Erick Cordero is running for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District School Board. He was appointed to an open seat this past winter, and has already made an impact progressive and pragmatic parents and taxpayers see to be imaginative and focused.
Last Summer and Fall, Cordero ran as a Democrat for the State Senate seat vacated by Lyda Green. Linda Menard, who had herself earlier been a long-time member of the Mat-Su School Board, easily beat Cordero. Cordero campaigned energetically, though, against a candidate universally viewed as a cinch to win by a landslide.
That's Erick. He's in it to serve our community, to work hard, and to challenge ideas and personalities who have become too tightly bound to failed concepts.
In several ways, Erick is representative of what the Mat-Su Valley is becoming. He's an immigrant, a new U.S. citizen.
I spoke with him early last year, the day he became a citizen (Ethan Berkowitz was his sponsor). He was so happy, so proud. Even before citizenship, Erick was already helping in his work and in his busy public service life, to help Alaskans, especially those who need it most.
There is a huge impact on Mat-Su schools from immigration. It varies from school to school. Not many outside of the Valley realize what a profound impact new immigrants from Russia and the Ukraine have had on the schools these new Americans' kids attend. Tanaina and other elementary schools, and both Wasilla Middle and High schools, have to hire specialists in these two languages. It is expensive. Erick, through his work as an advocate for the poor, and for immigrants, understands this impact on our schools.
Erick's community service in Palmer has been transformative for him and for the community. He's served as President of the Palmer Rotary Club. He has served on the Palmer Zoning and Planning Commission. He has volunteered in many other areas too.
Here's Erick's biography.
During the 2008 U.S. House campaign, Erick moderated and helped produce the Hispanic Affairs Council of Alaska Candidate Forum. I attended many such fora. The HACA forum was the most balanced and challenging of the many such debates and exchanges. His fairness and empathy toward Sean Parnell, as members of the audience began to object out loud and hiss at Parnell's answers and refusals to answer, showed how Erick cares about both sides of important issues.
Eric's key role in restoring responsibility to custodial services in our schools is showing that he is willing to hash out the complex details on labor issues in a lean financial environment for the district's administration, while creating meaningful jobs for our Mat-Su residents.
Erick Cordero's fundraiser is Sunday evening at Fireside Books in Palmer. It starts at 7:30 p.m. and lasts until 9:00.
Come Meet Erick!