With many problems facing the School District, the discussion on the School Board race needs to focus on the issues most pertinent to students and families: their safety and academic achievement. San Francisco has the worst achievement gap in the state of California. With a record high homicide rate, too many young people have been directly affected by violent crime in this city. We need a district-wide safety plan and a candidate who can carry out the district’s new strategic plan to close the achievement gap. We need someone who actively works with the populations that are falling through the cracks.
Of top concern is focusing on the learning potential of English Language Learners and recent immigrants. As an immigrant herself, Barbara Lopez, knows the struggles and hurdles immigrant youth must go through and the sacrifices parents make to ensure they go to college. She worked years ago on the Dream Act to provide a way for immigrant youth to legalize their immigration status if they go to college.
For the last eight years, Barbara Lopez has been an advocate for immigrant and working families, representing families in safety transfers, special education and expulsion hearings. She started at La Raza Centro Legal, where she was the coordinator of the Youth Law Project providing assistance to families in educational matters, spearheading workshops for parents and youth in schools across the district.
Currently, she works with immigrant parents at La Voz Latina at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, giving parent empowerment workshops, supporting parent engagement at school sites and working on parent-led community campaigns. The La Voz moms, who’ve been recognized by the City for their leadership, have consistently pushed for better schools and a safe community for their families. Thanks to them we have more translation in schools, foot patrols, rental subsidies and affordable housing legislation. La Voz also pushed for a plan at the district to subsidize passes and look at violence issues on Muni.
If elected, Barbara would be the only Latino and immigrant commissioner. Her goals also include increasing the parent participation of parents of color, bettering our English Language Learner programs, creating teacher housing with surplus property and ensuring that all young people graduate with the ability to go to college. Barbara is excited to have won YouthVote, coming in second place after incumbent and supporter, Norman Yee.
Endorsers include Assemblyman Mark Leno, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Supervisor Bevan Dufty, Supervisor Tom Ammiano, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, Supervisor Chris Daly, Former Supervisor Matt Gonzalez, School Board President Mark Sanchez, School Board Vice-President Kim Shree Maufas, School Board members Jane Kim, Eric Mar and Norman Yee, and Community College Board members Julio Ramos and John Rizzo.
Endorsing clubs include Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, League of Conservation Voters, League of Young Voters, SEIU 1021, 24/7, 1000, 1877 and UHW, SF Tenants Union, Teachers for Social Justice, YouthVote, California Association for Bilingual Education, Tenderloin Tenants’ Association, SF Guardian, SF Bay View and Bay Area Reporter.
Community endorsers include David Chiu, Small Business Commission; Sandra Lee Fewer, Coleman Advocates; David Ho, CCDC*; Angela Chu, CCDC*; Angela Chan, Asian Law Caucus*; Derrlyn Tom, teacher at Mission High; John Avalos, candidate for Supervisor; Renee Quinones, Homey*; Ana Perez, Carecen*; Rudy Corpuz, United Playaz*; Renee Saucedo, La Raza Centro Legal*, Mark Silverman, ILRC* and Francisco Uguarte, San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network*
*Organizations for identification purposes only.
What you can do the next three days
1. Donate. We still need about $1,200 to win! Your $100 and $50 contribution can make the difference! And since we’ve been terribly remiss about our thank yous, we will be hosting a five-course Turkish dinner cooked by yours truly for all donors over $50! FYI, my family owns an internationally recognized restaurant in Mexico, so foodies beware.
3. Be visible at Safeways, BART/Muni stops and take a house sign! Just take an hour on Monday or Tuesday and make the difference! Contact us for different locations. Tuesday: Visibility all day long.
4. Spread the Word. Email your friends, co-workers, any and everyone! Vote for Barbara Lopez. Please note I am endorsed by and endorsing Sandra Lee Fewer and Norman Yee. Just voting for us will make the difference!