by Travis Mateer
In a recent Missoulian article about Jacob Elder’s “journey” from Democrat to Independent, a little quote from Grace Decker caught my eye. Grace Decker is both a non-profit employee of United Way AND a MCPS school board member, so in both capacities she should be AVOIDING overt political activism. It even says so in this policy (PDF):
Avoid being placed in a position of conflict of interest, and refrain from using my Board position for personal or partisan gain;
Despite this clear directive, here’s Decker in a recent Missoulian article shamelessly discussing her Facebook activism:
Elder has made it a point to block many people on his social media accounts, which led to the creation of a Facebook page called “Blocked by Jacob Elder,” leaving some to wonder why he will not answer their questions.
“Blocked by Jacob Elder” started in June.
Grace Decker, who started the group, was somewhat taken aback by being blocked and having commenting abilities limited for asking straightforward, non-offensive questions, she said.
Decker started the group with the intention of finding out how widespread this response from Elder was, she said. It grew to include 189 members.
I added the emphasis to show where I believe a violation of the MCPS ethics policy occurred. It’s the part where Grace Decker inappropriately inserts herself in a local political race in order to impact a candidate vying to be the BIG PAPA of the purse strings.
There’s also her work at United Way to consider because of limitations to political activism required of organizations that file for tax exempt status under 501(c)(3). From the link:
Organizations that are exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are also absolutely prohibited from engaging in political activity that directly or indirectly supports a political party, political action committee or a candidate for office. That prohibition includes supporting a particular candidate or party in an election, urging others to support such candidate or party and hosting an event at which only some candidates for a particular office are offered an opportunity to speak.
In Virginia, a school board member by the name of Beth Barts resigned under pressure from pissed off parents for VERY SIMILAR activities. From the link:
The group Fight For Schools and other organizations alleged that Barts was involved in a private Facebook group that violated the School Board’s Code of Conduct and local laws after the page’s members allegedly tried to attempt to reveal private information about—or doxx—parents as well as opponents of critical race theory and similar ideologies.
I would VERY MUCH like to see Grace Decker get Barts’d over her brazen disregard for MCPS ethical considerations. To help with this effort to bring accountability to MCPS please consider donating to this Go Fund me page. It’s been a month since the last donation.
Thanks for reading.