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.

After pray­ing and speak­ing with fam­ily and friends…”

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