Gloria Freeman is attempting to become the second black on the predominantly white seven-member Minneapolis School Board. Currently, Sharon Henry-Blythe is the only other black Board member, leading a district with 43 percent black students.
Freeman, a downtown resident, will seek Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) party endorsement to be awarded at a May 15 city convention. Freeman said if she is not endorsed, she would drop out of the race. All current Board members are DFLers.
"I am running because 58 percent of our African-American children are failing in the Minneapolis Public Schools," Freeman said. "I think I can make a difference."
She added, "People say we have to get more parents and community members involved, but we don't do the things that we need to do to get people involved. That is something that I really want to focus on because I think community involvement and student achievement go hand in hand."
Freeman is originally from Chicago but has lived in Minneapolis for over 20 years. Her daughter graduated from Washburn High School, 201 W. 49th St., in 2000.
Freeman, a small business owner who works with adults who are developmentally disabled, operates three residential housing units for young women. She was encouraged to run by several people including Rev. Ian Bethel of the New Beginnings Baptist Tabernacle, 4301 1st Ave. S.
Three School Board seats are up this fall. Two incumbents, Henry-Blythe and Dennis Schapiro, have announced they will run for reelection. The third incumbent, Ross Taylor, has announced he will not seek another term.
To contact her campaign, call 827-6309 or e-mail [email protected] .com.