Already one of the most successful local grass-roots organizations ever, the people who last year defeated Fort Wayne Community Schools' $500 million building and renovation plan have just raised the stakes.
Their new mission, they say, is nothing less than to control - and thereby reform - an unaccountable, underperforming bureaucracy that is out of touch with the public it supposedly serves.
Don't let the ho-hum name fool you. The newly created Code Blue Schools Political Action Committee has the potential to become a political and fundraising force capable of fulfilling its stated purpose: to elect FWCS school board members who will set achievement milestones needed to comply with federal law and to balance the needs of the district and taxpayers alike.
Its first test will come in November, when three board positions - two of them now held by supporters of the capital-improvement project - will be on the ballot.
“If (Steve) Corona and (Carol) Coen run again, we will try very hard to find suitable candidates to run against them and to give those candidates a fair degree of financial support,” said C. Lockwood Marine, PAC chairman. “This all started after the building program was defeated and we didn't see any concrete action for change (within FWCS).”
This is a chance for everyone that is sick and tired of business as usual within FWCS to have their voices heard. There were a lot of people that signed the blue petition last year and an average $10 contribution could save them thousands in the future. But more than money is needed. Supporters need to ramp up the motivation level to where it was during last year's petition drive and support Code Blue School's preferred candidates. The moneyed interests will always raise a significant amount of campaign cash but they still can't compete with the sheer determination and will of an informed citizenry - last year's petition drive proved that.
But it's not enough to simply fight the battle when it's brought to you in the form of a massive tax increase. No, it's time for citizens to be proactive and place people into these positions that will actually listen to them and carry out their wishes. So what are you going to do to make sure we have a school board that represents all the people of the district? It's time to send a message that the people in this community are still the ones in charge...