Hey look, I made the front page! (That's me in the corner, I knew those pixels looked familiar)
Seriously though, I did write an opinion piece on the upcoming RCAS Board elections included in the Opinion Section on May 22.
Swimming and the School Board- What's Right for Rapid City?
I entered into politics as a sort of slipping and falling into the deep end of the pool. Many of you are aware I was appointed to the South Dakota Senate by our governor in 2019 and then elected in the primary and general elections of 2020.
For years prior, I had been an advocate in DC, Pierre, and Rapid City. I had testified as a proponent on bills and even helped to write a couple. Although maybe more aware and involved in the political process than many, I had not served in a public capacity beyond being president and a few other elected positions on statewide boards. I was immensely involved in the community, volunteer projects, the Rapid City Chamber, and several elite leadership groups. I had these experiences, but I hadn’t yet even dipped my toe into the big pool of public office. On December 31st, 2019, I was thrown in headfirst and proceeded to doggy paddle, float, and eventually broad stroke my way back to dry land. Eternally grateful and humble for the opportunity to represent my community of District 35 in the South Dakota Senate but soaking wet and more aware of the importance of local elections than ever. We have several candidates up for our school board elections. It goes beyond mention that we are all much more cognizant of our school board elections this year after our communal doggy paddle through 2020. We are about to shove several people into the political pool of our school board. Will they make judicious, fair, and balanced decisions? Will they respect the voice of our students, their parents, and our teachers? Or when they must make the truly hard decisions, will they grasp like the drowning person, pulling everyone and everything within their reach down with them? Will they make solid determinations with logic and integrity, or will they spew hatred as they choke on the reality of making those hard decisions and look for others to blame for their inability to make it back to shore? It would be highly detrimental to have people at the helm of our school system who stalk, berate, and belittle people they don’t agree with. And- while I firmly believe in free speech- it may be unwise to have school board representatives who have repeatedly stated how much they hate our community, our country, and the people who live in Rapid City. We need people who can see the flaws in the system but fundamentally love and respect our hometown. Just as our teachers should look at our children who are struggling and say, “How can I help?” so should our school board ask our school system. People (even politicians) will show you exactly who they are; all you have to do is look, just a little. Choose carefully, and please do not skip an election of this magnitude.
Reminder: Vote on June 8th!
Here’s what you need to know:
• The last day to register to vote in the upcoming election is May 24th at 5 p.m. • Absentee voting (also referred to as early voting) begins on May 24th. Registered voters may absentee vote at the Pennington County Auditor’s Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. • A listing of polling places can be found on the County Auditor’s website at the following link: 2021PollingPlaces.pdf (pennco.org) • If you are having difficulty finding your polling location, you can access the Secretary of State website via the following link: Voter Registration Name Search (sdsos.gov). Input your personal information and the system will tell you your polling place details. • Lastly, if you have questions regarding polling places, or any other election related questions, you can call the County Auditor’s office at 605-394-2153.