Submitted by John Arbeeny.
“All in the Family”… no not the famous old TV series with Archie Bunker but rather Lakewood’ own version with Mayor Don Anderson. It has come to my attention through various sources that the campaign for Clover Park School District 3 has taken an unfortunate turn. Alyssa Pearson, the incumbent, just happens to be the daughter of City of Lakewood Council member and Mayor, Don Anderson. There have been several instances reported where Mayor Don Anderson has used the clout of his City Council position to contact individuals and urged them to support his daughter’s candidacy. More disturbing are instances where Mayor Don Anderson has contacted an individual to chide them for supporting one of his daughter’s challengers. It is especially egregious that an individual thus contacted is within the sphere of City of Lakewood government.
There is a word for this in the dictionary. “NEPOTISM: noun. The practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.” Don Anderson has to realize that every time he picks up the phone and contacts someone on his daughter’s behalf that it’s not just “Don Anderson” speaking but rather “Mayor Don Anderson” speaking! If he were just another acquaintance there would be no intimidation. However the intimidation factor is real. People want to remain anonymous for fear of running afoul of people in power. That’s not the way to run an election campaign.
Now I don’t have a problem with Mayor Don Anderson supporting his daughter’s candidacy but it has to be more than “support her because she’s my daughter and I’m the Mayor!” That would seem to be stepping over the line ethically. Support has to be predicated upon more than just familial connections. So, Mayor Don Anderson, please elucidate why we should support your daughter’s candidacy. What significant impact has she had on the district over the last 4 years; a time when the District’s academic performance slipped from 109th to 160th in Washington State; its five middle schools dropped an average of 50 places since 2018? How has her support for racially based Critical Race Theory and its “trinity” of equity, inclusion and diversity helped turn academic performance around? Point is, Mayor Don Anderson’s daughter has been part and parcel of a failed school board officiating over a failed school district that is sinking, not rising, in its primary responsibility: educating rather than indoctrinating our children. Remember this on the 3 August 2021 Primary Election. The choice is yours to make.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.