Tom Briody: Why I'm running for School Committee
1. Why do I want this position?
There is a fight going on for the soul of this country. The enemy is Trumpism. The trenches are in the public schools and town halls. The battles are over censorship and bigotry. The weapons are disinformation, misinformation, hatred and ignorance. I do not want my children (and hopefully someday, grandchildren) to live in a world where lies and ignorance prevail. We must have strong public schools and public education to make this happen. We must also make sure that the faculty and staff of our schools have support from town government, but must also be held accountable (and hold themselves accountable) when their authority is abused.
I believe the NK School Committee is the front line of this battle. If I can contribute to my community by serving as a barrier to the corrosive elements in modern society, then I’m willing to make that contribution.
2. What experiences have prepared me and would help me to be effective?
I am 61 years old, and have lived in North Kingstown since 1998. My only political experience to this point is serving as President and Secretary of my local homeowners association. But I am a former broadcast journalist and have practiced law in Rhode Island for almost 30 years. I am the child of corporate gypsies— I lived on the east coast, the west coast, and the Midwest growing up, and attended both public and private schools. I graduated with honors from a public law school. Much of my career has been devoted to challenging the government, defending those accused of crime, and standing up for civil rights. I know how to listen, to evaluate facts and apply law. I know how to negotiate and, when necessary, to fight back. All of these skills will help me to succeed as an elected official.
3. What specific value can I add to the School Committee?
I am a political novice. I am not a zealot. But I think the experience I have described in paragraph 2 best illustrates my value to the NK School Committee. My training as a lawyer, my experience as a parent of three children, and my commitment to justice and civic participation will help the committee.