Gazette Newspapers offers Letters To Election as a forum for opinions about candidates and issues in the Nov. 5, 2019, special election for the First District City Council seat and the March 3, 2020, primary election.
We will try to print all letters received, with the following exceptions: personal character attacks or comments that may be libelous; organized letter campaigns; or letters not dealing directly with local issues.
Letters from candidates are accepted, with the exception that no letters attacking another candidate will be printed the week before the election. Letters should be 200 words or less (300 as space permits), must be signed and any affiliations relating to any campaign should be listed.
Email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 5225 E. Second St., Long Beach, CA 90803.
I personally asked John Mathews II to run for my seat and he accepted the challenge. I was asked years ago by a former school board member, Bobbie Smith, the same question. She trusted me when it was time for her to step down.
Now, I'm entrusting John with perhaps one of the most important positions that is of critical importance to any civil society: the trust and education of our children.
John spent countless hours in the district during his mother's tenure as the Asst. Superintendent for K-8, Middle schools and Head Start. His mother, Dr. Gwen Mathews, was part of the team that propelled the academic achievement of the district as one the "Best Urban School District in America" in 2003, and more recently, as one of the Top 20 school districts in the world for continued Sustained Growth.
John was part of those moments as he waited for his mother to complete her work each night. His visits to the district in those days allowed him to have an understanding of the demands of an urban school district that has a 70 percent poverty ranking and the fortitude it takes to move it forward.
We have in place a school district that continues to set standards for school districts throughout the U.S. and the world. During my tenure as a member of the Council of the Great City Schools, to include serving as its chair in 2017, I had the opportunity to work with school board members and superintendents throughout the United States representing 74 of the nation's largest urban school districts with a combined enrollment of 7.2 million students.
What I was most proud of during my 15-year tenure on the executive board was the attention and respect these districts paid to the Long Beach Unified School District. I want to continue to see the level of excellence in our district and know that you are committed to the same.
You can do just that by supporting John Mathews. Please visit his website at the address listed above and sign up to endorse him for the board. Let's keep the tradition moving forward.
Felton Williams, President
LBUSD Board of Education