As election day swiftly approaches, many voters may still be undecided. Luckily, we did some of the groundwork for you to make an informed decision. Tocsin Magazine linked up with Camille Afiya Simmons to get the tea on why she is the best candidate for the Rochester City School Board.
Tocsin: Camille, why did you decide to run for Rochester City School Board?
Camille: I have a passion for serving Rochester’s youth population and have worked around the education system in various capacities for the past 15+ years. I would consider the opportunity to serve as an RCSD School Board Commissioner a natural migration within my journey. Ultimately, I desire to make a positive impact on the educational experience here in Rochester.
Tocsin: What sets you apart from other candidates?
Camille: In addition to my technical and professional experiences, I am able to pull from my lived experiences. Too often, we take on challenges but have never walked in the shoes of others. As a former student, parent, and previous direct service professional, I believe it is important to remain connected to these experiences as well as the individuals that are currently living them. I believe these are the voices we need to hear.
Tocsin: If elected, what issues will you focus on?
Camille: If elected to serve on the RCSD School Board, I plan to focus on the following areas captured within my 5-point platform, collective voice, post-secondary readiness, high-quality instruction, school resources, and equity.
Tocsin: Our current leadership has failed the community, how will you help heal the community?
Camille: I believe it is imperative to understand that we will not always get things perfect, but it is our duty to do all that we can within our power to do things right. There is a level of accountability and acknowledgment that comes with servitude. People respond to proactive communication, people respond to transparency and accountability, people respond, when they are seen as partners at the table. The issues currently plaguing our community are manifestations of greater unmet needs. The solutions do not reside at one table, the solutions and answers reside within the community. Right now, our community feels as if no one is listening, as if no one truly values what they have to say. Healing requires more than meaningful conversation, it requires action. When the community begins to see public servants do what they say they are going to do, the community will regain confidence. Relationships are built at the speed of trust.
Tocsin: What should voters know about you?
Camille: Voters should know that I take the office of public servitude to heart. I am committed to the students, parents, and educators of the Rochester City School District. I believe the role of primary education significantly correlates to what we are experiencing in our community today. Many voters have expressed they desire change, I need them to know that I desire change as well and I need them as we make the changes we seek together.
Tocsin: When do voters need to go out and vote?
Camille: Early voting begins October 23rd - October 31st and Election Day is Nov. 2nd!