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San Francisco Parents Support More Housing For Families and Teachers

May 4, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2017

Contact:
Michelle Parker, President, SF Parent PAC
415/260-8572, michdparker@gmail.com

SAN FRANCISCO PARENTS SUPPORT MORE HOUSING FOR FAMILIES AND TEACHERS

San Francisco, CA — The San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee announced its support this week for Supervisors Katy Tang’s and Ahsha Safai’s proposed legislation, HOME SF. “Creating opportunities for families and teachers to live in San Francisco will increase the quality of life for all and help our city thrive,” said Parent PAC President Michelle Parker, “and HOME SF does more to increase housing opportunities for middle income residents than any policy in recent memory.”

HOME SF incentivizes more middle income housing in parts of the city well served by parks and transit by upzoning commercial and transit corridors, particularly on the west side of the city, and will require 30 percent on-site permanently affordable housing, which will serve families of four with incomes between 55% and 140% AMI (approx. $63,400-$161,4000/yr). Forty percent of these homes must be family friendly with two or more bedrooms included.

After building virtually no middle income housing over the past 30 years, San Francisco is currently at a mere 15 percent of its own middle-income housing goals. HOME SF helps the city increase that number over the next 20 years, enabling teachers, firefighters, non-profit sector workers, and others a way to afford living here.

HOME SF will go before San Francisco’s Land Use Committee on Monday, May 8 before being voted on by the full Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, May 16.

 

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:

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

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MAYOR LEE APPOINTS SF PARENT PAC BOARD MEMBER JEFF SHEEHY AS NEW DISTRICT 8 SUPERVISOR

January 7, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2017

Contact:
Michelle Parker
President, SF Parent PAC
415-260-8572
michdparker@gmail.com

MAYOR LEE APPOINTS SF PARENT PAC BOARD MEMBER JEFF SHEEHY AS NEW DISTRICT 8 SUPERVISOR

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San Francisco — Mayor Ed Lee announced his appointment Friday morning, January 6, to fill the District 8 Supervisor seat vacated by Scott Wiener when he was elected to the State Senate in November 2016 as Jeff Sheehy. Sheehy, a member of the San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee steering committee, is a longtime HIV/AIDS and LGBT civil rights activist and a person living with HIV. He was also the HIV/AIDS advisor to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Sheehy is a founding member of the Steering Committee of San Francisco’s Getting to Zero Consortium, which aims to make the City the first municipality to achieve the UNAIDS goals of zero new infections, zero HIV deaths and zero HIV stigma.  He also serves on the Industry Collaboration Group of the International AIDS Society’s Towards an HIV Cure project. Sheehy has served on the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine since its inception and is leaving his position as director for communications at the UCSF AIDS Research Institute to take on this Supervisor role.

Jeff and his partner have a daughter in San Francisco public schools. He made it clear that he prioritizes great children and family policy during the announcement made by Mayor Ed Lee Friday saying, “…If we don’t do right by our kids, we’re not creating the right future for this city.” Senator Scott Wiener said of the appointment, “Jeff will be a great advocate for San Francisco’s families.  As a public school parent and advocate, Jeff understands the challenges families face in San Francisco.  Jeff is committed to a robust and outstanding public school system, high quality Rec and Park programs, and middle class affordability.”

Sheehy will be sworn in at a ceremony in City Hall Sunday and begins his new job on Monday.

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.

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SAN FRANCISCO PARENT PAC ENDORSES MARJAN PHILHOUR FOR DISTRICT 1 SUPERVISOR

September 30, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2016

Contact:
Michelle Parker
President, SF Parent PAC
michdparker@gmail.com
415-260-8572

SAN FRANCISCO PARENT PAC ENDORSES MARJAN PHILHOUR FOR
DISTRICT 1 SUPERVISOR

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.

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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!

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SF Parent PAC November 2016 School Board Endorsements

August 28, 2016

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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!

 

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38 Teachers Needed

August 16, 2016

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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

 

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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.

 

THE RATIONALE
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.