By: Sean Guay
“My name has been in the news since I became a candidate.” – Richard Soto
Richard Soto is very active in the community and is also well known in the comments section of the various Pennlive articles that have been written about him. In addition to those comments, Soto has been on the receiving end of heavy criticism from Harrisburg100. It is very impressive the way Mr. Soto has adsorbed the repeated probings and been able to use the negative press towards his advantage in a very tight race for Harrisburg School Board Director. In this game, any publicity is good publicity.
On the behalf of Harrisburg100, I would like to thank Mr. Soto for his response to this interview request. Personally, I can only endorse the idea that all citizens of Harrisburg should make a well informed choice when they vote. I do applaud the stand that Richard Soto and Cory Williams are making on the behalf of all people who deserve a second chance. I fully support them in this endeavor, and wish them well in their bid for school board, as long as their intentions remain focused on the well being of the children. Some of the heavily politicized group efforts may be a turn off for some voters, but appear to be used in a very effective way in the Harrisburg district. My suspicions are that these type of aggressive power maneuvers would not go over well in many other districts.
Either way, I would like to thank these men for standing up and giving a voice to folks who have become disenfranchised from their ability to run for an ‘office of trust.’
The stage is yours from here on out Mr. Soto, make the most of it and don’t forget that your constituents are watching and the students of Harrisburg School District are counting on you to make the difference. Please do right by us.
As long as you keep it 100 with us, we will keep it all the way real with you.
FULL INTERVIEW BELOW:
Interviewee: Richard Soto
Richard Soto Interview – Running for Harrisburg School Board Director, 2017
Harrisburg100: Can you briefly explain the basic aspects of this election to help the general public gain some insight?
Richard Soto: There is really nothing to explain the scores tell you what the public needs to know, that are schools are failing, and it has been going on for too long.
“Carrie Fowler is very hardworking person. We are both running for the same position, of course I would like to win” – Richard Soto
Harrisburg100: Is there any information that needs more public attention related to the school board or this election? Perhaps about the number of seats to fill, the number of candidates, new and incumbent, etc. Would you like to convey any information about yourself and your 2017 campaign for Harrisburg School Board Director (unpaid position)?
Richard Soto: My life is an open book many of the Harrisburg residents know me. My name has been in the news since I became a candidate. The only thing I can tell you is that I am not who they say I am. There is some false information floating around, that I don’t like but people say what they say. I have made some mistakes, that I really regret. But those things are behind me now and I focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past. I have no control over what has happened, but I do control how I move forward now.
“There are a bunch of people who are concerned with contracts, and all kinds of other stuff and the children are the ones who are suffering.” – Richard Soto
Harrisburg100: Why are you running?
Richard Soto: My daughter, is a student in the Harrisburg District, and I am concerned about her education. She attends a school that has a failing grade, and I feel that I can’t just sit back and not say anything. I want my daughter to get a good education, I know how important it is to get a good education. My schools were bad, I want my daughter to have better, my daughter deserves to have better.
“The real issue is that our children, my child is getting a sorry education.” – Richard Soto
Harrisburg100: What difference do you want to make?
Richard Soto: I want to do good things for my city, it’s bigger than just the school board, I have been doing good things for the city for a long time, this is just another opportunity for me to do some good, I like giving back, I will always continue to give back.
Harrisburg100: What are the real issues involved in this 2017 election for Harrisburg School Board Director? The real issues?
Richard Soto: All the schools are failing, do we need any more issues than that? There are a bunch of people who are concerned with contracts, and all kinds of other stuff and the children are the ones who are suffering. The real issue is that our children, my child is getting a sorry education. What are the potential advantages that Harrisburg School District has going forward? The advantage moving forward is that we get a chance to get some new blood in the board, with people who have a heart for the children and not their personal interests
Harrisburg100: Can you explain how this election would be historic if you were elected to an ‘office of trust?’
Richard Soto: This is not historic, many people with the same situation have been elected to office all over the country and is this state as well. What I find funny is that, very few stepped up to do something, Now they make noise because I want to bring change to the city I live in. I am not a complainer, I am a doer.
Harrisburg100: Why do you believe that the DA has your phone tapped and the Police are watching your house?
Richard Soto: I know that in the beginning I felt he handled things the wrong way, and should have tried to talk to me, and not use the tactics that he tried to use. I don’t have any animosity at this time. I believe that we both have the same thought is that we want to do good for the city of Harrisburg.
Harrisburg100: Some accusation have been made about your connections and attorneys motivation. Can you provide any insight into the facts of these matters?
Richard Soto: I really don’t have any input related to false accusations and rumors.
Harrisburg100: Is there any truth to the rumor that you harassed the nice young lady who was volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign in Midtown.
Richard Soto: When I was running for office last year the Sanders campaign here in Harrisburg came to me and asked if I could help while I was campaigning. I had organized a rally at the Bid Ugly Warehouse. They wanted to take over the rally and wanted me to promote Bernie before I promote myself, and I told them “I am not doing that”. What they fail to remember I never visited their office alone, I was with Gerald Welch every time I was there, and at no time did I say or do anything inappropriate while dealing with the Sanders people. They were upset, because Mr. Welch told them we don’t work for you, but we are willing to work with you, and our cause is important to us, so it has to work both ways.
Harrisburg100: Do you have anything further to say about Fowler?
Richard Soto: I have talked to many people and they all tell me that Carrie Fowler is very hardworking person. We are both running for the same position, of course I would like to win, but I don’t have anything personal against Carrie Fowler, it’s the process and all the candidates have to operate within that process.