Group trying to recall 3 San Francisco school board members

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A major milestone for a group trying to recall three San Francisco school board members.

The “Recall SF School Board” petition has received 70,000 signatures, virtually ensuring an election late this year or early next year.

The group launched back in February of 2021 after the San Francisco Unified School District announced they would not be bringing back middle and high school students during the 2020-21 school year. 

They thought that was unacceptable and they had to do something.

“What we think is that San Francisco is the best city in the entire world and we should have the best schools in the entire world,” Autumn Looijen said.

Co-leads for the recall, Autumn Looijen and Siva Raj, say they just want what’s best for SF students.

Raj says his son is a freshman in high school and distance learning wasn’t working for him.

“He’s struggled, he lost motivation, he’s been borderline depressed,” Siva Raj said.

When San Francisco Unified School District announced they wouldn’t be bringing back middle and high schoolers during the 2020-21 school year, Looijen and Raj knew they had to do something — That’s how the recall effort started.

“Everyone said it was impossible,” Looijen said. “It’s not possible, don’t even try and so it’s feeling really good to be on the cusp of making it.”

The group is trying to recall the three eligible school board members: President Gabriela López, Vice President Faauuga Moliga and Alison Collins.

Each petition has received about 70,000 signatures. Of those signatures, leaders believe more than 51,000 are valid — That number is 10 percent of registered voters in San Francisco. 

It’s what they need to qualify for the ballot.

“We are 99 percent certain we have those signatures and we just need to get it organized and submitted to the department of elections,” Looijen said.

The group will need to submit the signatures by September 7th. If accepted, the election would be later this year or early 2022.

“The city is really united in wanting a better future for its children,” Looijen said.

KRON4 reached out to SFUSD officials for comment, but have not heard back yet.

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