Education is the foundation of success. This is true not only with people but also with communities. Good schools develop successful citizens and thriving cities.

East Orange, unfortunately, does not fall into this category. It is not a thriving city. And, even worse, the city’s schools are failing the children. In fact, educational failure has been the norm in East Orange for a long time…too long. But, according to write-in mayoral candidate, Kevin Taylor, we can reverse the continuing decline of education and the continuing decline of East Orange.

Kevin Taylor understands the value of education and what it means to both people and communities. A native of East Orange, Kevin attended school in East Orange before going to the University of Maryland, where he was, in addition to being a scholar, an All American football player. However, since the time he went to school in the city, the schools have steadily declined.

Kevin knows that improving the school system is neither a simple task nor one accomplished overnight. At the same time, there is a tremendous amount that the city, with proper planning and leadership, can do on its own to improve the East Orange school system. According to Kevin, some of the things that can be done immediately and at minimal cost include:

  • Increase the number of after-school programs. The programs will not only enhance school involvement but provide a safe haven for school-age children in the afternoons.
  • Develop a merit-pay plan for teachers. Offering teachers incentive will not only result in educational success but also encourage more teacher involvement and accountability.
  • Hire grant-writing specialists. Many different sources exist for funding innovative and essential educational programs. East Orange schools should investigate those sources and have specialists in place to apply for these funds.
  • Encourage parents to become more involved in the education of their children. Apathy is one of the greatest problems we face. Parents have a responsibility to remain involved, and the Mayor can play a vital role in actively encouraging and supporting their involvement.
  • Reach out to businesses in the city and explain that they can play an active role in the educational life of East Orange. Businesses and business leaders in East Orange have a vital role to play in supporting educational programs and other school activities. The Mayor can be a powerful voice in seeking business support for schools.

The key ingredient in accomplishing a turnaround in our schools is leadership. Kevin Taylor has demonstrated over the years that he is an exceptional and innovative leader. Returning to East Orange after college, he has been a builder, an entrepreneur, a mentor, and an active participant in the business, social, educational, and political life of East Orange.

But beyond these accomplishments are personal qualities that will make him not only a successful Mayor but also an inspirational leader who can work with diverse groups of people and convince them to come together for the common good.

Kevin Taylor will work with the various and diverse groups that make up the educational life of East Orange—teachers, administrators, students, parents, business leaders, political leaders, spiritual leaders—and help to develop common ground for improvement. Kevin knows how to listen, how to innovate, how to understand that good ideas can come from different sources, and how to create a sense of shared responsibility and commitment.

It is these skills, he believes, that will enable him to significantly improve East Orange schools. All he needs, he says, is the chance. And for that, he must win the upcoming election.

The forces of inertia and the continuing influence of the same tired group of leaders are hurting East Orange. Kevin Taylor knows that the odds do not favor a write-in candidate, but he is confident that he can get his message out and convince people that he is a leader who can make a difference in East Orange. Kevin Taylor is hoping the voters agree and will write in the name of Kevin Taylor on the ballot this November. 

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