School Board Recall Special Edition

Grow SF outlines what you need to know

Will Alison Collins Get Away With Her Anti-Asian Tweets?

Thousands of residents signed an online petition calling for School Board Commissioner Alison Collins to resign when her racist tweets targeting Asian Americans resurfaced in March.

But Collins knows that online petitions carry no legal weight.

That’s why she refused to resign and did little to apologize. She just doubled down on her efforts to bully educators and rename schools while refusing to reopen them. Faced with censure for her anti-Asian tweets, she sued the school district for $87 million (when our schools already have a $169 million deficit).

If you want to see Collins removed from the school board, the only way is by recall. And a recall petition must be physically signed with pen on paper.

If you signed an online petition to get rid of Alison Collins, here are the ways you can sign a paper petition that will legally count:

Be sure to sign a paper recall petition ASAP. The deadline is September 7.

The Case for Recalling the School Board

If you need a reminder on why we must recall School Board Commissioners Alison Collins, Faauuga Moliga, and Gabriela Lopez, here’s what they did:

  • Fired top administrators not in line with the school board’s ideology, which created instability and left a vacuum of expertise that made navigating the pandemic even more difficult.

  • Refused to hire a consultant to create a plan for reopening schools.

  • Chose to rename schools with a flawed process before making any plans to reopen schools.

  • Ended merit-based admission at one of the nation’s top high schools rather than focus on reopening high schools or creating more high schools with high academic standards.

Click here to read the full case for recalling the school board. It lays out the argument point-by-point.

The greatest indictment against the school board is that it neglected its core job: Getting students safely back into classrooms to avoid the harmful learning loss and mental health stress of being isolated at home on Zoom for more than a year.

And we can’t forget that the school board didn’t bother to start planning to reopen schools in earnest or back off its school renaming debacle until faced with lawsuits, recalls, and protests from frustrated and exhausted parents.

School Board Recall Down to the Wire

There won’t be a school board recall in San Francisco if organizers can’t get 52,000 valid signatures by September 7.

They have 50,000 so far. But they really need 70,000 to ensure a validity rate that qualifies for the ballot (up to 30 percent of signatures are typically thrown out by the Dept. of Elections as duplicates, non-residents, or not registered voters).

That means we must collect 20,000 more signatures before September 7.

If you object to school board Commissioner Alison Collins bullying educators, tweeting racist remarks about Asian Americans, pushing to rename schools while refusing to safely reopen them, and suing the school district for $87 million — imagine how emboldened she will be if the recall fails.

Here’s what you must do ASAP to ensure the recall can move forward:

See Where Burglaries Have Spiked in San Francisco

This interactive map shows where burglaries increased in San Francisco during the pandemic. Click to see your neighborhood.

Officials keep saying “overall” crime is down in San Francisco. Yet residents say they don’t feel safe. What’s the disconnect? We had 30,000 car break-ins annually before the tourists left. The car break-ins turned into home burglaries, which are much more personal and scary.

Take 30,000 car break-ins out of the equation and you’ll get a lower overall crime number. But does it matter when your home is being broken into?

Op-ed: COVID changed San Francisco. Muni needs to adapt

While the city has been recovering from the pandemic, debate has been ongoing about how Muni should restore transit service. The pandemic made SFMTA’s long-standing financial troubles worse, and SFMTA Director Tumlin is trying to bring service back sustainably. Meanwhile, he commissioned a study of what a more efficient post-COVID Muni network might look like, both with and without additional funding.

In a compelling op-ed, Mike Chen argues that we should take this opportunity to rebuild Muni to be faster, more reliable, and better adapted to post-COVID travel patterns, rather than just reaching for exactly what we had before.

As Mike wrote: “We should not cling to a dysfunctional past, but instead reinvent Muni to meet the challenges of our new times”. We agree.

Great Highway closing to pedestrians and reopening to cars on weekdays

The Great Highway was closed to cars in April 2020 to allow more space for social distancing. Since then, it’s become the second-most-used open space in San Francisco. The last the public heard, the Great Highway was going to stay closed to cars during a public outreach process throughout 2021 to determine whether it would stay closed to cars permanently.

Instead, Supervisor Mar, who has been vocally opposed to keeping the Great Highway as a permanent open-space, convinced the Mayor to indefinitely re-open it to cars on weekdays, starting August 16th. Heather Knight writes about the sudden decision to close a “pedestrian 'paradise'” and return the Great Highway to cars in the midst of a renewed need for social distancing due to the delta variant.


Your Action Plan

Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:

Learn Your San Francisco Politics

Ever wonder why San Francisco is the way it is? Find out with the SF Politics 101 webinar. It provides an entertaining look at the history that shaped San Francisco, while explaining how City Hall and local politics work.

Tuesday August 17
7pm
Click here to register

Learn about San Francisco’s journey from the Gold Rush to tech backlash — and every twist in between. The webinar is brought to life with photos and narrative storytelling. It’s designed for all residents new and old who want to better understand the city they love.

Reviews:

  • "Really, really well-done. Thoughtful and balanced with good humor. Increasing rarity these days." — Diane P.

  • "Huge praise for a clear explanation of San Francisco history, politics, and our shades of blue.” — Tim S.

  • "I appreciated the depth of knowledge, cogent presentation, and reasoned responses to questions.” — Jason J.

  • "Awesome presentation! What a great use of an hour.” — Sanjay J.

  • “It was a lot more interesting and entertaining than I expected!” — Amy T.


Fun in SF

Check out some of our favorite fun activities happening in SF right now:

Eat All The Things


Topical Tweets

Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:

What would the Golden Gate Bridge look like if we removed cars? Looks good to us!

We’re unfortunately going to get some smoke in the Bay Area soon. Check out this Twitter account to know what to expect. If you aren’t already stocked up on N95 masks and air filters, do that now!