If you’re frustrated or outraged by San Francisco's school board and wish there was a recall, one group has finally emerged as the vehicle to channel all the recall energy into action. Learn more: engardio.com/blog/school-bo… 1/23
A group of public school parents filed paperwork with the Secretary of State on February 19 to launch the Committee to Support the Recall of Board of Education Commissioners López, Collins, and Moliga. 2/23
The recall website’s cover photo perfectly explains why parents are pursuing a recall. Join here: recallsfschoolboard.org 3/23
Kids are in Zoom meltdown because the school board supports a deeply flawed school renaming process, dismantles a nationally-rated high school, and says a gay dad isn’t diverse enough to serve on a volunteer committee — while refusing to prioritize safe reopening of schools. 4/23
Here are the ways you can help the recall: Be one of the 30 people whose name will appear on the Notice of Intention that will be delivered to each school board member facing recall. 5/23
This goes beyond simply signing a petition. Law requires a recall have 30 San Francisco voters serve as official sponsors on public record. Your name and address will be on file at City Hall and your name will appear on every petition that is signed. 6/23
This is a role for residents who feel strongly about the recall and want to have their name prominently affixed to the declaration. Organizers are seeking a diverse range of signatories. If you want play this role, send an email to: recallsfschoolboard@gmail.com 7/23
Be one of 70,000 people to sign each recall petition. You will sign three petitions because there must be a separate petition for each school board member facing recall. Commissioners Lopez, Collins, and Moliga are the three school board members currently eligible for recall.8/23
Sign up here to get information on when and how to sign a petition: recallsfschoolboard.org 9/23
Who is behind the recall? Autumn Looijen and Siva Raj @recallsfboe are the recall organizers and leaders with the stated goal “to get politics out of education.” 10/23
Autumn and Siva are a couple in a blended family. They are a veritable “Brady Bunch” with five kids between them (three of hers and two of his). They are not affiliated with any political machine. “We are parents, not politicians, and intend to stay that way,” Siva said. 11/23
Autumn has been both a stay at home parent and a working mom. Siva is an immigrant from India. They both work in tech and built an app to help their kids stay on track of their school assignments while distance learning in the pandemic. 12/23
Now, they are going to make the app open source so they can focus full-time on the school board recall. Autumn and Siva know that recalls are hard. It’s been nearly 40 years since a recall obtained enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in San Francisco. 13/23
The 1983 recall of then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein failed. See my earlier blog post that outlines all the hurdles of a recall: engardio.com/blog/recall 14/23
Autumn and Siva aren’t daunted. They both have startup experience and want to bring that mindset to a recall campaign. They want to use innovation to overcome the hurdles past recall efforts faced. 15/23
They have the extra burden of collecting 70,000 signatures times three school board members that must be pen-on-paper during a pandemic. Yet they have some creative ideas to make it happen. 16/23
“We want to model the behaviors we are asking of the board, so this campaign will be run with transparency,” Autumn said. “We intend to keep the community informed of our plans and progress.” Both will be blogging about the campaign. 17/23
Beyond a recall, what are other groups doing? First, it’s important to note that the filing of a recall committee reported by local journalist Joe Eskenazi @esksf is not related to Autumn and Siva’s parent-led recall committee. 18/23
The committee Eskenazi highlighted in his news report is not active. It was filed by one person as a placeholder in search of a group wanting to use it. Autumn and Siva have filed their own committee, which is not connected to any political figure, party, or machine. 19/23
Families for San Francisco @familiesforsf announced a PAC called Better Public Schools. It’s not recall-focused. It’s mission is to “demand equity and excellence” while “mobilizing and organizing for better public schools.” They are looking at long term structural change. 20/23
Since a recall may not succeed, they want to look at options such as a charter amendment to change how the school board is formed. They also want to support a slate of candidates to replace the incumbents in the November 2022 election. 21/23
Decreasing the Distance @sf_dtd is a group of parents focused on the immediate need of safely reopening schools. 22/23
Stay updated with my special newsletter focused on school board reform. Sign up here: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAI… 23/23

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More from @JoelEngardio

1 Feb
Are you frustrated by the way San Francisco’s public schools are run but don’t know what to do about it? I’ve heard from many people who are upset that the school board seems more focused on renaming schools than safely reopening them. 1/35
Parents want to know if the school board can be recalled. Or if we can stop electing the school board in a low information/low turnout race and let the mayor appoint competent school commissioners. I put together a 101 explainer with pros and cons. 2/35 engardio.com/blog/recall
When school board members recently debated appropriate school names, it took seven hours to bring up what should be the only topic of every meeting: how to better teach students in a pandemic. 3/35
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