I would like to set the record straight about the issue of the non-disclosure of my position as a paid field organizer for the Romanoff campaign. I neglected to tell the Denver Post that I hold such a position, though not intentionally. In my naivete, I believed it was not an issue, because campaigns are supposed to be separate from board work. For my oversight, I must apologize, and I regret any injury I may have caused. As a result, I have decided to resign from the campaign, though this creates financial hardship for my household, because my first loyalty is to the students of DPS and to my constituents. There can be no cloudiness about this fact.
The Post and others have wrongly and unfairly distorted the facts. I endorsed Andrew Romanoff in November 2009, right after I won my own race. I was a volunteer from that time until May 2010, at which time I took the role of a consultant for field organizing. I also translated and edited materials in Spanish. I earned $2,500 per month for these tasks.
Further, voters should know that at no time and in no way did the campaign attempt to influence my actions in fulfilling my obligations to the parents, students, teachers and retirees of DPS. To suggest that my work on the Denver Board of Education is for sale is to impugn not only my character, but Andrew Romanoff’s as well.
I am proud that I have kept the campaign separate from the business of the Denver Board of Education. There is plenty of video evidence to prove this (here is one example). However, I have raised questions about the pension payment deficits that threaten the financial stability of DPS. At every opportunity, I have focused on Superintendent Tom Boasberg’s lacking response to this crisis. I have never discussed Sen. Michael Bennet’s role in these dealings because he can no longer help us. It is now the sole purview of the current DPS board. Mr. Boasberg and my colleague, Theresa Peña, have consistently chosen to call our scrutiny “political,” instead of coming up with real solutions.
There is something telling in that stance. After all, the first step to recovery is to admit there is a problem.
I have worked hard for the good of our students. On average, I visit three schools per week and meet with community members every day. I pushed DPS to acquire the soon-empty Denver Lutheran High School campus. My vision for the campus is a grades 6-12 school for the students at West Denver Prep charter school. Because West Denver Prep students are accustomed to a small-classroom and rigorous environment, and because I want them to graduate, they need to continue in the same environment which is close to home. Our new Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy in Harvey Park could then spread its wings and become the K-12 school that was the original intent. I believe my constituents want me to create this type of win-win situation for both charter and traditional school students.
I am a forthright and open communicator, and I hold strong opinions that challenge the status quo. My constituents can expect me to continue raising issues, asking tough questions, and pushing for honest answers. DPS has a lot of work to do, and I promised voters I would push until we make progress. That is a promise I intend to keep.