Posted by DemocracyKit on 03/27/2017

Stuart Hastings, Campaign Manager | Community Stakeholders

Video TypeInterview
Campaign AreaCommunity & Alliances,

Stuart Hastings, Campaign Manager, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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0:00 - What are the major stakeholder groups a school trustee campaign should be reaching out to?

So if you're considering running for a trustee campaign, the major.. there's a lot of stakeholders in the community. Probably the most important and foremost among these are parents, so you have to think to yourself "how are you going to reach parents?" There's a few ways to do this. There's.. Most schools have a parent council so probably your best bet is to make sure that you visit and get to know all the parent councils for each school that you have in the ward. There could be 20 or 40 schools depending on the ward and exact dynamic but that's the kind of work that you're going to have to put into because it's going to invariably be important for you to have the backing of these parents and the parents that are on the council are most likely to be the most in tune. Even though you could be talking to one parent their view may have a lot of weight in the community - it could be like a community leader community organizer in their own right and those five or six people in the parent council actually be maybe more representative of a hundred people behind them who listen to their views and you kind of rely on them, you know, sort of leave lead parental involvement in the school. So I'd say the most important stakeholder really when you're dealing with the school board is the parents and the parent council is the best way to access them. The other way to access parents is of course one we're all familiar with which is walking around knocking on doors. This is the second method and this is, you know, requires the most amount of time and anyone who seriously is going to run is going to have to spend a lot of time walking around the ward and trustee wards are big.  They're the size of two council wards put together. If I remember there's 44 councillors and a trustee has two council wards so there's 22 trustees. Sorry so each trustee ward is twice the size of a council ward so you have to do twice the effort, twice the amount of work, twice the schools, twice the number of parents, so you know, you're not to get a good pair of shoes. I have to walk around the ward and make sure you reach as many parents as possible. There are other stakeholders like the principals who ultimately you will work with in your capacity so it might be also good to go around the schools and to introduce yourself to the principals. And within the TDSB, each grouping of schools are also grouped into these thing called "learning centres" and each learning centre has like a supervisor so you'd probably want to look at what learning centres are in your ward and see who the superintendent - sorry, not supervisor - who the superintendent is and meet that person because alternately if you're successful in your election you're the primarily [sic] person you're going to be working with would be the superintendent of that learning centre. And through them the principals of your schools. So when you think of working with the TDSB ultimately if you're successful those are the key people you're going to work with. But who will you be serving? You'll be serving the parents. So as I mentioned earlier this is how you reach out to the parents and I think you do all those together, you know you'll have a good shape and if you're elected or not the principals, the supervisors and the parents will appreciate it that you came to them and asked for their opinion and their view of what's going on.

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