but not nearly the dynamo that Erin is - and she has loads of compassion and experience, BTW) - without even telling her first. They screwed an ally and elevated another majoritarian candidate - and they should be ashamed of themselves.
30
P.S. Kudos to ThatGirl (#23/24) for writing an erudite post. This debacle - which has now gone viral - someone showed me a link to Rawstory - is, to me, another instance where a WOMAN who is poised to attain leadership has been dragged through the mud.
31
I hope more people will learn from this experience to view Stranger endorsements with less credulity. I mostly agree with the SECB's recommendations, but about a quarter of the time they are based on irrelevant and idiotic criteria. Please do your own research, read endorsements by many entities (including the Times!) and don't take the SECB's cheat sheet as politically correct holy writ. It is not.
32
Yawn. The favored candidate didn't say the things the way you wanted them said. When all is said and done, OSPI manages test scores and distributes funding and has no real power. The problem is not OSPI, it's that we're slowly starving our schools to death. Can we amend our State constitution to fund schools via income tax, and return this to an appointed office while we're at it?
33
Love how the 3 or 4 comments totally supportive of Erin Jones are all from commentors who created accounts just for the response, and how similar they are.
You can expect blowback when your words are ambiguous. When you try to play both sides, it does eventually come back to haunt you. Regard it as a learning experience & actually LEARN from it, not double down with more ambiguity.
34
I decided to vote for Chris Reykdal based on the issues. The first time I met him I asked what he thought of the state supreme court ruling against charter schools and he said the court got it right. First time I heard Jones she was going on and on about how she was adopted by a rich white couple and educated in Europe at elite private schools and attended college at ivy league universities etc. and little about OSPI except that she works there. She has improved her spiel a lot since then but "LIFESTYLE" ??? Fooey! glad the Stranger belatedly got it right.