Erika Alexander, a Royal Oak resident is running for Royal Oak Schools.
Party affiliation: N/A
Family:My husband Don and I have been married for 21 years. We have an 11 year old daughter who has started Middle School this year.
Occupation:I hold a Masters Degree in Counseling from Oakland University and I have been working in the non-profit world for the past 21 years. The past 20 years have been spent at Oakland Family Services where I currently serve as the Director of Quality Assurance. Over the years I have provided individual and group therapy sessions for adults and adolescents with mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses. I have also supervised programs including budget development/management and clinical supervision. I serve on the agency's race and equity task force.
Previous elected experience:No formal government experience. I have served as President of our Homeowners Association for the past 3 years.
Family members in government:No.
Campaign website: http://www.AlexanderforSchoolBoard.com
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
In a time like we are in it feels impossible to narrow down one single issue facing our state. However one area that I feel I can contribute to as part of my campaign is that of racism or racial inequity. It is imperative that I listen to the voices of the community members, students and teachers when they express their thoughts and feelings on racism and racial inequities within the school district. We must amplify the voices and weave that into the Board's consciousness so that it becomes a consideration in every decision and action taken.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
Not all candidates have children in the district, have experience with budget development /management or board experience. I have all three.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I have experience in development and execution of annual budgets in excess of a 3 million dollars. I am familiar with working collaboratively with individuals from different backgrounds, with differing experience and opinions. Listening can be one of the most important tools and my professional experience has taught me how to be an active listener with the goal of helping solve problems.
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?
The state government should continue to utilize the CARES act monies to help support small businesses. It should also continue to request assistance from the federal government when needed. The balance between health and safety and the impact on small businesses cannot be ignored.
How will you address the calls for racial justice and police reform?
Our city, like those around the country, is experiencing the calls for racial justice and police reform. One of the most important things for any elected official to do is to listen to the voices of the stakeholders. I intend to elevate the voices of all stakeholders and ensure that voices are being considered within decision making, policies and procedures. It's important for us to consider that just because something hasn't happened to us, doesn't mean that it hasn't happened and doesn't mean that it is important for change to occur.
List other issues that define your campaign platform:
Equity and diversity are key components of my campaign. I want to work to ensure there is diversity among teaching professionals, diversity in curriculum and equity for all students with a focus on black and brown students and those students needing special education or other accommodations. There should be equity in discipline practices across racial and ethnic groups and these statistics should be transparent and available for review by the community.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I love the city of Royal Oak and I want our schools to be world class. As a product of public education my husband and I chose Royal Oak for our home in part due to the quality of their school system. I want to ensure that world class education be available to all Royal Oak students and their families.