Shamann Walton, who runs a youth development program, told us what most candidates tell us -- that the schools don't have enough money. But he's also suggesting solutions, ones that don't require the kind of dramatic change in Sacramento that is years away. He talks about leverage federal vocational training funds, about pushing to get more General Fund money for the San Francisco schools, about demanding that developers set aside some money for public education. Walter has plenty of experience in education -- he taught at a public school in Solano County, worked with at-risk kids and has helped the SFUSD with support and transition programs.
Walton said he would have voted against skipping seniority for the so-called Superintendent's Zone schools; when it comes to layoffs, he said, "you have to let the teachers and the union decide that." You can listen to the full interview after the jump. Read more »
Rachel Norton, one of three incumbents seeking re-election to the San Francisco School Board, sees herself as an advocate for parents, particularly parents of special-ed kids. She told us she was proud of the dramatic gains the district has made in some of the lowest-achieving schools and said that in her time on the board, the district has done a remarkable job of managing its budget. Read more »
The San Francisco School Board has long been a fractious crew, with members sharply disagreeing on a lot of issues. They still disagree -- but according to all the board members we've interviewed, there's a much-better working relationship these days. Sandra Fewer, who has served for four years, talks about that -- and restorative justice, ethnic studies and how she wants to build on her accomplishments in a second term. You can listen to the entire interview after the jump. Read more »
District 5 candidate London Breed has an amazing life story. She grew up in the Western Addition projects, living with her grandmother at a time when many of the people around her were killed or wound up in prison. She survived, went through public schools and UC Davis and now runs the African American Art and Culture Complex. She's served on the Redevelopment Commission, where she voted in favor of the Lennar project, and is now on the Fire Commission. "I am here as the result of progressive politics in this city," she said. She also talked about fiscal responsibility, and how it's good to have someone at City Hall "who knows the value of a dollar."
Julian Davis, a candidate in District Five, has lined up some impressive endorsements. He's running to the left of the incumbent, Christina Olague, and talked about "why ordinary people can't live in this city any more." He told us that in the 1990s, the city of Chicago poured billions of dollars into affordable housing, and "San Francisco needs to think in the billions." He also called for a "comprehensive and aggressive revenue strategyl." You can listen to the entire interview after the jump. Read more »
Norman Yee, president of the School Board, is running in the tighly contested race for District 7, one of the most conservative districts in the city. Yee talked about the sorts of things you'd expect a district candidate to talk about -- public safety (and pedestrian safety, an issue particularly important to Yee, who was seriously injured by a car), public schools, keeping libraries open, and parks.Read more »
We're underway with our endorsement interviews for the November election, and I'll be posting the full sound file of all the interviews as we finish them (and as I have time to upload them). First up: Community College Board member John Rizzo, who is running for supervisor in District 5.
Rizzo told us he has the political experience to take on the district's, and the city's, tough problems. Among other things, he wants to eliminate the fund that developer pay into for affordable housing and require market-rate builders to construct affordable units on site. He discussed a "scientific approach" to managing Muni and wants a closer audit of the $600 million the city gives to nonprofits providing public services every year.