I’ve known Trey Paradee for a few years now. He was the first State Representative I ever met. It is fitting, because he is my State Rep in the 29th District. I have approached him about many issues, mostly dealing with education. Trey comes from a long lineage of Paradees who have served Delaware. I proudly endorse him for another term in the 29th Rep. District.
I witnessed Paradee getting more involved with education during the course of the 148th General Assembly. During the infamous House Bill 50 opt out saga, Paradee made it a point to attend the House Education Committee meeting to hear what parents and teachers were saying. He stayed for the entire meeting (and it was a long one). He voted in favor of House Bill 50 twice and also voted in favor of suspending the rules to allow for a vote on an override of Governor Markell’s veto of said bill. While that attempt failed, Trey was one of only 13 House Reps who voted yes on this measure out of 40. It showed his commitment to parents and their inalienable rights.
I haven’t made it easy on Paradee. As my district rep, Trey is in the sometimes uncomfortable position of being in “that blogger’s” district. Let’s face it, I’m not always easy on those I disagree with. To me, it is always about the kids. But Trey gets that. I believe he gets that sometimes a legislator needs to cut across the grain in order to do what is right. But at the same time, he has talked with me about my approach. And while I haven’t always heeded those words, I very much appreciate his insight.
This morning, I read the Delaware State News and there was an entire page devoted to Paradee’s views. His opponents, Republican Jean Gallagher and Green Party candidate Ruth Ann James did not even bother to return the survey. While it is certainly their right not to participate in a survey, it also speaks volumes to their commitment to informing the citizens of the district about their views on issues. Given that this article came out a week and a half before the election, I find it odd they would not want to participate in something that would get their positions out there. Neither of Paradee’s opponents participated in a questionnaire from the Dover Post as well.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Paradee devoted portions of his survey to education. He cited education funding as a top priority the state needs to change.
However, we have created a system of haves and have-nots, and the referendum process has devolved into a political endeavor with yard signs, call centers and mailers. Meanwhile, some school districts that deal with a higher number of English second language students and children who face challenges brought upon by poverty do not have adequate resources. This problem needs to be addressed by the next administration, with the help of parents, educators, and administrators, to find a way to provide adequate resources to our most challenged students while maintaining some of the local control that we have grown to enjoy through the referendum process.
When asked what changes he would like to see in the Delaware Department of Education, he responded with the following:
We need to clean house. We need to reduce the number of positions and return more control to the local school boards.
In looking at Janice Gallagher’s survey responses to the Delaware Voter’s Guide, she fully supports school vouchers which would further cripple an already financially strapped public education system and has proved ineffective in many states. On her website, Gallagher’s only mention of education is a very broad “create common sense education for your children and grandchildren” which tells me absolutely nothing about what she stands for. I can easily go back to the past four years and see how Trey Paradee stands on education through his voting record in the House of Representatives. While I don’t agree with every single vote he has cast, I see a continual increase in his involvement with education issues.
On a personal level, Trey is very approachable and he will look into issues if you go to him. I have sent a few parents his way over the past couple of years. During the last legislative session, he made it a point to make sure Delawareans were not unfairly raked over the coals with a proposed Artificial Island project that would have increased energy costs but given the bulk of the benefit of the station to New Jersey residents. And he succeeded!
Please vote for Trey Paradee if you live in the 29th Rep. District on November 29th. I know I will! Besides, who wouldn’t vote for a guy that brings his dogs everywhere! This is also a state representative who has never missed a vote in the House. In four years! Not everyone can say that. But one thing people can say is that Paradee was a spitting image of Rush singer Geddy Lee in his younger days!