black lives matter

History-Making Candidate Just Wants to Make Schools Better

Marlon Taylor would be the first person of color elected in Encinitas

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Nevermind the fact that he served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years. Nevermind the fact that he retired and became a stay-at-home dad for his two daughters while his wife worked. Nevermind that he ran in his first election this year and has a large lead with a few thousand votes to be counted.

And nevermind that Marlon Taylor would be the first Black man or person of color ever elected to a public office in the city of Encinitas.

Taylor just wants to make the Encinitas Union School District better.

“That’s all that’s on my mind right now,” Taylor said while standing outside of Flora Vista Elementary School.

The 48-year-old entered 2020 without “candidate” or “school board trustee” on his resume.

“The thought never crossed my mind at all,” he laughed.

However, the coronavirus pandemic and George Floyd’s murder pushed his heart and mind.

“I thought it was probably time for me to throw my hat into the ring to, not necessarily with the thought of winning, but at least advance a conversation," Taylor said.

He wanted to fuel the conversation about social justice within the curriculum. This year, Taylor also became active with Encinitas4Equality, a nonprofit organization that looks to improve awareness and social equality.

“I see what my girls are dealing with and I felt it’s important that we advance this dialogue,” he said. “I can’t think of a better place to start than at our elementary schools… Age-appropriate conversations within our classrooms.”

He said there’s no overnight solution.

“It’s definitely a long-term plan and I’m a big fan of incremental improvement," he said.

With most of the ballots counted in his race for the Encinitas Union School Board, Taylor had a sizeable lead over the second and third-place candidates. The top two get seats on the board.

Taylor’s daughters were impressed their father won the same year the country elected the first woman of color as Vice President.

“They think it’s pretty cool. They think I’m pretty big-time on this side of El Camino Real,” he laughed.

The former Navy cryptologist admits he would like to see them and other students back to in-person schooling.

“I am a huge proponent for getting our kids back on campus, but I believe we have to do it the right way,” he said.

The right way is simply part of his goal when he gets on the board.

“It’s to make our school district and our community the pride of San Diego County.”

Nevermind the fact that he’s making history in the process.

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