jeff-greene-kendrick-meek_web.jpgFlorida International University

Candidates for the Miami Dade County School Board in District 2 will meet voters at a town hall forum Thursday, Aug. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at Freedom Hall,, 8400 NW 25th Ave.

The forum is sponsored by  “The Posse,” adult male volunteers from the Development Revolution, an educational initiative developed earlier this year by the Urban League of Greater Miami to involve adults in the organization’s efforts to raise the academic level in Liberty City.
Longtime educator  and school administrator Solomon Stinson has represented the district, which includes Liberty City, Overtown and Little Haiti, and is home to more “F” schools than any other district, since 1996. Stinson announced that he will not seek re-election and that he has endorsed Ronda Vangates, the school district's director of  performance improvement, curriculum and instruction.

The event will allow candidates for the open school board seat to speak to the community, but will not be a debate. Of the five candidates invited to address the community, Darryl Reaves, a former member of the state House of Representatives; and Sandy Moise, vice principal at MAST Academy,  have confirmed that they will attend. Reaves ran against Stinson for the seat in 2006, but lost in the run-off.

Also running for the seat is another former state representative, Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, and Vanessa Woodard Byers, executive director of the school district's attendance compliance section.

The event is part of what is shaping up to be a busy political season in Liberty City and environs as candidates in the Aug. 24 primary election woo the many voters who registered for the first time two years ago so they could vote in the presidential election. 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink visited Liberty City in late June. She was closely followed by Democrat Jeff Greene, who is running for the U.S. Senate against U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.

Greene snatched a surprise endorsement by the Liberty City Democratic Network Club away from Kendrick Meek, who grew up in the neighborhood. The Liberty City Democratic Network is a coalition of Democratic clubs and Democratic members in Miami-Dade County working to address economic, social and infrastructural changes in Liberty City.

Candidates for other local and statewide offices are expected to visit Liberty City in coming weeks.

AP PHOTOS/Staff Illustration. Jeff Greene, left, and U.S. Rep Kendrick Meek.