If you want to run for an office that you actually have a shot at winning, here’s you chance: Tomorrow’s the deadline to file your candidate application for a seat on either the Citywide Council for English Language Learners or the Citywide Council on Special Education in your district. To qualify you just have to be a parent of a student of the sort relevant to your Council (“English Language Learners” are biligual or ESL students).
“I encourage parents who want to have a role in influencing policy to run for council seats in this year’s elections,” says Schools boss Joel Klein. Turnout for these elections is historically low (even though the voting is now online) so you probably won’t have to kiss too many babies to get in.
The Department of Education also lets parents run for community and citywide education councils, which replaced school boards in 2004, but they had an election for those last year, and those councilmembers serve two-year terms. (The CCELL and CCSE were authorized by Albany last year.) Still, if you’re ambitious you can use this year’s elections as a stepping stone to the big jobs.
Be warned, though: The councils “have no executive or administrative powers or functions,” per the law, and are sort of advisory boards on school matters from zoning to personnel issues — although the city isn’t bound by their recommendations and they have been treated high-handedly in the past. Also, there’s no money, nor opportunities for graft.
The voting’s in May.