Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hot topic: BOE results

Today in the San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Jill Tucker reported on the election results for board of education and the race that's still in play for two of the four seats.

With 60,000 ballots still uncounted Wednesday night in San Francisco, the race for two of four seats on the city's school board remained undecided.
Incumbent Norman Yee and newcomer Sandra Fewer had enough vote to secure two of the seats in Tuesday's election, with 88,014 and 70,811 votes respectively, far surpassing the other 11 candidates despite the continuing count.
But three candidates were still in the running for the last two spots.
Barbara Lopez with 47,660 votes and Rachel Norton with 46,354 votes were in the lead Wednesday, followed by 16-year incumbent Jill Wynns with 45,456 votes.
The remaining uncounted votes were absentee and mail-in ballots received at the elections office over the weekend or on Monday. San Francisco election officials had no estimates on when the count would be finished, but by Wednesday afternoon, they had added about 5,000 votes to Tuesday night's tally.
The uncounted ballots accounted for an estimated 20 percent of those cast.

For the full story, click here.


  1. This is OT but where are all the tour reviews? I thought that there were 3 people touring this year yet there are fewer reviews than when Kate was doing it alone - what gives?

  2. I hope I hope that Bobbi Lopez does NOT get elected.

    Oh please tell me folks that you were all last minute mail in ballots and you voted for Rachel or Jill!

    Sorry - but in reading Bobbi's bio, seems to me she is not necessarily interested in education for itself, but sees the job as a stepping stone to some other political position. And thus, has her own agenda to push.

    I hope I am wrong about her, since it looks like she will be on the Board.

  3. Jill Wynns needs to go. 16 years is way too long. Nobody should be in that type of position for that long. I voted for Rachel.

  4. Absentee ballots are still being counted and there will be no final result in this race for days. However, as of today (November 6), Rachel Norton is in third place, narrowly ahead of Bobbi Lopez, and Jill Wynns trails Lopez by less than 600 votes. By tomorrow this time, we could see Lopez in 5th place.

  5. Note to 3:29 - the election is over. It is too late for you to try to sway people's votes with your opinions, so give it a rest.

  6. 6:02,

    3:29 is entitled to an opinion.

    What makes you think you have the right to tell people what they may or may not write? How haughty.

  7. According to today's Examiner, nearly 1/3 of the ballots had not been counted as of Thursday afternoon!
    I would wager that the majority of early and provisional voters were young progressives likely to vote the Guardian's Clean Slate.

  8. I *so* want Rachel Norton to win.

    They really should set aside a certain number of board seats for *current* SFUSD parents.

  9. They really should set aside a certain number of Congressional seats for the candidates I support - in fact, why not all of them? Who needs the democratic process?

  10. I don't think that is what the other poster was saying. But it would help to have stakeholders on the BOE, not just wannabe politicians.

  11. 8:25 - I agree with the poster that this is not what he/she meant.

    But as a public school parent, it IS frustrating when you have nonparents on the board who think parents are mostly just a pain in the ass. (I would include Mark Sanchez AND Jill Wynns in this category!)

    Personally, I placed a premium on electing people who go to a school EVERY DAY and NOW (not years ago.)

    I think Rachel will win, Fewer and Yee (obviously) but really think the 4th spot is a toss up.

    I don't think Wynns or Lopez (complete opposites ideologically) are what we need right now.

  12. Lopez and Wynns aren't at all complete opposites ideologically. They're both far leftists by American standards -- in slightly different spots on the far-left spectrum. I'd bet that Lopez and Wynns (and I) are in close agreement on every major political issue of our time.

    Also, some leftists align themselves with far-right-wing positions on certain education issues, and in those areas Wynns is way to the left of some self-described leftists.

    As for current parents -- Wynns was, of course, a current SFUSD parent when she was elected. So that would be the equivalent of term limits. I believe Sandy Fewer's youngest is about to graduate, so she'd be outta there soon by that standard. Norman Yee's kids are grown; Kim-Shree Maufas' child is grown. Jane Kim has no kids. Of the current BOE members, only Eric Mar and Hydra Mendoza would be allowed to serve; of the top five vote-getters so far in the current race, only Norton would be allowed to serve, once Fewer's youngest graduates.

    Sanchez was elected as a spokesperson for teachers. I supported him when he was first elected in 2000 and have come to disagree with him generally, but no one can dispute that teachers are legitimate stakeholders in SFUSD and deserve a voice. Also, two of the worst BOE members I've seen in my time, Mary Hernandez and Keith Jackson, were both SFUSD parents in their time on the board.

  13. Sure, it's great to have current parents on the board of education. But with Rachel Norton and Sandy Fewer coming on, and Hydra Mendoza already on the board, that is 3 of the 7 members for 2009 who are current SFUSD parents. Would you propose setting aside more than 3 seats?

    Of the other candidates who ran this year, only Emily Murase and Omar Khalif are current parents who didn't get elected (Kelly Wallace, a little known also-ran, is a current parent but I'm not sure he was still in the race by Nov. 4th) Besides Yee, Fewer, Wynns, and Norton, the other 7 candidates are not current or recent SFUSD parents.

    The problem is not that current parents don't get elected to the BOE - they do. It is a shortage of parent candidates that is the problem. You can't make people run for school board, and most current parents have their hands full already, with jobs and kids and volunteering. How many of them would have the time, let alone the patience and expertise, to study all of the issues that come before the board so that they could be productive BOE members? We have quite a few people on the board now who don't read the agenda before the meeting, don't inform themselves about the issues, don't know a thing about what is going to be presented at each meeting until the presentation is given. Why would we want more people like that?

    We don't need set-asides which would guarantee a seat to a parent no matter how ill-prepared they are to serve. What we need are more, and better prepared, parent-candidates. Wouldn't it make sense for Parents for Public Schools or
    the League of Women Voters or some other civic minded organization to offer some kind of training for BOE wannabes - Running for School Board 101?

  14. Yes, good ideas.

    By the way, who are the current BOE members who come unprepared for the Board meetings (that you mentioned in your post)?

  15. Watch a BOE meeting and make up your own mind. You can find them archived here:

  16. When I posted about setting aside seats for parents, the counting wasn't done with and it didn't look like there'd be that many parents on the board.

  17. The counting still isn't done, but Sandy Fewer and Rachel Norton have been among the top four since you originally posted on November 7th, in fact, since the first returns came in on Tuesday night.

    And I understand your feeling that it would be better if people who have no children in the public schools, and have never had children in the public schools, and are not themselves full time teachers or administrators in the public schools, would not try to use the school board as a convenient spot from which to launch their own political career.

    But it is looking like we will have 3 parents on the school board this year, as Rachel Norton and Jill Wynns have pulled farther ahead of Bobbi Lopez, who is now in 5th place as of November 8th totals. In fact, although I don't think she will ever catch up with Norton and Wynns, Jaynry Mak may be able to edge Lopez out of 5th place.

  18. Newest totals as of this afternoon:
    (I'm not including Norman Yee and Sandra Fewer, as they're solidly in first and second place)

    #3 Jill Wynns 67,111
    #4 Rachel Norton 67,108
    #5 Bobbi Lopez 63,246
    #6 Jaynry Mak 61,019

    Wow -- if that 3-vote margin existed between #4 and #5, things would get heated!

  19. Please say its unlikely that Lopez and Mak will make up the difference......

    I am so happy that the results are turning out much better than I expected... I did think Murase would be an asset but well, apparently, others did not.

  20. There can't be all that many more ballots left to count, so I think we can feel reasonably safe with the current lineup: Yee, Fewer, Wynns and Norton.

  21. I agree - Emily Murase would be an asset to the BOE, and I hope she will run again in 2 years. She would benefit from the name recognition and base of parent suppport she was able to establish this year, and with two more years as a district parent under her belt, she would be even more qualified - certainly more so than Mak or Lopez. Plus, if one believes the rumors, all three of the school board members whose terms expire in 2010 are thinking of running for board of supervisors, so there will probably be some openings on the BOE.

  22. Actually, I believe only ~half of the ~100K outstanding absentee ballots have been counted since the election, so the 4 BOE comissioners could well change. We'll just need to be patient for another week or so.

  23. acck 11:53 -- I hope there aren't a whole bunch of Lopez or Mak ballots in that pile!

  24. After today's count, I believe there are less than 20,000 absentee ballots left to be counted, plus about 16,000 provisional ballots.

  25. Provisional ballots tend to be from more progressive, younger voters, so Lopez still has a chance to end up on the BOE.

  26. Ok thanks... I'll keep my fingers crossed then that the absentee ballots are from more moderate voters!

  27. it ain't over til it's over. people who try to call the results in such a tight race often end up looking like fools. especially when they do it in print.

  28. yes, like the Gore-Bush race of 2000. That was something else!

  29. The final winners are: Yee, Fewer, Wynns and Norton.