About the Race
The election for the 6th District's representative on the Richmond School Board is on November 3, 2020, in conjunction with the U.S. presidential election. Former Binford Middle School PTA board member and constituent advocate, Lynette Plummer, is running against former Richmond School Board member Shonda Muhammad, community advocate Ta’Quan Grant, healthcare professional Timika Vincent, and Deon Wright.
About the District
Richmond is an independent city and the Commonwealth’s capital. It lies on the fall line of the James River between Chesterfield and Henrico counties. Richmond City’s population is roughly 200,000, although the greater metro area has a population of over 1 million. Richmond’s 6th District is considered the gateway district and is located in the central-eastern part of the city. The 6th District trends Democratic, with Rep. Don McEachin (D) winning over 90% of the vote during the 2018 congressional election.
Lynette Plummer is a former investment banker who has worked as Executive Assistant to both the Attorney General and Chief Deputy Attorney General of Virginia for the last six years. She also spent five years as a Constituent Advocate with Senator Mark Warner. Plummer has served on the Binford Middle PTA Board and the Richmond Education Compact Committee.
Plummer’s platform rests on three central pillars: communication, collaboration, and compassion. In regards to collaboration, she wishes to develop district-specific plans that can solicit parental engagement and involvement in policy and decision making. She also wishes to develop communication tools and practices which will allow students to share their experiences and voice their concerns.
She believes that improving communication means developing good relationships between School Board members and administrators and establishing strong communication lines with educators and parents. This includes soliciting and integrating feedback from teachers and parents on budgetary, curriculum, and other important decisions before the Board takes a vote. Plummer supports transparency in the School Board’s work and wants to use statistical data and analysis to inform the Board’s decision-making process.
Finally, Plummer believes that compassion means investing in diversity, inclusion and equality in Richmond Public Schools. She fully supports restorative justice and disciplinary measures over punitive ones in regards to students. Plummer also believes it is necessary to support teachers by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs and trusting their professional experience and judgment.
Plummer’s opponent, Shonda Muhammad, served on the school board between 2012 and 2016. During her time on the School Board, Muhammad called out her fellow board members on not doing enough to address violence at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. Muhammad organizes the annual Back to School Rally, which has provided over 13,000 students with backpacks filled with school supplies since 2008. Muhammad has no specific platform information posted about her 2020 run for Richmond School Board.
Another opponent, Ta’Quan Grant, is a community advocate running on a platform of updating the technology and infrastructure of Richmond schools, creating mentorship programs for students, advocating for students with disabilities, and equal funding for teachers. Although his platform is progressive, it is not as detailed as Plummer’s, particularly on community involvement, transparency, and racial equality.
Timika Vincent, a healthcare professional, is also running for the 6th District School Board seat. She wants to promote parental involvement and act as a voice for students and parents on the School Board. Vincent also supports expanding programs designed to provide food, clothing, and school supplies to children in need through schools. Though her platform is progressive, it is less detailed than Plummer’s and lacks a specific focus on the needs of educators and students that Plummer provides.
Plummer’s final opponent, Deon Wright, has a history of speaking out about child welfare in his neighborhood. He has no information posted publicly about his run for School Board, as his campaign Facebook is private.
Due to her stance on transparency, parental and educator engagement, and her commitment to equality in education, Lynette Plummer is the most progressive choice in this race.