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Democracy Alive and Well at O’Dowd


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Democracy is alive and well at Bishop O’Dowd High School. The Student Nominating Convention was held on March 28 to select Associated Student Body officer candidates for 2017-18.

The slate of candidates includes: Shreya Nagdev ’18 and Tyler Manca ‘ 18, president; Ruby Perez ’18 and Alec Abdul-Rahim ’18, vice president; Maya Perkins ’18 and Colm Connolly ’19, secretary; and Anthony John James ’19 and Charlotte Low ’18, treasurer. Elections will be held on April 4.

The keynote address was given by former ASB president Adam Simons ’09, who currently serves as Chief of Staff for Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington. She represents District 4 on the City Council.

In his role as Chief of Staff, Simons collaborates strategically with state and local elected officials, department heads, lobbyists and external stakeholders to achieve policy goals and results. He also researches, drafts and implements legislative policy initiatives including city-wide ballot measures and comprehensive strategic plans.

Simons credits his O’Dowd student leadership experience for propelling him to seek nomination as Social Justice Programs Director for his dorm at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The only freshman applicant for the position, he edged out 32 other students seeking the post.


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After graduating from college with a degree in political science, along with a certificate of integrated liberal studies, and a minor in art history, Simons worked for the State of Wisconsin Democratic Party before returning to Oakland.

During his keynote address, Simons encouraged students to keep perspective and not be so hard on themselves when they fall short of a goal – such as securing a student body officer position.

“It’s so easy to get down on ourselves. It’s so easy to want something so badly that we lose ourselves in the process. Sometimes we care so deeply, and get involved so passionately, that it can blur our vision and make us crazy,” he said. “We need to be kinder to ourselves – know when to push and know when to pull back.”

Added Simons, “Delegates, you are all great and you will all do great things. Embrace your passion, cultivate your energy, and love yourself.”

Click group photo for large resolution image.

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