Meet Andrew "Drew" King

image of 5 people smiling and posing for a picture together - from left to right in top row: Drew's brother Aaron King, Drew's father Jonathan King, and Drew's mother Jackie King; bottom row from left to right: Drew's partner Marcelle Grair and Drew

Cambridge Roots

I grew up in the Port neighborhood in a family with a strong tradition of community organizing. At Graham and Parks Elementary School (named after two freedom fighters), my classmates and I were taught to embrace differences and stand up against injustice. Through the Cambridge Public Schools I formed lifelong friendships with young people from all different social backgrounds which shaped my social justice values and worldview. I also had the opportunity to work as a mentor for young people at Cambridge’s youth centers and in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program.

The benefits I accrued from Cambridge Public Schools – high-quality instruction, abundant resources, heterogeneous classrooms, project-based learning opportunities, and summer internships – were unparalleled. However, I also witnessed many Black, brown, and low-income classmates and peers being marginalized, over-disciplined, and lacking the support and resources they needed to thrive in school. This strengthened my commitment to fighting for education justice for all.

Directing Youth & Education Policy in NYC City Government

image of Drew with a microphone giving a speech outside in front of a banner, there are two people in the background on the platform with Drew, one mid-clap

After graduating from Temple University in Philadelphia, I earned a Master’s Degree in urban policy analysis at the New School. I spent seven years in NYC where I worked for the New York City Council directing youth & education policy, serving as a liaison for district schools in East Harlem and the South Bronx. I organized youth against school closures and ‘stop-and-frisk’ policing and spearheaded efforts to promote more physical education in public schools, to restore after-school program cuts, and to expand parks and recreation programs. I coordinated the East Harlem Youth Violence Task Force—a diverse collaborative of youth, community leaders and civic organizations – and authored its policy platform, a set of youth-generated recommendations to combat neighborhood violence and expand educational opportunities for marginalized young people.

Ph.D. in Education Policy & Grassroots Activism in Cambridge

I recently completed my Ph.D. in Public Policy at UMass, Boston. My research and teaching focused on education policy issues, specifically on the school-to-prison pipeline and “community schools” which provide wrap-around supports to students and families to combat poverty-related barriers to learning.

As an active board member of the statewide education advocacy organization Citizens for Public Schools and a member of the Education Committee of Our Revolution Cambridge, I have organized statewide forums, testified at School Committee meetings, and authored op-eds on the harms of high stakes testing to educators and students and the need for more equitable school funding and programs to create anti-racist schools. I currently work as a postdoctoral education researcher at the Boston University.

I now live on Chilton Street with my partner Marcelle, an experienced union organizer. We are renters, like so many of our peers, and hope, despite the high cost of living, to be able to raise a family in Cambridge.

In running for School Committee, I hope to leverage my deep roots in Cambridge, extensive experience in city government implementing education policy and serving young people, and strong background in education research to help to guarantee every child in our city a rigorous, well-funded, culturally-relevant public education.