San Francisco School Board Members Recalled

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Last month San Francisco voters recalled three of the seven-member San Francisco School Board:  Alison Collins, Gabriela López – who had served as board president – and Faauuga Moliga. Collins was withdrawn by 79 percent of voters, López 75 percent, and Moliga 72 percent. Just 26 percent of those eligible cast a ballot, a fraction of the 86 percent November 3, 2020 turnout. 

“It was so wonderful to have the City come through in support of families. We feel so loved,” said Autumn Looijen and Siva Raj, the San Francisco parents who led the signature campaign to hold the recall election.

Roughly 100 recall campaign volunteers celebrated the election night victory at Manny’s, a community gathering spot in the Mission. 

“We organized many signature-gathering events through Facebook, so many volunteers met for the first time,” said Looijen.

Mayor London Breed will now appoint board replacements, who will serve until there’s another school board election in November. 

“The voters of this City have delivered a clear message that the School Board must focus on the essentials of delivering a well-run school system above all else. There are many critical decisions in the coming months; addressing a significant budget deficit, hiring a new Superintendent, and navigating our emergence from this pandemic. These are on top of the structural issues the District has faced for years that include declining enrollment and fixing our school assignment system to better serve families and our students,” said Breed, in a statement. 

According to Siva the Recall SF School Board campaign is recruiting board prospects.

“We’re putting out a call for candidates and asking them to answer straightforward questions, such as how they plan to support K-12 students’ mental health. We will then share the results with the community, reach a consensus on which candidates we support, and send the list of names to Mayor Breed. This will give her a pool of candidates who have a degree of community support,” said Siva. 

Siva said Recall SF School Board will also consult with its organizers and City voters to determine whether the organization wants to recall the remaining four Board members. 

“Our current priorities are to get the Board to address learning loss and encourage families to return to and remain in the City, which will stabilize SFUSD’s budget. We also want to choose a good superintendent who will serve for the next five to seven years,” said Siva.

Looijen said Recall SF School Board is proud that organizers and voters from across the political spectrum collaborated on the recall effort. 

“What started out as a group of parents brought together people who ordinarily wouldn’t talk to one another. I think this achievement bodes well for the City,” said Looijen.