San Francisco Voters Recall Three School Board Members

San Francisco voters approved the recall of three school board members Tuesday in an election that was being watched by political observers across the nation. The defeat for School Board President Gabriela López, Vice President Faauuga Moliga and Commissioner Alison Collins was resounding, with more than 70% of voters opting to send the trustees packing.

There was a sense even among Democrats that the board’s priorities had been misplaced. Progressive items like school renaming appeared to trump pandemic reopening plans and other basic duties. The board seemed beset by dysfunction.

Collins’ situation was compounded by a controversy over anti-Asian tweets she sent in 2016. The vote totals show Collins losing her seat by the greatest margin.

Opponents of the recall tried to paint the election as a right-wing power grab. But the effort had support from San Francisco’s mayor, a liberal state senator, and the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board among others.

"The voters of this City have delivered a clear message that the School Board must focus on the essentials of delivering a well-run school system above all else," Mayor London Breed said in a statement Tuesday. "San Francisco is a city that believes in the value of big ideas, but those ideas must be built on the foundation of a government that does the essentials well."

Breed now gets to appoint the three replacements, which strengthens her position in the city.