FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2012
San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee
Contact: Tajel Shah, President
SCHOOL BOARD INCUMBENTS RE-ELECTED DESPITE UNION OPPOSITION
Two Mailers Funded by San Francisco Parent PAC Provide Independent Support
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, San Francisco Parent PAC-endorsed candidates Sandra Lee Fewer, Jill Wynns, and Rachel Norton were re-elected to the San Francisco Board of Education, beating back a heavily-financed effort by United Educators of San Francisco (UESF), the district’s teachers’ union, to defeat them. Matt Haney was elected to the fourth seat.
The three incumbents were targeted by the union largely because all three of them voted in February 2012 to set aside seniority rights and protect 70 teachers in low-performing schools from layoffs. In a tense exchange at the February 28 vote, UESF President Dennis Kelly told the school board that their vote would “not be forgotten [nor] forgiven.” Four months later, the union leadership made good on its threat and recommended four political newcomers over the experienced incumbents, saying it was time for a “new school board.”
The San Francisco Parent PAC, a group of San Francisco parents seeking to support family-friendly policies and elected officials, disagreed, and was the first organization to endorse the three incumbents, undertaking an aggressive effort to educate elected officials, political organizations, educational leaders and parents about the importance of this School Board election. The San Francisco Democratic Party, the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, and major San Francisco daily newspapers all followed suit.
“Commissioners Fewer, Norton, and Wynns are intelligent and independent elected officials that courageously supported smart public policy that placed interests of children before the narrow focus of UESF leadership,” said Tajel Shah, Parent PAC President and a public school parent. “Sadly, that single vote over Superintendent Zones, a vote that protected District investment and resources flowing to our most troubled schools, earned them the ire of Union leadership – they became public enemies one, two, and three.”
“Early on, the Parent PAC knew it had mobilize to support the incumbents, and we did, promoting them at the important citywide organizations and to elected officials. We raised approximately $40,000 to send out two pieces of mail, reaching almost 50,000 voters citywide.
Let’s be clear: the Parent PAC will support elected officials that support children, teachers and our schools first, even if threatened by special interests groups. We will knock on doors, talk with parents, and raise money to support these candidates, period.”
THE SAN FRANCISCO PARENT PAC STORY:
In 2010, a group of involved public school parents met to discuss how parents—as key, yet relatively unrepresented stakeholders in our public schools—could play an influential role in the decisions that affect kids and families.
Today, San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (PAC) is working hard to give parents a voice in the political process through community outreach, and by supporting candidates and ballot measures that will help our kids thrive.
Find out more at www.sfparentpac.com