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Hello Everybody. I did a thing yesterday that was nerve wracking and exciting all at once!

About 3 weeks ago the office of Ethics and Elections contacted me to let me know that, for $100, they will video tape me sharing my platform and why I am running for office. They give each candidate two minutes of film time and then, when all is said and done, the videos will be available for public viewing on the Seattle Channel Cable 21 and King County TV Cable 22 starting July 17th (the same day voters ballots are mailed.)

So, I did it! I paid the $100 and gave my two minute stump speech. However, the night before the taping I found myself sweating over my laptop at West Seattle Grounds coffee shop. What to say? How do I enroll people in my vision? This is one of the things about running for office that I find challenging: how do I convey my passion and wisdom in a calm, concise, intelligent and relatable way? I sat and wrote for an hour and then hijacked the young lady working behind the counter to time and critique my speech. We trimmed it up a bit, edited a few spots and nailed the two minute limit. I showed up to City Hall the next day, adjusted my bow tie and hit my cue. I nailed it on the fourth take and on July 17th I will post the links to view the video(s).

THIS IS THE DRAFT THAT I USED FOR THE VIDEO IN CASE YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ WHAT I SAID AHEAD OF TIME (I threw in a little creative writing flourish at the end as I need to use that UW Creative Writing degree somehow.):


My name is Crystal Liston. I'm a gay, disabled parent of two stepsons who attend West Seattle schools and a member of your community who is very passionate about our schools. I'm so passionate in fact, that I have made it my mission to volunteer in every school in our district as I do not understand how a board member can govern a body of people they know nothing about. As of the 2018 - 2019 school year I have volunteered in twenty of our 103 schools. And as a volunteer I have noticed a disconnect in our school community as a whole. The reason I am running for school board is to lead a paradigm shift where schools interact and communicate with one another. A shift where the Seattle community is held accountable to participate and nurture our schools. A shift where school board members are active in the various schools and communicate to their students, parents and teachers. Instead of telling schools what they should be doing we ask, "We have resources. What do you need?" Another aspect to our school district that has become clear to me is the lack of equity. Why do some schools have band instruments for students but other schools do not? Why are social workers not in all of our schools to support our students with trauma and our faculty who needs support from their administration? Why has the current school board chosen to lay off school librarians? Why, as a progressive city, are we teaching a white controlled curriculum? I am a firm believer that our values are in our budget and our current school board is failing to represent our communities values. Maybe you are asking yourself, "What qualifies you to be on the school board?" My response is this, I can sit here and give you a list of my college degrees (I have two) and a list of my trade school certificates (I have one) but what qualifies me to be on the Seattle School Board is that I am a parent and that I am a Professional Volunteer. And what is a Seattle School Board member? An unpaid volunteer. So, in conclusion, if you are truly part of the movement for change then be vulnerable and courageous and vote for someone different. Vote for me, Crystal S. Liston. "Be bold. The mighty forces will come to your aid." Goethe said that.

crystal liston