Richland School Board member Simi Bird campaigns for Governor of Western Australia in 2024 |  elections

Richland School Board member Simi Bird campaigns for Governor of Western Australia in 2024 | elections

As he nears the tip of his first 12 months as a member of the varsity board—a 12 months that included A.J A controversial move to challenge Washington’s internal mask mandatea lawsuit beneath the Open Public Conferences Act and an ongoing recall effort — Mississippi Simi Chook of Richland units his sights on the state workplace.

Byrd, 61, introduced his candidacy for governor at a Veterans Day occasion on the Legislative Constructing in Olympia.


In an interview, Chook mentioned that he’s a non secular individual, a Christian, who has spent his life serving his nation. Along with serving as a board member and legislative consultant for the Richland Faculty District, Byrd is a US Marine and Particular Forces veteran and a former director of the US Division of Vitality.

He mentioned, “I actually suppose that the place I’m now, understanding what it’s now, I am simply the correct individual to reply the decision to serve once more.”

Byrd is working as a Republican and describes himself as a “constitutional Christian conservative.” He mentioned this meant that he believed in authorities of the folks by the folks—all folks—and in grace and unity beneath God, in addition to in fiscal duty and meritocracy.

If elected, he could be the primary black governor in Washington and the primary Republican within the place since 1981.

Chook drive focus

Training is a precedence for varsity board member Byrd, who dropped out of highschool as a junior. After serving within the Marine Corps, he earned a Bachelor’s diploma in Enterprise Administration from the College of Southern Columbia and a Grasp of Science in Human Useful resource Growth from Villanova College.

He’s a PhD scholar in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at North Central College.

“Training is essential to me as a result of I do know kids study in another way,” he mentioned. “Kids study in another way, and true equity is to not decrease the bar however to satisfy these kids the place their wants are, giving them what they must be profitable, in order that they will rise and carry out to the required degree.”

He mentioned providing extra instructional packages, comparable to structured studying, the scientific strategy to literacy or complete educating packages, might be utilized in colleges throughout the state to enhance outcomes and assist extra college students meet grade degree requirements.

“We have to give the additional consideration that our college students want comprehensively,” he mentioned.

Baird additionally has concepts for bettering public security and the financial system.

He mentioned he helps efforts to “return cash” to the police and steered a recruiting line from highschool to the Washington State Prison Justice Fee the place cops are skilled for continued recruitment.

“We trigger all types of issues, and the folks affected are these (in) marginalized communities,” he mentioned.

He mentioned he additionally sees alternatives to revitalize the state’s tourism trade.

“We have to take again management of our streets in order that our streets are secure, so that folks can come right here and revel in themselves, spend their cash in our group, and enrich the small enterprise women and men who’re the muse of our financial system,” he mentioned.

Chook, an advocate for the state’s Workplace of Minorities and Girls’s Enterprise, mentioned he additionally helps eradicating laws that hinder enterprise and incorporating tax breaks to spur growth.

Faculty board selections

Byrd’s controversial transfer earlier this 12 months to problem the state’s inner masks mandate led to a lawsuit beneath the Open Public Conferences Act and subpoena efforts which can be beneath overview by the Washington Supreme Court docket.

He’s elected to the varsity board mid-term in 2021 after his predecessor stepped down. Its time period expires in 2023.

At a particular assembly in February, He and the other members of the school board voted To make masks non-obligatory in Richland lessons. The transfer compelled the district to cancel lessons to evaluate subsequent steps and later backed out.

This led to a lawsuit beneath the Open Public Conferences Act, which was settled by the district, alleging that the varsity district and board didn’t give adequate discover to the general public in regards to the vote and that the vote violated the Open Public Conferences Act.

There was additionally an effort to subpoena Byrd and two different board members, costs which can be presently being pursued. Reviewed by the Washington Supreme Court.

Chook mentioned he stood by the vote, a call he mentioned he made primarily based on his conscience and preserving the person rights of residents. He mentioned it was a troublesome transfer that had damaging results, however had no impact on his potential to serve on the board.

“I instructed my fellow board members that if you happen to do not vote with me and do not agree with me, that is okay. I’ll nonetheless love you, I’ll proceed to work with you, and we’ll do higher.”

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