Amelia Stinson-Wesley is a first-time candidate seeking a second term on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board.
When Tim Morgan was elected to an at-large seat four years ago, she applied to fill the remaining two years on his term representing south suburban District 6. The board chose Stinson-Wesley, a CMS mother and United Methodist minister, over 11 other applicants.
She arrived at a rocky time. The newly elected Democratic majority alienated other members with take-charge tactics, including naming Stinson-Wesley, a Democrat, to represent the mostly Republican district. Stinson-Wesley takes pride in becoming part of a group that worked past that rift to earn local and national acclaim for effectiveness.
She visited all the schools in her district in the first five months, and eventually reached 60 schools. A longtime activist against domestic violence, she worked on a policy to ensure that CMS employees who were victims had workplace protections.
When the district seats came up for election in 2013, Stinson-Wesley says family duties kept her from running. By this spring, though, she was gearing up for a countywide campaign.
As a resident of suburban Pineville and pastor of a west Charlotte church, she says she’s well positioned to serve a diverse county.
“Poverty is not a random thing to me,” she said. “It affects people in my daily life.”
If elected, she’d join an ongoing review of student assignment policies. “We must address the trend towards re-segregation of our schools, paying particular attention to the high concentrations of poverty within our school system,” she says. She hasn’t specified a strategy, and says the board would need to work with other government bodies and advocacy groups to craft solutions.
Stinson-Wesley has the alphabetical disadvantage of being last on the nine-person ballot. But she’s been making personal appearances for months now, and she hopes that makes the difference.
“Everybody deserves to be heard,” she said.
▪ Political experience: Two-year appointed term on the CMS board.
▪ CMS connections: CMS parent and volunteer.
▪ Occupation: United Methodist minister.
▪ Education: Bachelor’s degree from Meredith College and master’s in divinity from Duke University.
▪ Age: 47.