I’m Voting, for My Friend and for Others

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Written By Mike Thompson |


Please allow me only one Nov. 8 endorsement, for Joyce Aldridge Seals for one of three available seats on the Saginaw Board of Education.

My deep respect for former Mayor Seals, and for her entire Aldridge family, goes back  to 1976. I was a young volunteer neighborhood organizer in the First Ward (no, lol, wasn’t nowhere as skilled at organizing as was future President Obama  in Chicago). It wasn’t AmeriCorps or VISTA, but it was similar. We started with five smaller block clubs, and then we needed a larger unified place to meet. When Christ Community Church still was on Carlisle Street, Pastor Aldridge allowed us not only to use the building free of charge, he trusted me with my own key. The entire Aldridge family, including Joyce, gave wholehearted support. And when someone broke in and stole the musical instruments, they never blamed me.

Fast forward to the late 1990s. Christ Community once more allowed access, this time for a daily Children’s Summer Lunch and Activities Program. By this time Joyce Seals was a “big shot” on the City Council, who had defeated breast cancer and patiently waited her turn (after Gary Loster and Wilmer Ham) to become mayor. But she never was too important to quietly come and help with our summer lunches and games, and eventually helped start her own program upon Christ Community’s move to the South Side, and still another at Center of Attraction with Pastors James and Leona (Aldridge) Glenn, her sister.

Still another example of Joyce Seals’ outreach service is her work with the Ezekiel Project, addressing concerns such as child lead paint poisoning. In summary, Joyce Seals is a hero to me, not only for her courage in defeating cancer but for her humble, down-to-earth approach in all of her good works.

Another reason to vote for Mrs. Seals is that she seems an ideal person to help bring together our too-often divided and confused Board of Education. Three good members resigned during the past two years on account of bickering and friction and in some cases, grandstanding. Joyce Aldridge Seals can help to create change.

WHAT’S WITH CITY HALL?

Readers may ask, if Joyce Seals wishes to make a comeback, why not return to the City Council and leave the school board alone? After all, for the first time in modern memory, the five council candidates for five seats — Annie Boensch, Floyd Kloc, Demond Tibbs, Clint Bryant, and John Milne — all are unopposed. Things for sure have changed since the stormy 1960s Model Cities era and beyond, when there would be up to 20 people on the ballot.

Why so few candidates? Seems much of the reason may be that council members nowadays have so few decisions to make. Funds have become so scarce, they have no choice but to spend most of the money for police and fire. At any rate, Joyce Seals feels her best role at this time would be on the school board.

Overall, personally, I’ve mostly decided for whom I will vote for the various other offices on the ballot. Good people, all. But on this page I will restrict myself to naming Joyce Seals, and of course, for president, Hillary Clinton, if for no other reason than to block Trump.

TIPS FOR VOTING

Whether readers are within the City of Saginaw or reside in one of the suburbs, I recommend reviewing a sample ballot and taking it to the polls for guidance. After all, standing in line during a busy election can be similar to a grocery line at the supermarket. Some food shoppers, and some voters, often take far too much time, forcing the remainder of us to wait. A sample ballot can save time.

The old-fashioned method to obtain a sample ballot is to visit your local city or township clerk’s office. The higher-tech way is to Google search for “Michigan Voter Information Center” and/or “webapps.sos.state.mi”  If you need assistance on the computer, ask a family member or friend.

With this simple knowledge, you can print and view the exact same ballot you officially will receive when you vote — down to the local officials in your own community.

Your ballot will include:

  • FEDERAL: President, Congressman.
  • STATE: House of Representatives, state school board, regents for U-M/MSU/Wayne State.
  • COUNTY:  Prosecutor, sheriff, clerk, treasurer, register of deeds, public works commissioner, Board of Commissioners.
  • NONPARTISAN: State and local courts, Delta College.
  • CITY OR TOWNSHIP; Various local offices.

In addition to helping you vote more quickly on election day, a sample ballot can help you conduct research ahead of time on your personal choices. Also, if your mission is to persuade family and friends to also get out and vote, make some extra copies of that sample ballot and share them.

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