Former Statesman Reporter Announces Bid for AISD Board

Roxanne Evans would replace LaTisha Anderson on the board

Roxanne Evans has long played a part in Austin's political scene, particularly on education. The former reporter and editorialist at the Austin American-States­man (where she was the first Black writer to join the editorial board) has also handled communications duties for several local and national agencies, including Austin ISD. Her advocacy has also including serving as tri-chair of the AISD Facilities and Bond Planning Advisory Committee, and this week Evans announced she's running for the District 1 seat on the AISD Board of Trustees in this November's election. Incumbent LaTisha Anderson, who won a surprise victory in 2018, has indicated she does not plan to seek reelection.

District 1 has historically been drawn to maximize the electoral chances of Black candidates, although the plurality of residents are Latinx. It includes three vertical teams anchored by early college high schools: Northeast (formerly Reagan), LBJ, and Eastside Memorial. It also includes the consolidated Norman-Sims Elementary, one of the campuses impacted by the district's controversial 2019 school closures, and District 1 trustees have long taken AISD to task for their failures to invest in Eastside schools and improve the chances for success of Eastside students.

"My strength lies in building consensus and finding solutions and I have a track record of doing so," she said in her campaign announcement. "I am ready and willing to put my decades-long relationships with District 1 communities and with AISD to work for the benefit of District 1 children." Evans' announcement came with a long list of endorsements: Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion, state Reps. Sheryl Cole and Gina Hino­josa, and a host of past trustees, including Ander­son's D1 predecessors Ted Gordon and Cheryl Bradley.

Evans' entry into the race is the biggest news so far in the run-up to the AISD Board election, in which Districts 4, 6, and 7 (currently represented by Trustee Kristin Ashy, Board President Geronimo Rodriguez, and Vice President Yasmin Wagner, respectively) and At-Large Position 9 (Board Secretary Arati Singh) will also be on the ballot. The filing application period for candidacy begins July 25 and ends August 22.

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