September 30, 2016

September 30, 2016

Michelle Parker
President, SF Parent PAC


San Francisco — The San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (SF Parent PAC) endorsed local small business owner and parent, Marjan Philhour, for District 1 Supervisor this week.

Marjan has two decades of experience in public service at all levels: local, state, and national. Marjan’s parents immigrated to the United States from Iran and the Philippines; she was born in the Richmond District at the French Hospital on Geary at 5th Avenue and grew up in the Bay Area. She returned to the Richmond District a decade ago and is raising her three young children here.

marjan-headshotMarjan supports building more housing for middle class families in the Richmond, is a strong supporter of high quality and affordable Rec and Park programs for families, and supports transitioning the homeless to permanent housing, not tents. She also believes it should be the highest priority of a supervisor to serve their constituents. SF Parent PAC President Michelle Parker stated, “In addition to her overwhelming qualifications and experience for this job, as a mother choosing to raise her children in San Francisco, it is obvious that Marjan has a deep interest and investment in making sure the Richmond District, and the city, are family friendly. Please join me in voting for Marjan Philhour for District 1 Supervisor on November 8th.”

Learn more about Marjan at http://www.votemarjan.com/

About the San Francisco Parent PAC
Founded by and for San Francisco parents in 2010, San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (PAC) is committed to giving parents a voice in the political process to positively impact the lives of all San Francisco families. San Francisco Parent PAC supports and promotes city candidates, measures and policies that will most effectively:

  1. Ensure high quality education for every child in every neighborhood;
  2. Increase access to affordable youth programs that support working families and enrich the lives of our children; and
  3. Sustain healthy, safe and vibrant communities citywide.



SF Parent PAC in the Examiner, plus we have videos!

September 7, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

Have you seen our new videos yet? The SF Parent PAC launched a YouTube channel last week that includes videos of our interviews with each candidate running for school board this November.

Over the next few weeks you’ll see new videos added regularly until each of the nine people running for school board has six or seven two-minute videos in the collection to help you understand who they are and what their priorities would be if elected to office later this fall.

The videos are super short because we know you’re busy, and two minutes at a time might be all you’ve got between helping kids with homework and making dinner.

The questions we asked each candidate are (that are each answered in separate videos):

  1. What do you want to spearhead in the first 6 months, if you are elected? Be specific.

  2. What is one intractable problem that you see in education in San Francisco that you either 1) have a concept on how to approach, and/or 2) that you want to address. What would be the concrete steps that you would take to fix it?

  3. Math. What do you think?

  4. What are you going to do to increase teacher compensation?

  5. How would you modify, if at all, how PEEF and QTEA funding is allocated?

  6. How do you make decisions? For example, on what policies to support and/or propose or what to spend your time on or who to listen to.

  7. (Incumbents only) What value have you brought to the school board thus far in your tenure? Why should voters support you again?

Last week we shared several of Jill Wynn’s videos on our Facebook page, and this week we are spotlighting Trevor McNeil.

The other thing we wanted to make sure you saw was the San Francisco Examiner’s recent article about school board elections in which they called the SF Parent PAC …”one of the leading voices in the school board race.” Didn’t get a chance to read it yet? You’re in luck! Here’s the link.

Since it is election season you’ll be hearing from us a little more regularly by email and on this website. We’ll be sharing more info about candidates and announcing our recommendations on several ballot measures, too, so stay tuned! Know of anyone else in your life who like some help navigating the ballot this year? Send them to our webpage to sign up for our mailing list. And if you don’t already follow us on Facebook, you can like that page right here.

Until next time!


SF Parent PAC November 2016 School Board Endorsements

August 28, 2016


We are happy to announce the San Francisco Parent PAC’s endorsements for school board and community college board for the November 2016 election.

Board of Education:
Matt Haney
Trevor McNeil
Rachel Norton
Jill Wynns

Community College Board:
Amy Bacharach
Rafael Mandelman
Alex Randolph

Board of Education
The SF Parent PAC does in-depth interviews and vetting to determine who the strongest school board candidates are each election cycle. This year we had an outstanding pool of candidates to choose from. We also decided to try something new in our research process. Instead of having candidates complete our regular dissertation – er – questionnaire, we recorded videos of them answering several questions. We will be posting these videos on Facebook, our new YouTube channel, and our website over the coming weeks. These will be posted for all candidates who interviewed with us, which we hope you find helpful in getting to know where they all stand on critical issues facing our district.

Although we don’t agree with any of the incumbents all of the time (see our post last week regarding the teacher shortage), we felt they have each demonstrated a willingness to listen, consider various points of view, and work hard. We feel confident that on last week’s issue, and on others, that they are the more than capable of identifying solutions to the challenges our students and school communities face, and being held accountable to the communities they serve. Matt Haney has been particularly good at incorporating the long underrepresented student voice in district decisions, leading efforts such as Safe and Supportive Schools. Rachel Norton has been an excellent communicator with parents through her regular blog, as well as a great advocate for students with special needs. Jill Wynns has a stellar record as an advocate at the state level for district needs and understands education finance better than almost anyone we know.

Trevor McNeil is a teacher – a voice we desperately need to see represented on the school board. He has some fresh ideas around teacher retention, and as a new parent and SF resident, is especially invested in making sure the district is a place he’ll feel confident sending his own daughter. You may remember his name; he ran two years ago and came very close to winning. Since then he has stayed engaged and aware of the issues.

The common threads throughout all our interviews this year, and issues we’d like these candidates to consider and do something to address are:

  • Include parents in the search for a new Superintendent in an authentic way. No window dressing here. We want to see the search committee finds ways to have parents weigh in on the qualities our next leader should have in order to effectively communicate with and partner with families, and help our children be successful.
  • Attract and retain middle class families in SFUSD. Economically diverse schools help all students. When we show all families that we care about their child’s success and that there is a place for them to thrive, everybody wins.
  • Academic excellence. This phrase isn’t heard often enough around here. Every child has the potential for greatness, and the supports and expectations should be set for all children to reach it. One thing we say often is, the one thing no parent wants is for the school district to be what stands between their child and success – no matter what success looks like for that child, be it trade school, an engineering degree, or a job right out of high school.

Community College Board
San Francisco has heard more about community college over the past four years than we heard for decades before that! The institution has been through a lot recently with regards to accreditation and financial issues, and the current board has done an outstanding job tackling these issues and working to strengthen the college’s ability to support current and future students. Amy Bacharach, Rafael Mandelman, and Alex Randolph have been part of the board during this challenging time and we need each of them to continue doing the good work for the next four years.

We respectfully ask you to consider voting for each of these candidates on November 8!



38 Teachers Needed

August 16, 2016

Welcome back to school!  I hope the first day of school was a good one for your children and family.

As most students were settling into their freshly decorated classrooms yesterday, getting to know their fellow classmates and new teacher, students in almost 40 SFUSD classrooms were greeted by a temporary instructor. Unfortunately, the school district is scrambling to find long-term substitutes or permanent replacements for these students. But until that happens, these students will be in a state of limbo — not knowing what adult will be leading their class day to day.

The teacher shortage is nothing new, in fact, as the Chronicle reported yesterday, there are half as many people in teacher credentialing programs now versus in 2008. Our teacher supply is at a 12-year low. And the actions of the Board of Education in May did not help matters. Our school board decided to take another look at where we get our teachers and became focused on the district’s contract with Teach for America (TFA), which they decided not to renew for the 2016-2017 school year. TFA has been providing young, enthusiastic (and inexperienced) teachers predominantly to schools that serve underserved communities — and would have provided about 15 teachers this year. The Board of Education chose not to renew this contract — without having a full compliment of full-time teachers confirmed to be ready for the first day of school. This was a short sighted decision by the Board of Education that has negatively impacted hundreds of students.

The SF Parent PAC believes that our district leadership should have done everything in their power to make sure San Francisco’s public schools had permanent teachers in every classroom on the first day of school to greet our students and guide them through the rest of the year. If the Board of Education was not confident this could be accomplished, extending the TFA contract would have helped alleviate this problem.

We will be watching to see how this situation is handled by the district’s leadership, hoping that the resilience of our children carries them through the instability they may experience for a time until the right people are in front of their classrooms.

I wish you and your children a rich and engaging school year. You’ll hear from us again soon!

Michelle Parker, President

San Francisco Parent PAC



SF Parent PAC Recommends Prop B and Scott Wiener on June 7, 2016

May 22, 2016

The SF Parent PAC felt it important to weigh in on two ballot items for June: Prop B (the measure ensuring funds for San Francisco’s parks and recreation programs) and the State Senate race. There is information about our position on Prop B in the last post, and below you will see why we support Supervisor Wiener as the next State Senator for San Francisco.


1. Education – Scott has been a great ally in SF for the public schools, actively supporting them the entire time he has served on the BOS. For example, he has supported increased city funding toward SFUSD and supported parents when 8th grade algebra was eliminated (even when Superintendent Carranza suggested he stay out of it).

Scott also supports:
* Increase state funding for schools, and understands the need to protect Prop 98 and not treat it as a floor.
* Expand after-school programs (added support for kids is necessary, and supports working parents).
* Universal preschool and increased child care options.
* Support for STEM
* Long-time supporter of Safe Routes to School and pedestrian safety investments
* Support for more paraprofessional positions in schools, as well as all the critical support roles like nurses, counselors, etc.
* Supports a school assignment system that allows people to attend neighborhood schools.
* Support for bilingual and immersion programs, English-learning programs, and support for communities to maintain cultural traditions.

2. Children’s (and adult!) Health – Scott authored a resolution putting SF on record in support of SB277, which requires vaccinations for kids to go to public school. Scott also sponsored the soda tax in 2014, which would have dedicated nearly $20 million annually to school lunch, p.e. and parks programs. He also secured funding for water bottle filling stations at schools.

He also supports:
* Paid parental leave (SF recently passed his legislation allowing 6 weeks fully-paid)
* Increasing legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 (recently passed)
* More sugary beverage legislation, including labeling

3. Public Space – Scott has long supported our parks through helping pass the 2012 parks bond, helping make the Noe Valley Town Square a reality, and establishing uniform closing hours for the parks to reduce vandalism.

4. Housing – Scott has authored many smart policies to address the affordability issues here in SF, and understands the law of supply and demand. He believes in three approaches to address our housing needs: 1) Encouraging smart approaches to housing creation, 2) Building more affordable housing more quickly, and 3) Ensuring housing stability for existing residents.

Some of the things he’s done: make it easier to build BMR housing by exempting them from conditional use authorizations, incentivize more affordable housing by not making it count against unit density rates (when 20% of project is affordable), allowing new in-law units, enforce short-term rental oversight hearings, more housing along transit corridors, more student housing, helping displace tenants, allow more flexibility in kinds of housing we build (small and big), increasing supply of moderate income housing, and more!

5. Transportation – Scott authored Prop B to tie transportation funding to population growth in 2014. He has done much to improve pedestrian safety. And much more! (I’m getting tired of typing all the things he does – how does he have time to research and then do them?!)

Obviously, he has done much more than what is listed here, and has many more plans for Sacramento once he gets there. This is just a few quick points directly relating to kids and families.

Finally, Scott has been an incredible supporter of parents and our right to contribute our voice and influence to all conversations and decisions related to families. He is as relentless and hard-working as anyone we have ever seen. He is very good at finding shared issues with colleagues to work on together, even when that issue might be the only thing they have in common. His door is always open; he will listen to anything you have to say and have a reasonable conversation about it. He is also never afraid to stand up for the things he believes in.

It is because of all of these reasons that the Parent PAC believes Supervisor Scott Wiener will be effective in Sacramento, and a tremendous representative for San Francisco.


San Francisco PTA unanimously supports Prop B

May 18, 2016

Yes on B

By a unanimous vote Monday night, the San Francisco PTA joined the San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee in endorsing Prop B–the Rec and Park funding measure on the June ballot.

The SFPTA expressly stated the support SF Rec and Parks provides for public school children via after school programs and summer camps.

Furthermore, the SFPTA pointed out the widespread support for Prop B from Nancy Pelosi, Jackie Speier, Mark Leno, David Chiu, Phil Ting, nine Board of Supervisors and the unanimous support of the Board of Education

If you are interested in learning more about Prop B, check out its website at protectsfparks.com


San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee Endorses June 2016’s Prop B: Increasing Funding for San Francisco Parks, Playgrounds, and Open Space.

April 7, 2016

For Immediate Release

Michelle Parker, President, SF Parent PAC

San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee Endorses June 2016’s Prop B: Increasing Funding for San Francisco Parks, Playgrounds, and Open Space.

April 8, 2016 (San Francisco, CA) – The San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (SF Parent PAC) is proud to announce its support of Proposition B, a charter amendment on the June 2016 ballot that provides new, sustainable funding for our parks, playgrounds and open space for the next 30 years.

“This measure attempts to right-size the long underfunded Recreation and Parks Department to both align with the intentions of the Open Space Fund that was established in in 2002, and to better serve the families and citizens of San Francisco,” said Michelle Parker, President of the SF Parent PAC. “Families all over the city rely on the parks and incredible programs our parks department provide every day of the year. Prop B will allow the department to focus on maintaining and improving those spaces and recreation centers, and allow the Department to more quickly address the backlog of deferred maintenance across the city’s park system.”

Prop B would provide new funds to the Recreation and Parks Department by gradually increasing the 2015-2016 established baseline allocation from San Francisco’s general fund, and continuing to increase the baseline over the next 10 years, without raising taxes. This will provide predictable and sustainable funding for the remaining 20 years of the fund’s duration.

Additionally, for the first time ever, the measure would require that the Recreation and Parks Department’s Strategic, Capital Expenditure, and Operational Plans include an equity analysis based on metrics comparing existing Recreation and Park services and resources in underserved communities with services and resources in the City as a whole. The plans would have to include strategies to address the findings of the analysis. These annual plans, including the equity report, would be presented to the Recreation and Parks Commission and Board of Supervisors. The SF Parent PAC encourages transparency and accountability measures such as these and looks forward to learning about the findings each year.

“As a father of three, I appreciate and applaud the Parent PAC’s tireless advocacy to make San Francisco a better place for all families and children. Proposition B will improve all parks in every neighborhood for all of San Francisco children and families – I am honored to have the Parent PAC’s support of Proposition B,” stated Supervisor Mark Farrell, sponsor of the measure.


About the San Francisco Parent PAC
Founded by and for San Francisco parents in 2010, San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (PAC) is committed to giving parents a voice in the political process to positively impact the lives of all San Francisco families.  San Francisco Parent PAC supports and promotes city candidates, measures and policies that will most effectively:

  1. Ensure high quality education for every child in every neighborhood;
  2. Increase access to affordable youth programs that support working families and enrich the lives of our children; and
  3. Sustain healthy, safe and vibrant communities citywide.