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Mark Sanchez (politician)

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Mark Sanchez is an American politician in San Francisco, California. He is currently the President of the San Francisco Board of Education and is a candidate for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in District 9.

Biography & political career Edit

Mark Sanchez was a long-time teacher in San Francisco. He founded Teachers for Change and Teachers for Social Justice before running for the Board of Education in 2000 at the urging on long-time City Supervisor Tom Ammiano. Despite a tiny campaign fund, Sanchez surprised many observers by winning the third of four open seats. He became the first Green Party member and the second openly-gay Commissioner on the Board of Education.

Sanchez represented the opposition to then-Superintendent Arlene Ackerman alongside fellow Commissioner Eric Mar.[1] Sanchez helped build a progressive majority on the Board of Education, supporting victorious Green Party candidates Sarah Lipson (in 2002) and Jane Kim (2006, along with progressive Democrat Kim-Shree Maufas (2006).[2]

In January, 2007, Mark Sanchez was unanimously elected as the President of the Board of Education. His tenure as President has included the hiring of new SFUSD Superintendent Carols Garcia, the shortening of the Board of Education's regular meetings (which were notorious for late-night debates), the debate over San Francisco's popular JROTC program and a resolution for Lennar Corporation to halt construction in Hunters Point Naval Shipyard because of health concerns.[3]

Sanchez's votes against JROTC follow his history of advocating for peace in the SFUSD's curriculum. In 2003, commissioners Sanchez and Mar sponsored an anti-war resolution. "The original resolution called for promoting a districtwide anti-war rally and creating a curriculum culled from the resources of anti-war groups to be used from kindergarten on up."[4]

The elimination of JROTC was originally decided upon in November 2006 in a 4-2 vote under board President Dan Kelly, whose tenure preceded Sanchez's. Commissioners Sanchez, Mar, Kelly, and Lipson voted to eliminate the program, with Commissioners Jill Wynns and Norman Yee voting against them. Commissioner Eddie Chin was absent.[5] "Opponents said the armed forces should have no place in public schools, and the military's discriminatory stance on gays makes the presence of JROTC unacceptable."[6] One supporter of the program argued that the program is the only place the kids feel safe[7]

In December 2007, during Sanchez' presidency, the Board voted 5-2 to postpone the elimination of JROTC due to the fact that a replacement program had not been created. Sanchez and Mar were the only commissioners to vote for immediate elimination.[8] In June, 2008 the board discontinued the awarding of physical education credit due to the threat of a lawsuit.[9]

Campaign for Supervisor Edit

In October 2007, Mark Sanchez announced his candidacy for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He is running in District 9, where long-time Supervisor Tom Ammiano is termed out. He is opposed by Democrats David Campos and Eric Quezada.

External linksEdit

References Edit

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