Once we finally got a chance to share our concerns with Dr. Pollio, he denied shutting down our efforts. Although, he did admit to selecting someone to lead the Yes4JCPS non-profit and even donating to it. These were things we told him we were working on and had previously asked for his help with.
At one point, Dr. Pollio brought up his frequent meetings with the Urban League as an excuse as to why our grassroots coalition leaders had been denied a seat at every turn. I simply responded that that Urban League was not what I meant by “grassroots” because Black-led and Black-allied groups are not a monolith and the Urban League does not represent the views, concerns and experiences of the volunteer grassroots leaders and individuals on our call.
Word got out to Sadiqa Reynolds that I had said she wasn’t grassroots, apparently, because it was the subject of a late-night call I received from her and Michelle Pennix the night before the 9-29-2020 Board Meeting.
During the call, the demands of the coalition were discussed and an effort was made to determine something Dr. Pollio could do that would get our coalition to support the tax increase. Since the budget was on the agenda, it was their last chance to make a nod toward the “A” in EARN the People’s Vote. One of the divest/invest ideas that came out of our coalition calls was to increase the number of mental health counselors at AIS schools, among other things. You can hear Dr. Pollio verbalize what myself, Michelle Pennix, Sadiqa Reynolds and Kish Cumi Price settled on during Dr. Pollio’s superintendent’s report here: