School board race shouldn't be personal - Page 2

The backroom anti-Brodkin campaign has to stop

6, when we've had a chance to talk to all the candidates — and right now we're not ready to give the nod to Brodkin or anyone else. And we'd be the first to say that she has made mistakes and they ought to be taken into account in any endorsement process.

But we don't like personal attacks, and we don't like the politics of personal destruction. It's not good for the schools, not good for democracy, not good for San Francisco. Argue issues, debate public problems — but this nasty whisper campaign has to stop.


Having Margaret Brodkin on the School Board would be like having Calvin Welch as head of MOH, corrupt nonprofit mafiosi put in charge of controlling the purse strings to a major government agency.


Posted by marcos on Aug. 31, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

Brodkin's stance on JROTC is not quite as strong as you indicate above. She would accept it as an after school program, and has no plans to reengage the issue if elected. Here is her response to our SF Green Party candidate questionnaire:

"The JROTC pits two progressive values against each other: youth self determination and opposition to military recruitment of young people under age 18. I share both of these values. I am not running for School Board to re-do the JROTC policy - there are too many other issues that require School Board attention. However, I will work to find alternatives to JROTC where young people can reap similar benefits. For instance, I am meeting with the Police Chief to discuss a police academy program for high school students. If JROTC is brought to the Board, my preference is for it to be an after-school program, like other career exploration opportunities."

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 31, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

Human Rights Magazine, 2005:

Human Rights Heroes: Margaret Brodkin, Carol Kamin, Jane Spinak, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

By Wilson Adam Schooley

Fittingly, the four heroes we celebrate in this issue of Human Rights are women: Margaret Brodkin, Carol Kamin, Jane Spinak, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse. ...
Because of that vulnerability, children’s issues present a challenge that is both unique and, at the same time, connected with almost every crisis in the world today. In Iraq, malnutrition among children has nearly doubled since the U.S.-led invasion. In the recent tsunami disaster, many of the dead were children and countless more children were orphaned, with effects rippling across the region, including the need to protect displaced children from labor and sex traffickers. In Africa, perhaps the biggest killers of children are bacterial infections preventable by simple vaccinations. Here in California, a penal system that incarcerates delinquent youth has been revealed as a draconian nightmare that must be dismantled and reformed.

We are therefore fortunate to have heroes like Brodkin, Kamin, Spinak, and Woodhouse, who have devoted their hearts and their life’s work to children—and whose passion and perseverance give us hope for our children’s future.

Margaret Brodkin

Late in 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced his appointment of the new executive director of the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, one of the few city departments in the country dedicated exclusively to young people. Appropriately, his choice was Margaret Brodkin, executive director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, among San Francisco’s most respected and influential organizations, which has long made children one of the city’s highest priorities. As Newsom said at the time: “Margaret has been a pioneer in developing the theory and practice of local child advocacy. Under her leadership, Coleman Advocates’ work is known nationally, and is being replicated in communities throughout the country.”

Brodkin is a licensed clinical social worker who has spent much of her life advocating on behalf of children. In 1991, she was the moving force behind the Children’s Amendment, the first local children’s budget initiative in the nation. This voter initiative brought together a diverse new coalition and created a Children’s Fund that brought in $170 million dollars during its first ten years. The amendment was hailed as a “fiscal bill of rights for children,” capturing national attention for what the Washington Post characterized as a “daring assault on the political establishment.” For the past decade, much of Ms. Brodkin’s work has focused on increasing civic engagement in public policy making for youth, such as through the vocal, forceful youth advocacy organization, Youth Making a Change.

Due largely to Coleman Advocates’ work, San Francisco leads the nation in its child care policies, providing local wage subsidies for all child care workers, funding local facilities, subsidizing and enhancing child care centers, and spearheading the national opposition to the commercialization of schools. Brodkin is an articulate and passionate advocate for social justice for children, and we can expect in her new role that she will lead the way in enhancing the lives of children and youth through innovative partnerships with parents and youth, community organizations, schools, and the private sector.

Posted by CarolineSF on Sep. 05, 2010 @ 11:20 am

who exactly is behind this whisper campaign? i've heard it and want to hold those responsible accountable. brodkin would be a great addition to the school board.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 05, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

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