October 30, 2002
Arts and Entertainment
The problem at Marshall
As a former special ed teacher at Thurgood Marshall I was very sad to hear of the riot at Marshall. The term accountability is used in education speak more often than a French whore on Saturday in Paris. Such a pretty word to use, a pity nobody places it where it belongs. The police came to the riot because they were called. The police were called because the kids are angry. The kids have every reason to be angry. The kids' anger had very little to do with race.
When I was a teacher at Marshall, the administration did not have the slightest concern for programs that addressed the kids in a direct, immanent fashion. My offer to have a martial arts club (for example) was rebuffed. The administration seemed more concerned with what time you left the building, as compared to if you met with parents, if you made yourself available to your students based on their needs, etc.
Students at Marshall are angry because many come from unsupportive homes. These kids deal with some administrators that do not have any concern for the kids. For example, the district would rather throw food away so it can punish a typical kid's oversight of not bringing in a signed free lunch form. Maybe Johnny is angry because his stomach is growling!
These kids were told how much they are valued downtown when the new superintendent glorified mediocrity by lowering school standards. How about opening up the school every evening until 10, sponsoring learning activities and tutoring, and child care on demand, to help teachers love and teach their students at Marshall? How about asking teachers to meet with parents at least once a month and in return, treat them like collegiate educators on an open campus? How about rewarding parents that are involved with free passes and meals at the zoo and museum ... and shaming senseless bureaucrats and absentee parents into doing their jobs?
Darrell Simon San Francisco
The new DCCC
I appreciate A.C. Thompson's work documenting questionable campaign contributions in the 1999 election ["Willie Brown's Dirty Money," 10/23/02]. Regarding the Democratic County Central Committee's (DCCC) actions in that election, I should clarify that I cannot speak authoritatively on how money was raised and spent, nor for what purpose it was spent. Indeed, many of us ran for the DCCC in 2000 and were elected as Democrats concerned about the party's activities in that election. In March of 2000, we came aboard an organization with modest funds to conduct the party's work. Regarding the embezzlement of funds from the School District, I believe that those who defrauded the district of funds should and will be held responsible for repaying those funds.
Thanks in part to reformers who were elected to the DCCC in 2000 and again in 2002, the DCCC has changed its bylaws so that all of its members and the public can know how the party is raising and spending money. Never again will DCCC spending be secret. Also, in the last three years, the local Democratic Party has refocused its energies to registering voters by the thousands, making endorsements through an open and fair process, and supporting efforts to keep conservatives like Bill Simon out of office.
Wade Crowfoot DCCC party treasurer
The DCCC's money
As a longtime member of the S.F. Democratic County Central Committee, I am shocked but not surprised by allegations that funds purloined from the S.F. Unified School District may have ended up being paid to the DCCC and used to fund "soft money" mailings on behalf of Mayor Brown.
At the DCCC's October 23, 2002, meeting, DCCC member Jeff Sheehy made a motion (seconded by me) that the DCCC refrain from issuing any slate cards in the December 2002 run-off elections for supervisor. The DCCC will discuss said matter at its November 7, 2002, meeting. Adoption of such a policy will prevent use of the DCCC as a "soft money" conduit.
Additionally, I intend to request the chair, Jane Morrison, calendar the matter of the Covenant Enterprises $25,000 contribution which was allegedly made in 1999 with funds purloined from the State Building (455 Golden Gate).
Arlo Hale Smith Member, DCCC
For the record
In last week's supervisors' voting scorecard, the votes of Sups. Aaron Peskin and Chris Daly on the issue of letting the Department of Human Services take over case management of pregnant teens on welfare were reversed. Peskin voted no; Daly voted yes. The percentage of Peskin's positions and votes in agreement with the Bay Guardian is 72; the percentage of Daly's is 84.
The "Who's Endorsing Whom" chart in last week's issue did not include the complete endorsements of some San Francisco supervisors. An updated version is available at www.sfbg.com/endorsing/sf.html.