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San Francisco USD School Board's Politicians to Likely Provide a Win for Gangs' Recruiting Efforts this Afternoon

It is time to speak some truth to power, as the so-called “progressives” in this town like to say. Personally, I don’t consider any politician who favors providing public benefits to the few instead of the most number of residents to be progressive – thus my use of quotation marks. I guess I should call these folks PINOs …. Progressives In Name Only … and what a bunch of PINOses most of our current School Board members are. God help San Francisco if selfish politicians like Mark Sanchez and/or Eric Mar are elected to the Board of Supervisors this November. We already have enough politicians in San Francisco who put their own political careers above making decisions to benefit the greatest number of constituents.

First a compliment – unlike last week’s surprise 24-hour notice meeting, at least today’s meeting was scheduled a few days ahead of time. That scores them one moment of courtesy for showing some recognition of the need for open government in a democracy.

It is too bad that today’s 4 p.m. meeting excludes many parents who must be at work at that time of day on a Thursday and who cannot go to Irving G. Breyer Board Meeting Room, 555 Franklin Street, First Floor to voice their support or dissent of removing Physical Education credit from the JROTC program. That’s democracy for ya … only the few who have the free time to show up get heard while us working folks have to earn a living.

The School Board had agreed to give the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps one more year before killing it off because a majority of Board members don’t like our military. Students and parents who recognize the benefits of the JROTC are currently collecting petition signatures for a November ballot proposition to save the JROTC program. What does a politician at the School Board do? They try to pre-empt democracy and the efforts of these students and parents by removing the PE (physical education) credit for the JROTC program – removing a major incentive for students joining the program.

While I can understand the human selfishness involved in School Board members Mark Sanchez and Eric Mar trying to boost their own political careers and aspirations to get elected this November to become City and County Supervisors by appealing to the prevalent anti-war sentiment in San Francisco, I do not appreciate them stepping on kids to achieve their political aspirations.

Why do I support the JROTC program? As I mentioned in a post last week, I support the JROTC program because it provides young people with an alternative means to learning discipline, to feeling the security provided by a structured environment, and to learning and practicing leadership skills. It is nice that it also provides physical education, but that’s an aside from my point of view. Many young people in San Francisco lack supportive parents/guardians, lack structure, and lack discipline – but the JROTC helps to make up for what these kids are, in some cases, not getting at home. Where do we find some of the kids who are seeking the security of living with a structured group that provides some certainty about how things work – we find some of those kids in gangs. What happens to kids in gangs? Read the crime pages – they either shoot others or they get shot themselves.

This past weekend, alleged gang member and 21-year-old father Edwin Ramos allegedly got out of his car in the city’s Excelsior district and shot the father and two sons of another family sitting in their cars for God only knows what traffic-related reason. The examples of young people who end up in gangs because they lack discipline and structure could fill several books ….

While Mark Sanchez and Eric Mar hope to become Supervisors based in part on their killing off the JROTC program, San Franciscans should step back and assess whether or not we want such selfish politicians making decisions for our City and County in 2009.

In the meanwhile, feel free to give the Board members an earful …

Mr. Mark Sanchez – President of the Board

Ms. Kim-Shree Maufas – Vice President

Ms. Jane Kim – Commissioner

Mr. Eric Mar – Commissioner

Ms. Hydra Mendoza – Commissioner

Ms. Jill Wynns – Commissioner

Mr. Norman Yee – Commissioner

One Response to San Francisco USD School Board's Politicians to Likely Provide a Win for Gangs' Recruiting Efforts this Afternoon

  1. Before you so casually condemn Eric Mar, please take some time and learn more about why opposition to JROTC is a self-less position: