As we look at our monumental municipal primary tomorrow, I am excited to share my endorsements for local positions. These candidates have stood up for a more welcoming region, school, and community -- a place for our shared sustainable future.
Ezra Nanes should be State College Borough’s Mayor. In 2017, Ezra and his neighbors spurred the region to pass its equity and inclusion policies in response to Trump’s travel ban. Then, from his State Senate race against gerrymandered leader Jake Corman, to attending State College Borough Council meetings and COG General Forums, to Black Lives Matter rallies and other volunteer organizations in the area, he’s shown up. He will lead with kindness, compassion, and determination, and can move the region into a better direction.
The State College Area School District’s (SCASD) Board needs fresh ideas and diverse perspectives. That’s why I will be voting for Jackie Martin Huff, Carline Crevecoeur, and Deborah Anderson. Jackie would be the only Board member with public teaching experience. Carline Crevecouer home-schooled her own children while they also attended the district. As a Haitian immigrant, her perspective as a Black woman and immigrant would open our eyes. Deborah Anderson probably knows more of the District’s policies than the other candidates and with a Ph.D. in Labor Economics, will be indispensable for budgeting. With my experience in local government, climate leadership, and a Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Policy, we will bring a strong new team to the Board.
State College Borough Council and Ferguson Township Board are at a crossroads. As the former Chair of the Ferguson Township Board, I see all too clearly that the increased diversity of the region, calls for racial justice, and the necessity for sustainability require new leadership. As the winner of the 2020 Rock Ethics Institute’s Stand Up Award for his work on restorative justice, Divine Lipscomb has proved his leadership and ability to work for the community. Richard Biever has been a staple of the local business and performing arts communities for years. Gopal Balachandran was a public defender, has argued cases in high courts, and teaches law at Penn State. In Ferguson Township, Tierra D. Williams will bring experiences in the military, schools, media, and of being a young Black mother here in Happy Valley.
Ezra, Jackie, Carline, Deborah, Divine, Rich, Gopal, and Tierra envision a brighter and more inclusive future here in Happy Valley. They know that democracy takes work and that your government is not a spectator sport. They’re in the arena. Now it’s your time to decide.