In the Sixth installment of the 2013 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Zeph Capo, candidate for Houston Community College Board of Trustees District 1.
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?
ZC: Zeph Capo
TL: Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?
ZC: I have not held public office.
TL: As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?
ZC: Government is a direct reflection of our greater society. It is a picture of what works and does not work. We get out of government what we put into it. I believe voting shouldn’t be considered a right, but a responsibility because government works best when the governed are involved in the process. Government defines us as a people and we should never take for granted that we are defined by the democratic principles that make up our society.
TL: If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.
ZC: My top priority would be to pass a stronger board ethics policy that results in more transparent business practices by the community college. I would welcome citizen advisory oversight by accounting/financial professions to review the colleges practices and make recommendations to the board. I would work to build a coalition of board members that wanted to increase the public trust in the board by passing better policy after a thorough review of best practices nationwide and an opportunity to take input from the community.
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?
ZC: HCC is a leader in distance education and has begun innovative new programs to meet the needs of our local workforce. We must improve our business practices to ensure the 425 million dollar bond program is executed with fidelity and efficiency. Additionally, we must ensure that our tax dollars allocated by the bond are used in absolutely the best manner to accommodate the needs of a 21st century workforce.
TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?
ZC: I have almost twenty years experience in public education as a classroom teacher and policy advocate. My experience with grassroots community organizing and school reform will be an asset to the HCC Board as we begin to rebuild connections with the community and reform board practices for the 21st century. I have extensive experience working with individuals from diverse and often competing backgrounds where consensus is required to be successful.
TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
ZC: I enjoy spending time outdoors, especially on the beach. I volunteer with the Miniature Schnauzer Rescue Society as often as I can. I really enjoy cooking and enjoying the company of friends.
Thanks to Mr. Capo for his participation.