Recall efforts announce signature counts

It's Monday, August 30th

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Hey there, San Francisco. 

On Sunday, the group working to recall San Francisco school board members said they had collected roughly 70,000 signatures in support of recalling President Gabriela López, Vice President Faauuga Moliga, and Alison Collins. 

The count is unofficial, though it shows that the group, known as Recall SFSchoolBoard, may have the 51,325 valid signatures per board member to prompt a special election. Signatures are due to the city by September 7, and a spokesperson for the organization told me today that they will continue with their collection process until next week’s deadline “to be absolutely sure we get on the ballot.” The spokesperson said, if triggered, the election would likely take place in February. 

As for what prompted the school board recall, the Chronicle’s education reporter Jill Tucker summed it up well in her post today: 

The effort reflects anger and frustration among San Francisco families after public schools remained closed much of last school year as Bay Area other districts and private schools reopened. While distance learning devastated many families, the board spent significant time and energy on renaming 44 schools, a decision later reversed, and ending the merit-based admission to academically elite Lowell High School....The four other board members, who were first elected or re-elected in November and took office in January, were not eligible to face a recall until they had served six months in office.

In other unofficial signature collection news, the second effort to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin said last week that it had gathered over 63,000 autographs thus far. That group, known as ​​San Franciscans for Public Safety, has until October 25 to hand in its 51,325 signatures (or, 10% of the registered voters in the city) needed to set off a special election. 

On Monday, a spokesperson for the group supporting the DA, Stand with Chesa, told me: “As we've seen with other recall campaigns, if someone is willing to spend enough money on paid signature gathering, it's possible to get almost anything on the ballot...But the reality is San Franciscans are sick of recalls and want to focus on what we can do together to make the city better.” 

And with that...onto some more news… 

Quick bits: 

  • 💉 Eighty percent of San Franciscans over the age of 12 are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The national average is 61.3%. (Twitter

  • 🇦🇫 On Saturday, some 200 people marched down Market Street “to protest against the killing of Afghans," one participant told KQED. They chanted: “From Kabul to Kandahar, our freedom is not too far.” (KQED)

  • ☀️ Having reached 84 degrees, Saturday was officially the hottest day of the year in San Francisco. (SFist

  • 🌊 Two surfers rescued a boogie boarder on Sunday morning at Ocean Beach after a bystander alerted them of the drowning man in his 50s. A fire department spokesman said that person “most likely would have perished if that alert woman wasn’t there.” (Chronicle

  • ❤️ Also on Sunday, Mayor Breed unveiled a new mural in Chinatown honoring Vicha Ratanapakdee, the 84-year-old Anza Vista resident who died in January after being shoved to the ground. “You know, grandpa Vicha and his face has become a symbol for the national ‘Stop Asian Hate’ movement and we’re going to keep his story alive,” one of the event organizers said. (NBC News

What else I’m reading: 

San Francisco’s point man for legalizing illegal units accused of building illegal unit by Mission Local’s Joe Eskenazi.  

This is a story about a [Department of Building Inspection] insider who apparently made his own rules and followed his own process, and appears to have been abetted in this by his department. 

Did Sutro Tower have plans for a restaurant on top? Truth finally revealed by the Chronicle’s Peter Hartlaub. Apparently, the idea was floated during the tower’s planning back in the 1960s, but as Hartlaub writes: 

The chance of Sutro Tower offering above-the-fogline food service is in pipe dream territory, up there with a return of the Playland seaside amusement park or the 49ers coming back to Kezar Stadium.

Two State Bills Could Help Chip Away At San Francisco’s Housing Shortage—Gradually by Here Say’s Annie Gaus.  

The California State Assembly passed two high-profile housing bills this week, SB 9 and SB 10, that will together make it easier to build multi-unit housing on more swaths of land in the state. 

And finally…

Our thoughts are with those who were forced to evacuate South Lake Tahoe today because of the Caldore Fire (and of course, with those who are fighting the fire). 

As traffic leading out of Tahoe came to a halt, there was this: 

Back in San Francisco, Here/Say’s Sophie Bearman had a good story about how the city is protecting itself from wildfire risks via...goats. 

“[The goats] eat all the green stuff that would otherwise become brown stuff that would become potential fire fodder,” said Genevieve Church, who leads San Francisco’s “goat-powered landscaping company,” City Grazing. “We’ve got fire hazards in San Francisco that didn’t use to exist, and that’s where goats come in and help.” 

Church said the grazing service also acts as a way to give former dairy goats a “midlife career change.” 

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and one quick thing before you go. 

If you have a friend or colleague who recently moved to San Francisco, I’d love for you to share The SF Minute with them. My hunch is that the newsletter would be a helpful resource for them as they settle into their new city! 

Alright, have an awesome night and see you here tomorrow! - Nick B.

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