A 19-year-old pharmacy clerk named Pat Noble defeated an incumbent to win a seat on the Red Bank Regional High School Board of Education, and was seated this month. He is the founder of the Socialist Party of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, ran as a socialist for his seat and plans to bring a progressive, socialist set of ideals to the schools board.
And he sounds like a breath of fresh air:
“You reach more people, more quickly when you win an election. People would rather hear from a candidate than some guy on a street corner, especially on socialism when a majority of them are capitalists.” [snip]
“I’m hoping to bring a different perspective, a left-wing perspective to a board full of capitalists. I have a different view point, both as a younger person and a Socialist, that I think could have a positive impact in and of itself.”
On Noble’s to-do list: promotion of LGBT issues in sex education classes, banning military recruiters from schools, opposing merit pay for teachers and fighting budget cuts.
He’s 19. And he ran for office in part to put some muscle behind opposition to merit pay ‘reforms’ and against cuts to public school budgets. He’s a recent consumer of education himself, but he sounds a lot better educated than a lot of lofty politicians I can think of who fall for every shiny object the education privatizing lobby throws out. Good for him.
Noble was a high school student at Academy of Allied Health & Science, of the Monmouth County Vocational School District. Right now, he’s the only elected socialist in the state of New Jersey. He unsuccessfully ran for Monmouth freeholder in 2011. Incidentally, Bob Menendez was 20 when he was elected to the Union City, N.J. Board of Education in 1974.