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San Francisco residents overwhelmingly approved a vote Tuesday to recall three members of the city’s school board, election officials said.
Critics, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed, have argued that members – School Board President Gabriela Lopez, Vice President Fauga Maligo and Commissioner Alison Collins – are pushing for progressive policies rather than acting in the best interests of children during the pandemic. , according to the San Francisco Department of Elections.
“The city’s voters have made it clear that the school board should focus on the basic principles of ensuring a well-run school system first and foremost,” Breed said in a statement after the vote. “San Francisco is a city that believes in the value of great ideas, but those ideas need to be built on a government that does the essentials well.”
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In San Francisco, one of the country’s most liberal cities, Democrats disagreed over the recall.
The mayor, who is now in charge of appointing new board members to fill vacancies before the next election in November, also praised the parents who initiated the effort.
“Parents fought for the most important thing – their children,” she said.
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Opponents of the recall called it a waste of time and money, but enough San Francisco residents attempted a recall in January 2021, arguing that school board members had poorly chosen priorities that included renaming 44 schools but slowly opening district schools. which were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The city of San Francisco has risen and said it is unacceptable to put our children last,” said Siva Raj, the father who helped start the recall attempt. “The conversation will not educate our children, it is an action. It’s not about symbolic actions, it’s not about changing the name of the school, it’s about helping the children in the school building to read and learn math. “
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Collins, Lopez and Maliga have consistently defended themselves, arguing that their record shows that they are doing what they were elected to do.
The recall began in January 2021 after the council voted to rename 44 schools that honored Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and U.S. Senator Diana Feinstein, public figures who the council said were linked to racism and sexism. This plan was subsequently criticized for historical inaccuracies, and the school board eventually abandoned it.
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Collins was again criticized after re-emerging tweets she wrote in 2016 that critics said were racist. Collins said the tweets were taken out of context, refused to remove them, and then sued the district and her colleagues for $ 87 million. The lawsuit was denied.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.