Sylvester Cann 46th LD
"Those are powerful words written into our constitution. We have no job greater than to provide an education for all children. As a public school graduate and education policy analyst, I am committed to ensuring that all children have an opportunity to learn and reach their potential."
"When it comes to K-12 education, if we are committed to building an economy that competes on the global scale, students have to be prepared to enter a 21st century workforce with the right skills. We must set high standards for graduation if we expect to compete."
Sylvester's Democratic values were shaped by his upbringing in a supportive, working class family. His father taught him the value of hard work by keeping his nose to the grindstone to support his family—to this day his dad works as a machine operator. His mother, an office administrator, instilled in her children both compassion and the need to care for others. Together, through good times and bad, they have been married for over 30 years.
He is proud to be the first in his family to graduate from college, earning a degree in Mathematical Sciences. A field of study geared toward analytically thinking and problem solving was made possible because my father’s employer awarded me a generous full scholarship to the University of Washington. Not every child is as lucky as I was—we must keep college affordable for middle class and low-income families.
Like a generation before me drawn to service by John F. Kennedy, I found my voice and inspiration in the campaign of President Barack Obama. I left the real estate industry and began working on his and other campaigns.
In the summer of 2010, Scott White called and asked if Sylvester could work for him as a legislative aide after he finished managing a legislative campaign in East King County. If afforded this opportunity, Sylvester will serve in his memory.
In his current job, Sylvester is developing an expertise in education policy with an organization that is implementing a cradle-to-career initiative to increase student achievement in South Seattle and South King County—focusing on helping low-income students succeed.