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SF mayor London Breed calls school board appointments ‘hardest decision,’ vetting Chinese American candidates

A week after three San Francisco school board members were recalled in an election that turned out many Asian American parents, Mayor London Breed said Thursday that she has met with and is considering the appointment of at least one—if not more than one—Chinese American for one of the vacant positions.

“This is probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” Breed said in an interview Thursday. “I am thinking about that more than anything else.”

The recall movement has energized many Chinese American parents across the city to engage in local politics for the first time. Recognizing the community’s momentum, Breed revealed that she’s interviewing Chinese American candidates but declined to provide further details.

“I can’t give you any names,” she said, emphasizing that she’s considering the race of the candidates because she wanted the Board of Education to have a “well-grounded balance.”

“I will tell you so far, many of the people I’ve met with have been great,” Breed said, adding that she thinks the board will end up with “some really good options.”

One of the names that have been floating around is Ann Hsu, a Chinese immigrant and school parent who appeared on TV ads and national press in support of the recall. She told The Standard on Thursday she’ll be ready to serve if appointed.

“If I am given an opportunity to serve, I will be honored to serve and do the best job that I can,” Hsu said.

Former school board candidate Josephine Zhao, who was accused of transphobic remarks and withdrew her candidacy in 2018, has stated she’s not interested in filling one of the seats. But her supporters have started an online petition asking Breed to appoint Zhao.

The seat that was held by recalled board member Faauuga Moliga can be filled immediately, as he resigned after the Feb. 15 special election. The other two seats for recalled commissioners Alison Collins and Gabriela Lopez have to be certified by election officials. They are expected to be filled in early March.