Mister Phillips has done what everyone expected and announced another run for WCCUSD school board. Here’s the official announcement on his candidate Facebook page.

Mister Phillips Briefly

He’s a lawyer. He made a brash challenge to John Gioia for county supervisor in 2010. He lost, but he got noticed. He has since became something of a local (Democratic) party apparatchik serving on the party county central committee since 2012. He’s currently positioned as the Executive Vice President of the most established local Democratic political club, the El Cerrito Democratic Club.

He ran for WCCUSD school board in 2014. Coming in 4th, he was the top also-ran in the field. Earlier this year (maybe late last), he started a private WCCUSD discussion group called West Contra Costa Schools. It’s unclear what he’ll do with the group now that he’s officially running.

The Interesting Part

In his announcement there is this statement:

 Although I appreciate everyone’s support, I will not be accepting campaign contributions from school construction firms or charter school groups.

Is that his whole unique selling point — who he won’t take money from?


It’s also interesting to look more closely at his phrasing. The construction interest consists of firms and unions. They all share a common interest in spending as much money as possible on school construction. Taking money from construction trade unions is taking money from the construction interest.

On the other side, the only clearly prohibited group is the state charter association. There are other organizations like Education Matters, Teach for America, and GO Public Schools that are “education reform” (or edreform as I like to call it) groups. Charters are generally included as part of the overall philosophy of edreform. So, would Mister refuse money from any group categorizable as edreform because of the taint of charter-ness, unless the group explicitly excludes supporting charters?

We’ll just have to wait to see his 460 filings.