Mike Johnson for Denver Kids
Colorado, Denver Public School Board district 3 in CO http://www.mikejohnsonfordenverkids.com
1490 Lafayette St #407
Public Email: [email protected]
Primary Election Date: 2013-11-05 General Election Date: 2013-11-05
Who am I?
I learned the value of a public school education and a strong community at a young age. I witnessed the struggles faced by his mother, who dropped out of school after 8th grade to help support her family during the Great Depression, and my father, who struggled with physical and mental health issues when he returned from fighting for our country in World War II. School became my path to a better life.
With the help of dedicated public school teachers, scholarships and loans, I was the first in his family to go to college. I went on to graduate from Georgetown Law School and built a successful 30-year legal career. I know first-hand that education can change the course of a child’s life. My own experiences inspire my work as an attorney, a community leader and, most importantly, as a dad.
Why am I running?
I’m running because I am a parent of three DPS students, and I believe every Denver child deserves a quality education regardless of zip code or economic background. In order for that to happen: Denver families deserve quality schools in every neighborhood and throughout the city that serve kids with different strengths and weaknesses. We need more decisions to be made in our schools by the parents, the teachers and the principal not by a centralized bureaucracy. Every DPS student should have access to a curriculum that is rigorous academically and includes art, music, physical education and other enrichment classes that promote creativity and create well-rounded graduates. Finally, we need to make sure a DPS diploma is a gateway to success, not just a piece of paper. To be a great city, we need great schools; while we have some successes to build on, there is much work to be done.
1. We need quality schools in every neighborhood and throughout the city. I was a co-chair of the committee supporting Bond Measure 3B last election (passed by a 2-1 margin) which is providing almost half a billion dollars to improve the infrastructure of Denver's schools. This bond is building new schools, upgrading heating and cooling systems, upgrading security systems, and generally bringing our schools into the 21st century. (my opponent was the 3rd largest contributor against this bond)
2. More decisions should be made in our schools and community, not by a centralized bureaucracy. I was a member of 2 collaborative school committees which replaced ineffective principals and increased the rigor of the academic programs at those schools. I was the chair of 2 neighborhood associations. I am on the 3A mill levy (also passed in 2012 by a 2-1 margin) oversight committee that is directing $49m more a year to our schools to fund Early Childhood Education, tutoring, and enrichment programs.
3. Every DPS student should have access to a curriculum that is rigorous academically and includes art, music, physical education and other enrichment classes that promote creativity and create well-rounded graduates. I am on the 3A mill levy oversight committee that is directing $49m partially to fund these programs in addition to Early Childhood Education and tutoring. I campaigned throughout the city for the mill and the accompanying bond to ensure we had funding for both the programs, and the infrastructure to house them.
My DFA Values
A campaign for school board must focus on these values in order to be successful. My goal when elected is to ensure that community members have a say in DPS decisions including on the location of schools and any special curriculum they teach. This is something the school board definitely needs to work on doing better. I will engage the community the same way I have been on my campaign, going door to door, attending community forums and meetings, and soliciting the advice of parents and teachers in the schools.
A quality education is one of drivers of economic security. Our students need to be graduating high school ready for college, or a career so they are prepared to participate fully in the economy.
Finally a quality school is something all children should have access to. It is the school board's responsibility to make all of our public schools serve our children regardless of their zip-code or economic status.
My Campaign is People Powered!
I have made sure to reach out to former and current progressive and elected officals in my district and throughout the state including Diana DeGette, Jared Polis, Lois Court, Mayor Michael Hancock, Joyce Foster, Happy Haynes, and over 300 other parents, teachers, and community leaders.
I've secured contributions from over 450 individuals 83% of whom are small dollar donors.
I've engaged voters at the doors, knocking every targeted door in my district at least once.
I've worked to recruit volunteers to help me knock doors, make phone calls, and host neighborhood events.
I plan on building on this the old fashioned way. Knocking more doors, holding 1:1 meetings, calling and e-mailing volunteer prospects for an effective and people powered GOTV movement.