SF Board of Education Endorsements for November 6, 2018 Election

October 14, 2018
The SF Parent PAC is excited to announce our full endorsements for Board of Education: 
Michelle Parker (early endorsed) brings a depth and breadth of experience in San Francisco’s public schools that is truly unmatched by any first-time candidate for school board. Her 13+ years of leadership in her children’s schools, district-wide PTA, district community advisory committees, local bond and funding measure campaigns, and spending oversight committees makes Michelle the most qualified candidate for school board that we have ever considered. She will immediately put her knowledge and experience to work for San Francisco’s children.
Michelle is committed to every child’s success in our schools. She is a bridge builder and a collaborator, and anyone who has worked with her knows she works for results, not ego. Finally, as a public school parent herself, she knows how the district has fallen down on partnering with parents. Michelle is committed to holding the district accountable for both accurate and timely communication and meaningful parental involvement.
PhilKim impressed us with his background as an educator and STEM curriculum expert. Phil has developed, tested and rolled out an elementary level STEM curriculum nationwide; he knows what it takes to create outcomes. Preparing SFUSD students for the 21st century jobs that will be available in SF is something Phil will champion. As well, Phil believes that teaching and learning are the most important elements for success in education, but not enough attention is devoted to them. We welcome Phil’s knowledgable voice on the Board on this topic. Finally, this is Phil’s second campaign for school board and we were pleased to see that he not only stayed involved since his last run (many don’t), but actually deepened and developed his commitment. 
John Trasvina impressed us with his broad and deep leadership experience. 
Until recently he served as Dean of the Law School at USF, and the job of running a school will give John a wealth of experience to draw from as a Board of Education Commissioner. John has been a stalwart advocate for civil rights, including working under both President Obama (Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity) and President Clinton (Dept. of Justice special counsel on immigrant workplace rights), and as President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal & Educational Fund. Related, we deeply appreciated John’s insistence that social justice and equity are not in opposition to, but walk hand in hand with, academic excellence and rigor. John is himself a graduate of SFUSD schools and currently serves as the Chair of the Lowell Alumni Association. We look forward to having John’s unique voice, background and experience on the SF Board of Education. 
We truly appreciate the commitment of all of the candidates to making San Francisco’s schools the best they can be. 

SF Parent PAC Endorsements for the June 5 Election

May 30, 2018

Below is our complete list of endorsements for the June 5 Election:

#1 London Breed
#2 Mark Leno

Our process: We reached out to the three top candidates based on current polling, London Breed, Mark Leno and Jane Kim, and asked them to spend no more than 30 minutes answering a short set of questions (sent ahead) that mattered to us. Both London Breed and Mark Leno responded. We videotaped the answers and you can view them here. We considered the answers to our questions, their records and other campaign statements in making our decision.

Without a doubt, both London Breed and Mark Leno have strong track records in support of families and children. Both recognize the importance of keeping families in San Francisco and see clearly the challenges families face in terms of suitable housing, quality schools, affordable fun and safe neighborhoods. Their views on some topics — like urging the school district to provide appropriate math options for all students — were the same.

While they both had good answers, London’s personal experience as well as her pragmatic and fresh approach to solving complicated issues earned her our top slot.

London Breed grew up here in the Western Addition, raised by her grandma in public housing. She attended SFUSD schools, graduating from Galileo High School before attending UC Davis. After college, she came right back and has been a leader in her community, especially focused on efforts to support youth, like violence prevention and the arts. She has personally experienced both the good and the “needs improvement” of what our city has to offer to its families. We believe she will draw on that experience as mayor to address the needs of our kids.

In short, we are lucky to have two top-notch public servants vying for the job of mayor. We’ve got big issues to solve, and we look forward to working with the next mayor to tackle them.

District 8 Supervisor:  Jeff Sheehy

Jeff is a public school parent and an original member of the Parent PAC steering committee. He has dedicated his career to lifting up people and issues who are ignored or sidelined by society — and he has brought that fervor to the Board of Supervisors. After being appointed to D8 supervisor by the the late Mayor Ed Lee, Jeff has drawn on his experience as an activist to bring attention to critical issues, such working to get homeless youth off the street and into transitional housing. But he also has focused on the bread and butter issues of daily life in his district, with a lot to show for it, including: (1) securing funding to activate the Noe Valley Town Square as a community space; (2) getting stop signs installed on key corridors in Diamond Heights; (3) identifying funding for after school reading programs in SFUSD schools; (4) helping to create open space in Glen Park; and (5) finding — FINALLY — a new owner and tenant for the long-vacant formerly Real Foods space on 24th street. He has the support of the former D8 Supervisor, now-Senator Scott Weiner. We believe Jeff is the right person for the job and should be re-elected.



Yes on Prop C – funds expansion of early education/child care programs
Yes on Prop D – funds affordable housing (supportive, low-income, middle-income)

Both propositions would tax the commercial rents in SF to support laudable things: Prop C would expand subsidized child care to serve the approximately 2000+ kids who are qualified for subsidized child care but can’t get a spot because there’s not enough funding. Prop D would create a fund (about $1 billion over 10 years) that the Mayor’s office of Housing would use to build affordable housing at multiple levels: supportive housing for formerly homeless, low-income and also middle-income (families earning around the median income, so about $80-$120K for four — these are teachers, firefighters, etc.).

Unfortunately, due to petty and childish political gamesmanship, only one can win. If BOTH meet their respective thresholds to pass (which are different), the one with the most votes prevails. We support both child care and housing, so we urge YES votes on both.

Yes on E – ban on flavored tobacco

This is easy. Big Tobacco wants to hook kids on flavored products because nicotine addiction is the gift that keeps on giving — to them.

YES on Prop G —  funds salary increases for SF teachers

Teachers need to be paid more, plain and simple. San Francisco educator salaries are low by any standard, and they’re unworkable when you consider the high cost of living here.

Prop G will raise about $50M a year for a fund to increase teacher salaries — the goal being for SF educator salaries to be in the state’s top quartile by the 2019-2020 school year. The source of the funds is a $298 parcel tax (which will grow with inflation) for the next twenty years.

Go Vote!

Paid for by San Francisco Parent PAC.  This advertisement was not authorized or paid for by a candidate for this office or a committee controlled by a candidate for this office.  Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org

Who funded this ad?


San Francisco Parents Support More Housing For Families and Teachers

May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017

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


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.




January 7, 2017

January 7, 2017

Michelle Parker
President, SF Parent PAC



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.




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!