This is probably the toughest endorsement I’ve made so far this year, as Fairfax County’s Providence District finds itself with an embarrassment of riches – two superb candidates, Jung Byun and Karl Frisch, for Fairfax County Public School Board. Unfortunately, in this November’s election, Providence District residents will only be able to elect one of them, and Providence District Democrats next month (April 23 at Providence Community Center) will only be able to endorse one as well. So…
Having met with both of them – and let me emphasize again that I REALLY liked and was REALLY impressed by both of them (my understanding is the two candidates also very much like each other)! – I have decided to endorse Karl Frisch. Why?
First off, Frisch has been a progressive and environmental champion for years — and to me, that really matters. As he says on his website, Frisch “has earned a national reputation as a creative and effective advocate for consumers and student loan borrowers, fighting to hold President Donald Trump, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and others accountable as executive director of Allied Progress.” Frisch pledges that, if elected to the Fairfax County School Board from the Providence District, he will continue to “be a bold progressive voice…fighting for equity, equality, environmental sustainability, and educational excellence for all students regardless of race, religion, gender, ability, orientation or zip code.”
Second – and this also is important to me – Frisch has been fighting for years to help elect Democrats, both nationally and locally, here in Virginia. As you can see on his LinkedIn profile, Frisch has worked for Democratic and progressive campaigns – heavily in communications capacities – going back to 1999, including Campaign Manager for Committee for a Quality Education, Dean for America, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (in 2006, when they were busy helping us defeat George Allen), Media Matters for America, and consumer watchdog group Allied Progress. Also, as he says on his website, Frisch has been “an active member of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee where he has served on the steering committee, as a precinct captain, and organized an event that raised thousands of dollars to elect local Democratic candidates.”
Third, based on all of the above, you can see that Frisch is a top-notch communicator, which is absolutely something that matters when serving as a public official. That includes an understanding of digital and social media, as evidenced by his nearly 25,000 Twitter followers and over 13,000 Facebook “likes.” This is important in today’s world, and on the Fairfax County School Board, because people – and certainly young people! – communicate differently than used to be the case, and our elected officials need to both understand that and engage effectively in this brave new world we inhabit.
Fourth, Frisch is very knowledgeable and passionate about energy and environmental issues, and has both thought through and pledged to be a champion on the School Board for “A Green New Deal for Fairfax County Public Schools.” Given the urgent threat of man-made climate chaos, this is absolutely essential, and in many ways is the “tie-breaker” for me in choosing between Frisch and Byun.
Fifth, and also crucially important, Frisch will be a champion for equity in all ways, including LGBTQ equality, in the Fairfax County Public Schools. As Frisch – who, I understand, would be the first openly gay member ever on the Fairfax County School Board – noted in his announcement email, he “currently serve[s] as chair of the LGBTQ+ Committee for FCDC where our work organizing the Committee’s first pride celebration raised thousands of dollars to help elect local Democrats.” Frisch also has “helped organize public support for the Fairfax County School Board’s work protecting all students from the forces of bigotry and intolerance.”
Sixth, Frisch has been working hard to win the Democratic endorsement and has gained a significant number of major, important endorsements, including many people and organizations I respect a lot. These include: Fairfax County Board Chair Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust, State Sen. Adam Ebbin, Del. David Bulova, Del. Mark Levine, Del. Mark Sickles, former Providence District Democratic Committee Chair Paul Jameson, many members of the Providence District Democratic Committee, FCPS Pride, the LGBTQ Victory Fund, etc.
With that, check out the following video of Karl Frisch speaking at his campaign kickoff on February 2. As Frisch said:
“I like to boil down my platform as a School Board candidate to: I will pursue equity and equality, environmental sustainability, fiscal responsibility, and excellence in education for every child in every zip code regardless of family income — because it matters.”
Great stuff; go Karl!