The previous week we had a short post about Laura Pitone, who's running for Somerville School Committee in Ward 5.
Ross Richmond is also running.
Richmond has been a volunteer at various Boston-area schools since 2007, and he currently volunteers twice a week at the Kennedy School, where he helps tutor fourth-graders in math. "And I like to sneak in some English," he said.
Although he doesn't have kids in the school system, Richmond said, "Anyone who cares about the future of Somerville has to be interested in the public schools."
People sometimes ask him about not having kids in the system, he said, but "it hasn't been an issue so far." He said fewer than 20 percent of Somerville residents have kids in the school system, and it's important "to get everyone involved in the conversations about schools" and "making sure it's not just parents and not just activists."
Richmond said he comes from a family where "education is very strong." His mother was a teacher in the Boston public school system and now she's principal of the Kenny Elementary School in Dorchester, he said (her name is Suzanne Federspiel).
Richmond grew up in Brookline and went to college in Chicago. He currently works as a legislative aide who handles constituent services for State Rep. Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland), who chairs the Joint Committee on Higher Education.
When asked, he said his work on Beacon Hill could be an asset. "Knowing where the state is going is very important" in terms of local aid and education funding, he said.
More important in regard to the Somerville School Committee, he said, "is to be able to sit down with parents" and talk about their aspirations, anxieties and realities.
Richmond said his campaign so far has consisted of talking to people and parents in the ward. He thinks it's important to get more parents involved in the school system, and he also thinks the city's immigrant population "can be a big asset for us" in terms of educating students about different languages and cultures.
In addition to Pitone, Richmond will likely face a primary with Caroline Shea Rosas, who's also running in Ward 5, according to Ward5Online.
He said a primary with lots of candidates "is a really exciting opportunity to raise the profile of schools."
Richmond also wanted to pass along his phone number and email address so residents who are interested can contact him. His number is (617) 863-0177 and his email address is Ross4SchoolCommittee@gmail.com.
Somerville Patch hopes to post information about other candidates in the race soon.
If you're a candidate running for office in Somerville this year, we'd love to hear from you. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.