Note: This is number six of eight endorsement I’ll be making in the run-up to the primary on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
This race is tough. All three candidates have some truly progressive bonafides. Jerry Grant is a longtime legislative aide and Paul Baumbach has a key roll in progressive politics here in Delaware. With such great choices, though, I knew I had to stick with my education theme in supporting Claudia Bock for the 23rd State Representative seat. Before her announcement, I’d only casually met Claudia several times at DSEA events here and there. But I knew soon after her announcement that we’d become good friends fast.
Claudia is a what I’d call a quiet tiger. She’s got the fight in her, but her way of going about it is so calm, so rational, and so reflective of the thoughtful person she truly is. As president of the Christina Education Association when that District saw some devastating financials six years ago, Claudia fought to keep things together for her members and so many in the Christina community. Like another candidate I’ll be endorsing tomorrow, Claudia was a key player in helping the Christina School District get through an immeasurably tough time that saw programs being cut and an immense amount of public scrutiny of all those Christina employees (you remember The News Journal publishing a searchable database of all Christina employees’ salaries?), most all of whom had nothing to do with the financial downfall of the District.
In that position as teachers’ union leader, Claudia performed her job — asking questions and getting answers. As a special education teacher at the Sterck School for the Deaf for over 30 years, Claudia knows first hand the challenges that an overwrought educational bureaucracy has on her students. As Claudia has often said on the campaign trail, she is a “problem solver and not a problem maker.” In education today, we need vocal individuals willing to go up against the educational lines were fed every day and act as ADVOCATES for our educators and, more importantly, the children we serve on a daily basis. While there is some of that representation currently in Dover, there isn’t nearly the representation there should be were a Claudia Bock to hit the House floor. And hit it she would. In discussions with Claudia, it’s become clear that she wants to take that Education committee by storm. Ask the types of questions that only a seasoned educator could ask. And then get answers. And if those answers aren’t good enough, to keep pressing.
I spent an afternoon, recently, walking the beat with Claudia. We trekked through all different parts of northwestern Delaware that I didn’t even know existed. We traveled through some nice neighborhoods and properties and then towards the end of the day we ended up in a particularly disheveled looking community that didn’t seem to be operating at its fullest potential. Claudia walked up to one of the women on her voter list and was immediately greeted by her. This woman, who was also the civic association president, began sharing some of the community’s problems with her. Claudia listened and let the woman speak. Claudia heard what she was saying, offered some great suggestions, and told the woman she would be so excited to represent her and the rest of the residents in the community. By the end of the chat, the woman was begging Claudia for a yard sign. The interaction between Claudia and the other woman was genuine and something leads me to believe that even if Claudia doesn’t win, she’ll be back to assist that woman and the community she represents.
I fully endorse Claudia Bock for 23rd District State Representative.