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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 10, 2008 10:10 PM. The previous post in this blog was A wonderful night. The next post in this blog is Who busted Spitzer?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, March 10, 2008

Exception

Portland City Council candidate Charles Lewis e-mailed us tonight to say that he's been endorsed by Stand for Children, the kids advocacy group.

Normally, when politicians tell us how "for the children" they are, we gag. But we'll suppress that reflex in this case, because it makes sense. Lewis has forgone a potentially lucrative career and spent a lot of his time helping less fortunate kids learn music. There's not much about that not to like.

Comments (14)

That's interesting....

What is the tax status of Stand for Children? If they are a 501(c)(3) or a 501(c)(4) they have no business endorsing anyone.

Did Lewis give any evidence that they have indeed endorsed him? If so, Stand for Unions er... Children might be in a bit of hot water with the IRS.

They've endorsed lots of locals -- IIRC, Saltzman, Sten, Cogen...

what would his lucrative career been?

Sure, isn't that nice that Charles Lewis is "there" for the kids, while he's doing NOTHING to fight for equity and a standardized music curriculum in the schools. Genuine, certified music teachers, working for the district and getting paid living wages?

Why should he fight for this? He's got his niche. He gets some nice money from the parents and the district for the assemblies, outreach and classes that Ethos does, all "for the kids." Tsk-tsk, such a shame they can't get music in the schools.

No music in the schools keeps Ethos in business.

what would his lucrative career been?

Think how much sooner we could have had duck boat tours in Portland.

Rob,

Stand for Children not only endorses candidates, they actually contribute large amounts of cash to school board candidates to run their campaigns.

Wacky- Ethos was founded in response to budget cuts in schools. Are you saying Charles should have stood by and simply waited for the money to find its way back into the budget? Charles took responsibility for the education of children in our community. His hard work has given thousands of children in Portland a chance to make music. That being said I'd like to hear how he stands on putting a certified music teacher in every school, but I can't imagine he'd be against it.

What- Charles efforts are wrong and only the OEA can provide music education?

Ethos and I believe that every school should have a certified, district sponsored music teacher. Ethos intentionally focuses on after school music programs so that its programs cannot in any way be seen as replacements for teachers in the schools, and we will gladly close up shop the second the legislature adequately funds schools so that every child can have access to music in the schools.

Running a nonprofit music center is not a lucrative position by any means. I currently am the highest paid person at Ethos and make $36,000 a year. All of Ethos' staff make considerable sacrifices to make sure that every child in Portland has an equal opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a music education.

Steve and Wacky Momma -- from your web sites, I can see that you have already endorsed Amanda Fritz for this election. It's fine that you have endorsed someone else, but it's silly for you to insinuate that I am somehow in this for the money or couldn't find other work. When I graduated from Harvard with a Master's degree in Public Policy, I was President of the Student Body, had just received one of Harvard's highest awards for public service, and could have very easily taken a $100,000+ a year job like many of my classmates. Instead, I flew home to Portland, slept on a friend's couch for over a year, and started up Ethos on my credit card. I went without any salary whatsoever for over a year, and even then only made $5,000 a year the first year I was paid (and only slightly more every year until arriving at my current salary of $36,000 a year).

Ethos is a band-aid to a tremendous budgetary problem that is impacting our schools. Rather than just sit by and watch a whole generation of kids go without this important educational component, my staff and I are in the trenches fighting for Portland's middle income and lower income students. I’m looking forward to continuing my fight for Portland’s working families when I am on Portland City Council.

Take care,

Charles Lewis

www.CharlesLewis.com

Amen, Chuck.

The "tremendous budgetary problem" exists, but it's a leadership problem that keeps music out of our schools in a consistent form.

Beaverton is doing more with less funding per student than Portland Public Schools; they offer a uniform K-12 music curriculum to every student.

Yes, we're still underfunded in PPS, but things have improved slightly with local option taxes of late. We could have uniform K-12 music curriculum if there were the political will in Portland to make it happen.

The 08-09 budget is the second chance we've had to reinstate a K-12 music curriculum, and for the second time we're blowing it.

You've got some influence. Have you spoken with our school board and superintendent about this?

Shouldn't this discussion be on the PPS school board thread?

Or how about the Sam Adams/Erik Sten URD's are reducing school funding thread?

It sounds to me like Charles Lewis is part of the solution, not the problem.

But I'm sure the OEA could do it a lot more (ahem) profitably than a non-profit.

My understanding is that ethos contracts with schools and neighborhood organizations to provide services on a fee-for-service basis. Ethos also offers private and group music lessons to children of all backgrounds, not just disadvantaged ones.

As someone that has always worked for non-profit agencies, there are many well-educated folks with advanced degrees that choose to work for the community good, at salsries less than the cashiers at new seasons. That doesn't mean we have to vote for them. Or that their motives are beyond reproach.

As a parent of a school-aged child, I like the idea of Stand for Children, in theory. I'm less comfortable with their role as political kingmaker. I'm less likely to vote for someone with their endorsement.

It seems clear that Charles Lewis is the chosen candidate of this blog, as Amanda is for others.

I don't have a dog in this fight, as I haven't made up my mind yet.

I endorsed Amanda last time.


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