After being handily recalled from the Board of Education in February, Gabriela López is running again, to take back a seat on the board.
“I am running for a seat on the Board of Education to bring us together, to continue to listen, to care and to ensure that these spaces are welcoming for all of our families. It has only been four months with a newly appointed Board of Education and it is clear that our district is headed in the wrong direction,” López wrote in a statement sent out Friday morning, emphasizing problems such as teacher pay and racial conflict in classrooms.
López’s decision follows Commissioner Ann Hsu’s disparaging remarks on Black and brown families. Hsu was a major figure behind the recall that unseated López and her colleagues Alison Collins and Faauuga Moliga, and was appointed to the board by Mayor London Breed.
“A this point, it’s news to us … It’s an interesting shift in a very complicated race,” Nathalie Hrizri, vice president of substitute teachers for the United Educators of San Francisco, told Mission Local.
To win, López would have to overcome considerable voter unhappiness with a set of controversial decisions made under her tenure as school board president, including the decision to end merit-based admissions at Lowell High School and rename a number of San Francisco schools during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic (although the school board chose to pause the renaming process in 2021, after backlash).
Prominent San Francisco politicians, such as Breed and Sen. Scott Weiner, endorsed the recall.
Since being ousted from the board, López has renewed her teaching credential and taught summer school at the University of San Francisco, according to her Twitter feed. In early February, she announced that she had been accepted to Stanford University’s Ph.D. program in education.
It’s unclear how running for office in November will affect those plans.
Other candidates running for the Board of Education include two other Breed appointees, Lisa Weissman-Ward and Laninie Motamedi. The two dissolved a slate campaign with Hsu after the latter wrote in a questionnaire that “one of the biggest challenges” facing Black and brown children is “lack of family support” and “Unstable family environments caused by housing and food insecurity along with lack of parental encouragement to focus on learning cause children to not be able to focus on or value learning.”
Weissman-Ward is also endorsed by the United Educators of San Francisco, along with candidate Alida Fisher. Other candidates for the school board include Joseph Kelly, Jr., Karen Fleshman and Laurance Lee.
This story is breaking and may be updated with more information.