Name: Imani Scott-Blackwell

Email Address:

Running For: School Board District 5

Are you a Democrat? Yes

If elected, will you work to enact the ACCDC platform? (Attached in the email we sent you.) Yes

Have you ever been a member of the ACCDC? If you have, please indicate your years of service and describe your work with the ACCDC.

No I have not.

Please list all campaigns you have worked on, regardless of party affiliation, in either a volunteer or staff member capacity, on either the federal, state, or local level, and briefly describe your work on each.

  • Paid staff member for Jon Ossoff
  • Volunteer for local candidate Ovita Thornton

Please describe any work you have done in your community, either in Athens-Clarke County or elsewhere, in support of progressive causes.

I recently took three high school students on a trip to the Capitol to lobby for progressive policies in support of marijuana decriminalization, $15 minimum wage, in support of recess for all students, and more. I worked with the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement to get a Civil Rights Committee in place as well as an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance. I was recently elected to the Board of Directors for Athens For Everyone but had to step down from that role to run my campaign.

Please list organizations and/or causes you have been involved with in any kind of substantial way.

  • Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement
  • Athens For Everyone

If elected, what will be your policy priorities? Please describe 3 – 5 priorities.

  • Addressing Racial Inequalities in Education:
    Unfortunately, our public education system is not free from responsibility in perpetuating race and class inequalities in our society. Where education is supposed to position all students for success as fully-developed, cooperative members of our global society, instead it has been allowed to underserve low-income, black & brown students. I am committed to ensuring the BOE is identifying student achievement gaps and implementing evidence-based strategies to address inequalities.

  • Mitigating Food Insecurity:
    1 out of 5 individuals in Athens Clarke-County are food insecure, meaning their household economic situation limits their access to adequate food. This food insecurity negatively impacts student achievement and well-being, public health in Athens, and the ability of people in poverty to improve their economic situation. It is time for the Board of Ed. to take a point role in improving the long-term health outcomes of all students, but particularly those experiencing under-nutrition and/or food insecurity. According to the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education’s “Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2018”, student’s academic performance improves when the nutritional quality of meals they’re provided at school improve. I will advocate for a holistic approach to education that provides students with nutrient rich meals, increased access to restorative justice and mindfulness practice, as well as access to developmentally appropriate recess. \

  • Stop Underserving Students with Disabilities:
    According to Georgia Partnership For Excellence in Education’s “Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2018”, Georgia’s 35.1% graduation rate for students with disabilities ranked our state as “the 3rd lowest state for graduating students with disabilities, far below the national average of 61.9%”.Many folks in the Athens Clarke County community have expressed concern about our schools undeserving our students with disabilities. Following the transition of CCSD to a charter school district last year, the district can now choose to waive rules on teacher certifications, class sizes, certain spending controls and more. We need to ensure that students with disabilities are just as much of a priority as our students with the privilege of ability in the wake of this newfound leeway.

  • Coordinating Amongst Organizations Serving the Community:
    We have something around 400 non-profit organizations in Athens, coupled with local government, the Board of Education, and the University of Georgia, etc. all serving the community in a variety of ways. Despite that fact, whereas nation and state-wide poverty rates have gone down, ours has continued to increase in Athens-Clarke County – and poverty is only one of the social ills we need to address in Athens. We need to focus on achieving collaborative goals and solution strategies to systemic problems being implemented across public arenas, whether it be through the Mayor and Commission, 501c3 organizations, school district partnerships with the University, etc.

Does your campaign have a platform? If so, please include a link here.

Do you support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour? Yes

Do you support making it easier for workers to organize and join unions? Yes

Will you support policies aimed at increasing the stock of affordable housing in in-town neighborhoods and making home-ownership more possible for ACC’s low-income residents? Yes

Would you support initiatives to help keep longtime Athens residents in their homes — people who are in danger of being pushed out of their neighborhoods by gentrification and rising taxes? Yes

Do you support equal pay for equal work for women? Yes

Should marijuana should be removed from the list of “Schedule 1” federal controlled substances? Yes

Should local law enforcement agencies be required to assist federal immigration law enforcement agencies with deportations? No

Should military-style weapons be accessible to civilians? No

Do you support repealing the Campus Carry law? Yes

Do you support incentivizing investments in clean energy and ending tax breaks and other perks for fossil fuel companies? Yes

Do you support increasing protections for wetlands buffers to help keep our waterways uncontaminated? Yes

Do you support comprehensive non-discrimination legislation in ACC? Yes

Should it be illegal for public businesses and institutions to discriminate against LBGTQ people? Yes

Do you support the expansion of Medicaid in Georgia? Yes

Do you support the goal of Universal healthcare – healthcare as a fundamental human right for every American? Yes

Should all state education funds should be directed to public schools? Yes

What are your thoughts about how to secure safe schools for all students?

We need to focus on preventative measures rather than reactionary punishments. There is no quick fix for school safety. We need to put the time and resources into fully implementing restorative justice practices in schools to improve school climate. Additionally, we need to ensure that mental health treatment is accessible for all young people in our community. Also, schools need to be appropriately staffed with trauma-informed, culturally competent individuals trained to deescalate conflicts such as social workers, counselors, etc.

Do you support the current Teacher Retirement System of Georgia? Yes

Should legislation requiring electoral districts be drawn by an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission?Yes

Do you support restoring the full protections of the Voters Rights Act? Yes