Mayor Breed 'proud' of 3 women replacing SFUSD board members who all have kids in the district

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Mayor London Breed is announcing her appointments to fill the vacant seats on the San Francisco Board of Education after three members were recalled in last month's special election.

The three appointees, Ann Hsu, Lainie Motamedi and Lisa Weissman-Ward will serve out the remaining terms of the three recalled members -- which end in early January 2023. The replacements would have to run in the upcoming November election to remain in office.

The results of the recall vote were overwhelming -- Board President Gabriela Lopez, and board members Alison Collins and Faauuga Moliga were ousted by wide margins.

Supporters of the recall said it took too long for kids to go back to in-person learning, and part of the reason for this was because the board was focused on the wrong things -- such as renaming schools.

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Some people wanted the whole school board recalled but that can't happen. Once elected, members must serve at least one year.

"I'm so proud that we have three amazing women who all have kids in our public school system. Who all have a common theme of service, who all care deeply about seeing a change," said Mayor London Breed.



Mayor Breed said she agonized over this decision, but was proud of the diverse group. She thanked parents for their advocacy.

"Your advocacy was not just about your kids. It actually helped so many other kids that didn't have an advocate," and added, "I know that we can't make up for the last two years, but we can sure try. We can get started today."

All three members are parents of current students in the district. Ann Hsu is a Chinese American entrepreneur who was a primary organizer of the recall.

"Hopefully the reason for the recall and the attacks is to send a message to the board that you have to put students first," said Hsu.

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Prior to her appointment Laine Motamedi, worked closely with the San Francisco Board of Education.

"For the last four years, I've been co-chair of our Public Education Enrichment Fund and I have quality relationships with all of the four remaining board members," said Motamedi.

Lisa Weissman-Ward is a Stanford University law professor and immigration attorney.

"The district is facing serious challenges. Many of them were caused by or exacerbated by the pandemic. The list is long," said Weissman-Ward.

All three members are stepping into a divided board. Their main targets are the budget, learning loss, declining enrollment and the need for a new superintendent.

"There is a moment to work on selecting not only a visionary, but a manager because its's both," said Weissman-Ward.

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Supporters of the recall said it took too long for kids to go back to in-person learning, and part of the reason for this was because the board was focused on the wrong things -- such as renaming schools.

Siva Raj and Autumn Looijen were two of the main leads of the recall movement. They say they are hopeful with the new picks and will be watching.

"They are going into a house on fire, literally. There is the accumulated learning loss and mental health crisis from the school closures," said Raj.

"I'm very confident that these folks will do a good job," said Looijen.

The special election was the first recall in San Francisco since 1983, since a failed attempt to remove then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein.

The three appointees, Ann Hsu, Lainie Motamedi and Lisa Weissman-Ward will serve out the remaining terms of the three recalled members -- which end in early January 2023. The replacements would have to run in the upcoming November election to remain in office.

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