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Wernisch for School Brd District 1

Francesca Wernisch for School Board District 1
Francesca Wernisch -- a good choice for School Board District 1

By Paul Blythe

North County Democrats, let us introduce you to FRANCESCA WERNISCH, your candidate for our Palm Beach County District 1 SCHOOL BOARD seat.

   Three candidates have qualified to run for the seat in the Aug. 20 election, but she’s the one you want.

    Why? Because School Board candidates are still required to run as non-partisans (I’ll explain later why I say “still required”), and she’s the only one of the three who shares our liberal democratic values, including backing concepts like providing inclusivity, mental health and adequate resources for teachers in our public schools. Indeed, she is the only one whose campaign website declares support for public education. “That’s what we’re all here for, right?!” she says. “Everyone has the right to a good, quality education that prepares them for college, career and citizenship.”

   In comparison, the other two candidates’ campaign websites use conservative dog-whistle phrases such as “Give parents more choices and control” on one candidate’s site and “Return to teaching the fundamentals” on the other’s.

   These other two candidates also have received campaign contributions from Republican elected officials, according to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections website, and one of them, Page Lewis, has received contributions from Meg Weinberger, the chair of the county chapter of Moms for Liberty.

Contribute to Wernisch

   Speaking of campaign contributions, the other two candidates started campaigning for the School Board seat last year and have both raised far more money than Wernisch, with Lewis having collected more than $47,000 and Matthew Lane nearly $40,000.

   Wernisch, who started her campaign only this month, has raised slightly more than $7,600. I see on the election supervisor's website that several NCDC members have already contributed to Francesca's campaign. If you haven't yet, please, please consider contributing to her campaign today. She needs our help to keep public education alive in Palm Beach County. And the best way for us to do that is help her get the word out about who she is and what she stands for. I've already seen a sign for one of the other candidates up in my neighborhood, and I would love being able to have my neighbors soon see a Wernisch sign in my yard.

No District 7 election

Our North County Democratic Club's territory also includes part of School Board District 7, but the board member who represents that district, Edwin Ferguson, is not up for reelection this year. His current term ends in November 2026.

Vote No on Amendment 1 in November

If you care about sustaining public education in Florida, #votefrancesca in the Aug. 20 election, and vote NO on Amendment 1 in the Nov. 5 election. If Amendment 1 is passed with 60 percent of the vote, it will change the state constitution “to require members of a district school board to be elected in a partisan election rather than a nonpartisan election,” beginning in November 2026.

   Why vote no on Amendment 1? Because a 65 percent majority of Florida voters voted to approve a citizens’ initiative in 1998 to make all school board races in the state non-partisan, based on the thinking that education, like municipal government and judicial races, were local enough that the common good, rather than politics, should and would prevail. (That is what I meant by saying school board candidates are "still required" to run as non-partisans.)

   But Ron DeSantis and his one-party government have flouted the constitutional requirement during the past few election cycles trying to reinsert their partisan politics into school board races. Then, last year the Republican-controlled Legislature added Amendment 1 to the November 2024 ballot on party-line votes in both chambers.

   We the people need to reject this attempt by Republicans to force their government down our throats. We can do that by voting for Francesca Wernisch and against the proposed Amendment 1.


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