Archive for the ‘Endorsements’ Category


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!



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.





SF Parent PAC Makes Endorsements for November 2014

July 30, 2014

For Immediate Release:


July 29, 2014

Contact Tajel Shah, President, SF Parent PAC


Phone: 415-987-7672


SF Parent PAC Endorses Emily Murase, Mark Murphy, and Shamann Walton for SF Board of Education and Other Updates

Last week the San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (Parent PAC) proudly endorsed Emily Murase , Mark Murphy , and Shamann Walton  for Board of Education for the November 2014 election.  The Parent PAC was impressed with all three candidates’ extensive history of advocating for children and better public schools in all neighborhoods in San Francisco.

At the same meeting, the Parent PAC also endorsed Board of Education Commissioners’ Sandra Fewer and Rachel Norton’s resolution to change the “tie-breakers” in the public school assignment system.  The resolution calls for “flipping” the Census Tract Integration Preference (CTIP 1) and the “Neighborhood Preference” tie-breakers.  If this resolution is adopted by the school board, it will result in families having a higher probability of getting assigned to their “attendance area” school.  City-wide schools and programs (Immersion programs and K-8 schools) will be unaffected.  The Parent PAC hopes that this small change will give San Francisco’s families more predictability regarding where their child will attend kindergarten.  For more information, please read Jill Tucker’s article  about the proposed change.

Finally, the Parent PAC is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, July 22, the Soda Tax was officially placed on the November, 2014 ballot.  The Soda Tax is a $.02 per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages.  Recent data indicates that if passed, the Soda Tax will reduce consumption of sugary beverages in San Francisco by up to 31% while simultaneously raising up to $54 million earmarked for nutrition, active recreation, and education.  This tax will take a 2/3 majority of San Francisco voters to pass.  You can find more information at .  

The Parent PAC was founded by and for San Francisco parents and is committed to giving parents a voice in the political process to positively impact the lives of all San Francisco families.  The 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 city-wide.  We can’t do this work alone, please consider contributing to the Parent PAC so we can make San Francisco a city where families can thrive! 


November 7, 2012

November 7, 2012

San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee
Contact: Tajel Shah, President


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.”


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



SF Parent Political Action Committee kickoff!

October 3, 2010

Tonight the San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee held a successful kickoff and fundraiser — thanks to our keynote speakers Senator Mark Leno and Supervisor Carmen Chu, as well as all the other elected officials who came to show their support . We’ll be distributing the flyer above around the city, and raising money for other campaign activities. You can help! Here’s how:

  • Contribute to the San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee, by check or by credit card;
  • Vote for our endorsed candidates: Margaret Brodkin, Hydra Mendoza and Emily Murase (absentee ballots will be mailed this week!);
  • Spread the word about our endorsements to your friends, family, neighbors and associates — send an email letting them know who to vote for or even just a link to the web site or email us at sfparentpac”at” to get a stack of postcards to mail.

This grass-roots effort will be successful if everyone who cares about better schools and a more family-friendly San Francisco gets involved. Join us!

>>>Download the SF Parent Political Action Committee postcard


Endorsements: Brodkin, Mendoza and Murase

September 17, 2010

The San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee is pleased to announce that it has endorsed these three candidates for the Board of Education in November 2010:

Margaret Brodkin

Margaret is a longtime children’s advocate in San Francisco. She has served as Executive Director of Coleman Advocates for Children & Youth; the Director of the City’s Department of Children, Youth and Their Families; and currently works as the Executive Director of New Day for Learning, a community schools initiative in partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District. Margaret’s priorities for the school district are: working with our local, state and Federal leaders to increase funding; transparency and accountability; and closing the achievement gap.

>>Read Margaret’s questionnaire
>>For more information, visit:

Hydra Mendoza

Hydra is a parent of two children in San Francisco public schools and an education advocate who is running for re-election to the Board of Education, a post she was first elected to in 2006. She has served as the Executive Director of Parents for Public Schools, and now works as Education Advisor to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Education. Hydra’s top priorities for her continued service on the Board include: engaging parents to fully participate in the schools; and supporting teachers to encourage good instructional practice.

>>Read Hydra’s questionnaire
>>For more information, visit:

Emily Murase

Emily has a long history of involvement in the San Francisco public schools, beginning 36 years ago when her parents helped found the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program (JBBP). Emily is a graduate of Lowell High School, and her two daughters currently attend San Francisco public schools. When she is not volunteering as an active member of the PTA and site council at her daughters’ schools, Emily works as the Executive Director of the City’s Department on the Status of Women. She previously served in the Clinton White House as Director of International Economic Affairs, and has worked for AT&T in Japan and the Federal Communications Commission. Her top priorities for San Francisco schools are: addressing chronic underfunding of the schools; supporting the work of teachers through incentives and other programs; and growing student enrollment.

>>Read Emily’s questionnaire
>>For more information, visit:

For more information on our endorsement process, and to read questionnaires submitted by other candidates, please visit the endorsement process page.


By way of introduction

August 22, 2010

In mid-summer 2010, a group of involved public school parents met as a group to discuss how parents — as key, yet relatively unrepresented stakeholders in our public schools — could play a part in the byzantine political process that determines which candidates become front-runners for a seat on the Board of Education.

To us, the Board of Education is tremendously important: its seven members make decisions about spending and distributing the scarce resources that determine whether our classrooms are well-maintained and well-supplied, whether our teachers are well-trained and appropriately evaluated by their principals, and whether every child in our schools is receiving the attention and care they need to get the world class education we want for them.

Too often in the past, the Board of Education has been seen as a training ground for aspiring politicians rather than a body that requires thoughtful, knowledgeable and qualified candidates who take their responsibilities to all of the City’s children seriously.

We formed the San Francisco Parent political action committee with the idea that better-run schools will result in better-educated students and ultimately, a more vibrant and economically-robust city.  We hope that by communicating our choices to voters, the many people who aren’t well aquainted with our Board of Education or San Francisco schools in general will appreciate the guidance and help us elect candidates who will truly move our schools forward.