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EXCLUSIVE: Nkromo Ineligible for School Board Seat (UPDATE 2)

 

(APN) ATLANTA -- Kwabena Nkromo, a community activist who recently announced his intention to run
in the November 2011 Special Election for a vacancy in the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education District 2
seat, is not eligible to run for the seat, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
In order to be eligible to run for the seat, the APS Charter, Section 2-102(a)(2) states, a candidate must,
"
Be a resident of the city and, if seeking to represent a Board district, be a resident of the Board 
district for which he or she seeks to qualify and represent for at least one year immediately 
preceding the date of filing a notice of candidacy to seek office."
The filing of notice of candidacy is taking place this week, Wednesday, August 03, through Friday, August 05.
Therefore, in order to be eligible, a candidate would have to have lived in BOE District 2--the equivalent of
City Council Districts 3 and 4--since August 05, 2010, using a conservative estimate based on filing this Friday.
However, Nkromo lived at least part of the last year in the home of his then-girlfriend, Anna Foote, in the
Poncey-Highlands neighborhood, outside of BOE District 2.
When Nkromo and Foote broke up in April 2011, it became a bit of public spectacle, causing the couple to release
a joint public statement in June 2011.
According to a copy of the statement obtained by Atlanta Progressive News, Nkromo lived with Foote on at least 
two occasions, including most recently from September 2010 to April 2011.
"Kwabena resided at Anna’s home in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood twice, once during the earlier initial 
separation from his wife at the time in 2009 and secondly in September 2010 prior to the eventual divorce. 
Kwabena’s final stay in Anna’s home ended in April 2011," the statement said.
Nkromo also admits in the statement to distributing copies of privately recorded home videos of a sexual nature
following the break-up.
"Both Anna and Kwabena engaged in extreme over reactions to perceived and real emotional or financial injuries 
that followed their break up, resulting in behaviors and actions such as efforts by Anna to sabotage a business 
which was Kwabena’s sole source of income and Kwabena’s release of intimate images and digital videos of their 
private sex life in response," Nkromo wrote.
According to one source at City Hall, Nkromo--apparently in retribution to Foote--sent copies of privately 
recorded sex tapes involving Nkromo and Foote to numerous Atlanta civic leaders, including Members of the 
City Council of Atlanta.
Nkromo appears to have deleted the public statement, dated June 26, 2011, from his blog, The Brow Tutor.  However,
APN accessed the blog post on June 26 and saved a copy in APN's archives at that time.
As recently as yesterday, Nkromo sent out a mass email declaring his intention to run for the BOE District 2 seat.
"I am running for the District 2 Atlanta Board of Education seat, recently vacated by Khaatim El.  My main campaign 
themes are as follows: Better Representation - listening and executing the will of constituents, along with my leadership 
insights; Better Cooperation of the Board - working with the new Chairperson Brenda Muhammad for a unified solution 
to scandal and pathway forward; A Better Future for our Children - Advocating for 'horticultural literacy' as a new 
requirement for graduation and preparing our pupils for the green economy and 21st century workplace," Nkromo wrote.
"If you are supportive of my efforts, please take a moment to sign the petition at the link below and forward it to your 
neighbors.  If you live within Atlanta Public School District 2, please indicate so in the Comment section of the petition. 
Many thanks!"
Meanwhile, qualifying began today, and one candidate, Dwanda Farmer, has already filed.
As previously reported by APN, other candidates who have expressed interest in running include Byron Amos, Angela
Brown, Ayana Gabriel, and Michael Jeter.
APN has also learned that certain Atlanta politicos assembled on Monday to begin interviewing potential candidates.
State Sen. Vincent Fort, Atlanta City Councilman CT Martin, and campaign operative Mitzi Bickers organized the
series of candidate interviews.
Additionally, former Councilwoman "Able" Mable Thomas, Councilman Ivory Young (District 3), and activist Joe
Beasley also showed up to sit in on the candidate interviews.
(END / 2011)

(APN) ATLANTA -- Kwabena Nkromo, a community activist who recently announced his intention to run in the November 2011 Special Election for a vacancy in the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education District 2 seat, is not eligible to run for the seat, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

In order to be eligible to run for the seat, the APS Charter, Section 2-102(a)(2) states, a candidate must, "Be a resident of the city and, if seeking to represent a Board district, be a resident of the Board district for which he or she seeks to qualify and represent for at least one year immediately preceding the date of filing a notice of candidacy to seek office."

The filing of notice of candidacy is taking place this week, Wednesday, August 03, through Friday, August 05.

Therefore, in order to be eligible, a candidate would have to have lived in BOE District 2--the equivalent of City Council Districts 3 and 4--since August 05, 2010, using a conservative estimate based on filing this Friday.

However, Nkromo lived at least part of the last year in the home of his then-girlfriend in the Poncey-Highlands neighborhood, outside of BOE District 2.

When Nkromo and his ex-girlfriend broke up in April 2011, it became a bit of public spectacle, causing Nkromo to release a public statement in June 2011.  [UPDATE: The statement was posted by Nkromo on his personal blog and was purported to be a joint statement from the ex-girlfriend and Nkromo.  However, the ex-girlfriend has since told APN that it was not a joint statement and that she did not authorize the statement to be released.]

According to a copy of the statement obtained by Atlanta Progressive News, Nkromo lived with the ex-girlfriend on at least two occasions, including most recently from September 2010 to April 2011.

"Kwabena resided at [the] home in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood twice, once during the earlier initial separation from his wife at the time in 2009 and secondly in September 2010 prior to the eventual divorce. Kwabena’s final stay in [the] home ended in April 2011," the statement said.

Nkromo also admits in the statement to distributing copies of privately recorded home videos of a sexual nature following the break-up.

"Both [the ex-girlfriend] and Kwabena engaged in extreme over reactions to perceived and real emotional or financial injuries that followed their break up, resulting in behaviors and actions such as efforts by [the ex-girlfriend] to sabotage a business which was Kwabena’s sole source of income and Kwabena’s release of intimate images and digital videos of their private sex life in response," the statement said.

According to one source at City Hall, Nkromo--apparently in retribution to [the ex-girlfriend]--sent copies of privately recorded sex tapes involving Nkromo and [the ex-girlfriend] to numerous Atlanta civic leaders, including Members of the City Council of Atlanta.

Nkromo appears to have deleted the public statement, dated June 26, 2011, from his blog, The Brow Tutor.  However, APN accessed the blog post on June 26 and saved a copy in APN's internal archives at that time.

As recently as yesterday, Nkromo sent out a mass email declaring his intention to run for the BOE District 2 seat.

"I am running for the District 2 Atlanta Board of Education seat, recently vacated by Khaatim El.  My main campaign themes are as follows: Better Representation - listening and executing the will of constituents, along with my leadership insights; Better Cooperation of the Board - working with the new Chairperson Brenda Muhammad for a unified solution to scandal and pathway forward; A Better Future for our Children - Advocating for 'horticultural literacy' as a new requirement for graduation and preparing our pupils for the green economy and 21st century workplace," Nkromo wrote.

"If you are supportive of my efforts, please take a moment to sign the petition at the link below and forward it to your neighbors.  If you live within Atlanta Public School District 2, please indicate so in the Comment section of the petition. Many thanks!"

Meanwhile, qualifying began today, and one candidate, Dwanda Farmer, has already filed according to a Facebook post.

As previously reported by APN, other candidates who have expressed interest in running include Byron Amos, Angela Brown, Ayana Gabriel, and Michael Jeter.

APN has also learned that certain Atlanta politicos assembled on Monday to begin interviewing potential candidates.

State Sen. Vincent Fort, Atlanta City Councilman CT Martin (District 10), and campaign operative Mitzi Bickers organized the series of candidate interviews.

Additionally, former Councilwoman "Able" Mable Thomas, Councilman Ivory Young (District 3), and activist Joe Beasley also showed up to sit in on the candidate interviews.

(END / 2011)

EDITOR'S NOTE: On January 04, 2012, this article was updated to remove the name of Nkromo's ex-girlfriend.  As already noted, her identity was not relevant to the story, except insasmuch that APN had received a joint press release purportedly from the ex-girlfriend and Nkromo.  As already noted, APN had already issued a correction to note that the ex-girlfriend stated she did not author the press release; however, despite her statements to APN that she was satisfied with this correction, she proceeded to have her attorney send a letter threatening a libel lawsuit to APN.  Originally, this article contained the name of the ex-girlfriend.

In APN's history of nearly one thousand original full-length news articles, APN has never removed the name of a person from an article, despite requests to do so from the affected individuals.  This has included persons arrested who did not want their names in print, or persons who ran for office and later regreted it and wanted it scrubbed from the Internet.  APN's Board of Directors discussed the present matter and decided that the name could be removed, but only because of the unique circumstances of this case.  Specifically, if Nkromo had not issued the apparently false press release, the name would not have been reported in the first place.  Because the ex-girlfriend stated that the two articles were causing negative impacts on her professional career, as APN's Editor, I decided to use my discretion to err on the side of protecting a person who had been victimized by Mr. Nkromo; and not because there was any legal merit to her attorney's claims of libel.


Comments (12)

Said this on 8-3-2011 At 08:17 pm

I remain eligible to run for the Board of Education District 2 seat and will be filig papers to do so on Friday August 5th. Thank you for continued converage of this race. - Cubby

Said this on 8-3-2011 At 10:21 pm

At the period in question, my wife at the time and I essentially maintained an open marriage in which she was aware of my involvement with (REDACTED).  Our priority at the time was to remain in the same home to share parenting responsibilities for our two young children.  While 667 Peeples Street remained my primary residence, intermittent time spent at (REDACTED) home in Poncy-Highland between September 2010 and April 2011 was instigated by an unusual but pressing extended family emergency. My elder sister Belinda had lost a son to homicide in Boston the year before and came to live in our West End home under emotional and psychological distress.  I split my time between both residences in order to make my sister’s stay more comfortable in our small apartment.  It was never my intent or act to abandon southwest Atlanta as my primary place of residence and domicile.

If the spirit of the electoral regulations requiring residency a year prior to filing for elections is to prevent opportunistic campaigns by unscrupulous candidates for office, there is no evidence that my durable but infrequent residency within District 2 had anything to do with my current intent to pursue election to a Board of Education seat for a Special Election.  The vacancy made possible by the resignation of Mr. Khaatim El could not have been anticipated my me when I definitively consolidated my residency wholly to the district in question during April 2011 at 939 Oglethorpe Avenue in the West End and subsequent business addresses within the district related to my transitional housing enterprise.

These are the facts that Atlanta Progressive News failed to seek out and report. - Cubby

Shorty
Said this on 8-4-2011 At 10:28 am

There are plenty of other good reasons not to elect you to the school board other than the residency issue. Your lack of discretion and tendency toward retaliation and vindictiveness, among other things, make you an inappropriate candidate. You're disingenuous, self-serving, and full of excuses. Those are not traits that add up to a good team player and/or leader.

Kwabena Nkromo
Said this on 8-4-2011 At 10:47 am

Shorty,

Now I believe those are fair statements and I am actively engaged with my spiritual path on redeeming the less desirable aspects of my personality (as I hope we all are). However, if you know me well enough to post such a personal evaluation then I trust you are familar with my better sides. It is my service record and capacity to represent District 2 well on the critical issues facing the Atlanta Public Schools. I've never been perfect, but have more often than not been effective in my roles as a leader and team member (despite your unsubstantiated accusations to the contrary). I'm angry about what has been done to Atlanta's children and I will fight harder than anyone to make it right so we can move forward as a city and community. If you are eligible, I ask for your vote. - Cubby

Shorty
Said this on 8-4-2011 At 11:20 am

Sir, I am an active voter in District 2. I commend your soul searching and efforts toward an improved spirit and personal behavior. I only hope that you will make strides in those areas and exhibit tangible proof of those successes prior to a possible stint on the board of education where your old habits could become a disastrous distraction for our children and APS. The last thing we needs is another elected politician who has ulterior motives and questionable extracurricular activities. My best to you.

Said this on 8-4-2011 At 03:02 pm

(Like)

Said this on 8-4-2011 At 03:51 pm

As the News Editor of APN, I would like to issue a correction, and provide some new information that has come to light.

First, I have corrected this article as part of UPDATE 1 to this article.  Specifically, the girlfriend said that the statement issued by Nkromo--that was purportedly a joint statement between Nkromo and herself-- was not actually a joint statement, and she did not authorize it to be sent.

Second, she tells APN that during the time period in question--November 2010 to April 2011--that Nkromo resided *full-time*, not part-time, at her residence in Poncey-Highland, outside of District 2.

APN stands by the statement that Nkromo is not eligible to run for this office.  However, ultimately, City of Atlanta Municipal Clerk Rhonda Dauphin Johnson will have to make a decision if Nkromo does decide to attempt to qualify.

Said this on 8-4-2011 At 11:45 pm

"However, ultimately, City of Atlanta Municipal Clerk Rhonda Dauphin Johnson will have to make a decision if Nkromo does decide to attempt to qualify."

This quote is the only accurate portion of your "Update", Matthew. I continue to value your contribution to Atlanta civic life, but you standards of journalism have always been suspect. I'll be filing the necessary documents to officially become a candidate for this Special Election tomorrow @ 2PM and will conduct a brief press conference immediately after on the steps of City Hall on Mitchell Street.

 

Said this on 8-5-2011 At 04:52 am

Your statement questioning now my continued journalistic standards is first, not even credible, seeing as how you were praising my journalistic standards only a few weeks ago when you were receiving more positive press in this publication.

Second, if you have any specific correction requests you can email them to me for consideration.  Otherwise you have no basis for complaint.

Third, if you file documents asserting that you lived in District 2 for one year preceding qualifying--when in fact you did not, even according to your own statements--you may open yourself up to perjury charges.

Said this on 8-5-2011 At 08:05 am

As I said, I continue to value your contribution to Atlanta civic life. No change in your editorial policy toward me will alter that. The question your readers and the voters of District 2 might want to consider in response to attacks on me is, "What does any of this have to do with the welfare of Atlanta's children?"

My platform themes for this campaign remain:

  • Better Representation - listening and executing the will of District 2 constituents
  • Better Cooperation of the Board - working with the new Chairperson Brenda Muhammad for a unified solution to scandal and pathway forward
  • A Better Future for our Children - Advocating for "horticultural literacy" as a new requirement for graduation and preparing our pupils for the green economy and 21st century workplace (see http://www.vimeo.com/5901176)

Said this on 8-6-2011 At 11:17 pm

I'm writing somewhat anonymously out of concern that Mr. Nkromo will retaliate or otherwise respond in a non-professional manner.  In years of observing Mr. Nkromo's action as chair of NPU-T, I believe that not only is he not personally mature enough to serve in an office that requires concession and collobaration but he is also lacking of judgement to fill a seat where consensus and positive growth are required to restore community and national confidence in Atlanta's school board.  

As an individual who is asking to lead the board that provides guidance and oversight to our children, I would look for a qualified candiate to be 1) a trained educator; 2) a proven business leader or 3) an effective community leader.

In his past role as Chair of NPU-T, Mr. Nkromo often acted in a heavy-handed manner and whenever he was met with disagreement, he responded in a manner that showed that he was incapable of dealing with disagreement in any type of positive manner.

In addition, none of the initiatives that Mr. Nkromo started within our community survived his departure.  He is great on concepts but grossly lacking in ability to execute.  Kwabena is trading on a foundation that is built upon sand.  Once his very strong and charismatic personality was removed from the environment, none of his proposals stood as they did not have enough backing other than Mr. Nkromo's opinion that the prorams were of value or need by the community.

 

At present, our school board needs to lead the Atlanta Public School System through the cheating scandal, the loss of public confidence and the establishment of programs that will enable the students, parents and communities to recover from the damages identified in the report that was released. 

While locally grown food is important to our community, it has no bearing on improving our schools.  The fact the Mr. Nkromo is basing his platform on his "urban agriculture" initiative confirms that his vision is not one based on educational excellence but rather based on a component of American society that is a niche market...first our children need an environment that will enable them to learn from educators who are qualified to teach.  Second the community(and taxpayers) need to regain the confidence in the ability of the board and their employees (e.g. Superientendant, CIO, CFO, etc) will behave in a manner befitting the school system of the capital of Georgia.

Leadership based on buzzwords and an inability to follow-through will just not cut it.

 

Mr. Nkromo, please resolve your personal situation and start building a reputation that is something the citizens of our city can stand behind.  The way it looks now, you're a troubled man who is clouding the public airwaves and is incapable of positively impacting the issues at hand.

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