Last month, Recall San Francisco School Board turned in what appears to be a sufficient number of signatures to trigger an election to unseat San Francisco School Board President Gabriela López, Board Vice President Fauuga Moliga, and Commissioner Alison Collins. The campaign needed 51,325 autographs, 10 percent of registered voters, per candidate; it submitted 81,300 for López, 81,200 for Collins, and 77,700 for Moliga. Autumn Looijen and Siva Raj, Recall San Francisco School Board founders, led the signature collection effort, with support from the Chinese American Democratic Club. “We had nearly 1,000 volunteers across the City and they’re the real power behind this movement,” said Raj. “They collected 40 percent of the signatures and asked us to bring in paid signature gatherers to finish the job. We ran the whole campaign for under $600,000.” “We sent signature gatherers to street fairs, farmers markets, bus stops, and supermarkets. It was tricky to collect signatures during a pandemic. Our volunteers asked people to bring petitions to their friends, family, and neighbors,” said Looijen.
Recall San Francisco School Board is now identifying candidates to replace the three members targeted to be recalled. “We’re going to run an open process where we ask candidates how they would handle the most difficult problems facing our school district…post their answers on the internet and have the community vote,” said Raj. “This campaign is personal for us and for thousands of families in the school district. Our children deserve amazing schools. We’re looking for leaders who can help make that happen.” The San Francisco Department of Elections has until the first week of October to verify the signatures.
Farley’s free annual Halloween pet parade and costume contest returns at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 30, starting at 18th and Arkansas streets. Roughly 100 entrants are expected. Participants will process to Texas Street to be judged. “Afterwards, we’ll have live music on the parklet until 3 p.m. The partial closure of 18th Street through the City’s Shared Spaces program makes it easier for more people to socially distance,” said Chris Hillyard, Farley’s co-owner. Any animal can participate; past entrants included dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, iguanas, and goldfish. Throughout October Farley’s will vend its seasonal apple cider and pet-themed merchandise, such as dog collars, bandanas, and treats. Rose Shattuck, founder of The Foggy Dog, a Mission-based business, has partnered with the cafe to sell two Halloween bandanas and several other fall flannel bandana styles. “We love working with local small businesses like Farley’s to drive recognition. It’s amazing to see our stuff on San Francisco dog owners, partly because the City is such a great place for dogs,” said Shattuck. “For years, I used to participate with Mookie, my Rhodesian Ridgeback. This type of event is very much needed. It allows people to come together in a safe way and be less isolated,” said J.P. Morgan, a Missouri Street resident. Maggie Pinzuti’s companion, Blue, a Kelpie miniature pinscher, winner of the 2020 contest, said she’ll return this year. “Last year, he was the Pope. This year, he has a throne to defend,” said Pinzuti, who advises new entrants to get used to wearing a costume earlier than event day. She recommended practicing walking in the middle of the street and choosing sizes a bit small. “Farley’s has been a bright spot when things were pretty dark. Just seeing Amy and Chris’s friendly faces has meant a lot during the pandemic,” said Pinzuti.
San Francisco is joining a handful of other cities that host an Institute of Contemporary Art, ICAs, known for being experimental and without permanent collections. Ali Gass, formerly head of ICA San Jose and the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, has raised $2.5 million to start the Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco, located at 901 Minnesota Street, already home to a cluster of studios and galleries. ICA SF will showcase emerging Bay Area artists “who are ready for national and international attention,” Gass said, as well as exhibit more established artists. “Starting an institution from scratch allows us to think deeply about contemporary art as a navigation tool for local and global issues,” she said, citing the extreme wealth disparity in San Francisco as one example of an issue that artists could explore. The art collectors Andy and Deborah Rappaport, who founded the Minnesota Street Project gallery complex in Dogpatch, are ICA SF’s lead funders. In addition to making a million-dollar donation, through the Minnesota Street Project Foundation they’re underwriting a 15-year lease for the museum’s building, an 11,000-square-foot space that used to host kids’ birthday parties as My Gym. Other donors include Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger and his wife, Kaitlyn Trigger; Reach Capital partner Wayee Chu and her husband, Ethan Beard; and the Kindred Ventures partner Kanyi Maqubela and his wife, Martha Muña. The museum will be open free to the public by fall of 2022, with a preview of the space in January during the FOG Design+Art Fair.
In September, roughly five months after the election, contested ballots cast by Dandelion Chocolate workers voting whether to unionize under International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 6 were counted by the National Labor Relation Board. The outcome: 20 votes in favor of unionizing, 19 against. The final tally came following claims that several ballots were filled out by ineligible individuals, such as managers.