SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A familiar face is returning to run for Commissioner of the San Francisco School Board. One of the three recalled board of education members made the announcement on Thursday night.
On Friday, she explained why she is running again.
“I know that it’s going to be a fight, and we don’t know the outcome, and I am ready for that fight,” said Gabriela Lopez, a candidate for SF Board of Education.
Lopez announced that she is running again for a seat on the board of education in the San Francisco Unified School District. A 13-year educator, and former SFUSD School Board President, Lopez, was one of the three school board members recalled earlier this year in a bitter special election.
So, how did she reach the decision to go back for seconds?
“In consultation with families and community leaders, with our students,” Lopez said. “My heart has always been dedicated to schools. It has always been dedicated to education.”
Supporters of the recall accused the former commisioner of making decisions that did not have education as the primary focus for students, which they say attributed to learning loss while students were home instead of in class during the pandemic. Recall supporters also claimed that she mismanaged the budget as board president.
However, Lopez thinks she will have a better chance at countering those attacks during a general election.
“This will be our first opportunity, during a general election, to see where San Francisco voters are. I recognize that the past two special elections are out of the ordinary which is why we saw such a low turnout,” Lopez said.
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San Francisco Mayor London Breed appointed three interim board members who were backed by supporters of the recall. The SF Parent Action Organization recently announced they are only endorsing two of the three appointed commissioners but not commissioner Ann Hsu.
The executive director of that organization sent KRON4 a statement that reads:
“We are a consensus-based parent organization and our families reached proud and enthusiastic consensus to support Lainie Motamedi and Lisa Weissman-Ward. We did not reach consensus to endorse any of the other candidates running for the school board election. While we do have some support of Ann Hsu from parents in our membership base, it was not enough for an organizational endorsement.”
In her short time as interim commissioner, Hsu has been enbroiled in a controversy for statements involving race, for which she later apologized. The incident led to her being admonished by the board.
Not getting the endoresement from SF Parent Action also comes in the wake of Hsu being the lone no vote on recognizing a Muslim holiday on the SFUSD school calendar. More reasons, Lopez says, to run for her previous seat on the board. “Here we have an opportunity to run a strong and successful campaign and make sure that people with those ideals and values are not in these positions,” Lopez said.