In the First installment of the 2013 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Dane D. Cook, candidate for Houston Community College Board of Trustees, District 3.
Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted verbatim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.
TL: What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?
DC: Dane D. Cook
TL: Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?
TL: As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?
DC: Government is the people deciding what we want in a collective voice. We have decided we have priorities and goals simple examples are Police, Education, and Infrastructure. Government is the organized response in what one would hope would be a methodical and intelligent approach.
TL: If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.
DC: have HCC adopt an open and transparent contracting and budget processes. A detailed budget along with contractors and there disclosure of any contractors donating to political campaigns placed on the HCC trustees website. While I am aware I am only one vote I will first find how many of other trustees support the idea then go to organizations and ask them to put political pressure on the any holdout trustees.
TL: As our nation’s educational and professional landscape continues to evolve in the 21st century, institutions like HCC stand to be a critical part of that important process. In your opinion, is HCC ready for the monumental changes coming to education? What can the system do to best prepare?
DC: NO, Successful student’s come from quality educators, HCC needs to look at policies that encourage quality educators to remain within the HCC school system. We currently place numbers of graduates above quality of graduates, and HCC does not even do that well with a 14 percent graduation rate. We must allow our faculty to educate without unnecessary administrative markers and bureaucratic red tape. This will allow for a more rigorous curriculum. I believe when our students are challenged intellectually they will become more engaged and rise to face the challenge. Then we will produce more students with the critical thinking skills to meet the evolving challenges in the 21st century.
TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?
DC: I am the only candidate that has gone to HCC. I have dealt with the issues of HCC not from hearing or being told by administrators. I have dealt with the bottom line issues from the perspective of a student, and student leader. I am completely removed from any contractors and will provide a neutral perspective free from any implied or unapplied preferences.
TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
DC: mountain bike, reading, cooking, going to Houston Dynamo and Astros games.
Thanks to Mr. Cook for his response.