The three school board members all have their say over being ousted in Tuesday’s recall vote, and soon-to-be-former board president Gabriela Lopez is saying the recall targeted “people of color, primarily women of color.”
Tuesday’s landslide recall of three SF school board members was not a surprise, considering the recall movement had an astronomical 23-1 advantage in financial contributions. But the armchair pundits of the national media are bizarrely obsessing over one local school board election, with Fox News declaring “a red wave is coming, and it will be the coup de grace to the entire Democrat agenda,” and Axios proclaiming “Squad politics backfire” and “The latest sign of the backlash was the landslide (70%+) recall this week of three San Francisco school board members.”
San Francisco voters spoke decisively alright on Tuesday — that they did not give a shit about this election. It was the lowest turnout in 13 years, with only 26% of registered voters voting. Yes, all three were voted out by about a 75% margin. But for context, 75% of San Franciscans didn’t care enough to vote.
The three recalled members are not going quietly. Each gave KRON4 post-election statements that are long on combativeness but short on next steps.
This is the narrative being advanced across the country, and in SF. pic.twitter.com/wIOODGdlkJ— Alison Collins 高勵思 (@AliMCollins) February 18, 2022
“I am not going to stop being here. I am not going to stop being involved,” said definitely the most controversial board member Alison Collins. “I am concerned that there will be folks who will want to roll back some of the work that we have done and in effect erase the voice of parents and student volunteers who worked really hard over decades to get some of these changes made, and all of the resolutions that people have cited as, distractions, were actually authored by those communities.”
“But it’s NOT about race!” …— Commissioner Gabriela López 🇲🇽 (@lopez4schools) February 17, 2022
I know some people were hurt and feel there was a victory, but so do these people. That is my point. pic.twitter.com/aMPMr9wBVF
Meanwhile, recalled board president Gabriela Lopez declared that “None of this is a surprise. We’ve been threatened of a recall, maybe even six months into our term because of what we were highlighting. What we were bringing up. What we were challenging. The issue that I am pointing to is when that comes from people of color, primarily women of color, that is enough of a problem to silence us. How they achieved that was through a recall.”
Thank you everyone, it has truly been an honor 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/gcDXgjs9K1— Faauuga Moliga (@FaauugaMoliga) February 16, 2022
Only commissioner Commissioner Faauuga Moliga took the gracious high road, but of course he’s also resigned effective immediately. “I look forward to refocusing on my family and continuing to serve my community,” Moliga said in his statement. “I didn’t take any day for granted. I feel very grateful for the contributions I’ve made and I’m proud of the work we’ve done to support Pacific Islanders.”
In other recall fallout, the SF Standard reports that the search for a new superintendent will be delayed until new board members have been appointed. Mayor Breed is expected to appoint new members in March.
Image: Recall School Board Members mailer, Joe Kukura, SFist