Earlier this month, Matt and I covered Alison Collins, the San Francisco school board member whose racist tweets against Asians from 2016 resurfaced as part of a non-partisan campaign to "Recall the SF School Board." Despite calls for Collins to resign, she resisted, and instead lost her title of vice president in a 5-2 vote of no confidence on Thursday night, as Fox 2 of San Francisco reported.
Commissioners Jenny Lam and Faauuga Moliga co-authored a resolution for Thursday's meeting asking for Collins to be removed if she did not resign. Moliga's tweets are protected, but according to previous reporting from Fox 2, he called on her to resign at a previous meeting from Tuesday. "Commissioner Alison Collins' statement regarding the Asian American community is dangerous, hurtful and unbecoming," he said. "I am requesting Commissioner Collins to take accountability for the racist statements, issue a heartfelt apology and gracefully resign from the SF Board of Education. This critical step will ensure that our communities and our students can begin recentering and healing."
Lam did not make it a secret over social media that she wanted Collins to resign. She also made a statement during Tuesday's meeting. "We've been silenced by ignorant comments like this for far too long. Our efforts have been minimized for far too long. We've been gaslighted, scapegoated and invisiblized for far too long," she said. "Words matter and the example we set, as entrusted by voters to have compassion and care about the kids we represent must be demonstrated with words and actions. I'm not alone when I say that I do not have confidence in Commissioner Collins' ability to govern a school district that is almost half AAPI with no bias."
According to Fox 2 of San Francisco from Thursday night about the resolution and the vote:
In the event she does not resign, the resolution also calls for Collins' removal from all board committees for the duration of her term, effectively immediately, the school board said.
"Although Commissioner Collins has acknowledged that her words may have caused pain, her public statements to-date have fallen short of sincere recognition of the harm she has caused and Vice President Collins does not seem to take meaningful responsibility for her actions," the resolution reads.
It further claims her statements have been inflammatory, and "perpetuate gross and harmful stereotypes" towards the Asian community.
Earlier reporting from Fox 2 noted that Collins followed-up on a previous Saturday apology. On Tuesday, Collins shared at the meeting that, "I'd like to reemphasize my sincere and heartfelt apologies and I'm currently engaging with my colleagues and working with the community for the good of all children in our district, and especially Black children who are often left behind."
She previously apologized in a Medium piece that she shared on Twitter. "For the pain my words may have caused I am sorry, and I apologize unreservedly," she wrote. Her apology also in part emphasized that her words were "taken out of context."
A number of tweets and social media posts I made in 2016 have recently been highlighted. They have been taken out of context, both of that specific moment and the nuance of the conversation that took place. https://t.co/oHDSZojGFc pic.twitter.com/ZoTdCBJv6f— Alison Collins ??? (@AliMCollins) March 20, 2021
While Collins loses her title, as Fox 2 reported, "This does not mean Collins can no longer serve on the board."
The Recall SF School Board effort is still ongoing. It recently sent its proposal recall petition over to the city.
Yesterday we submitted the proposed recall petition to the city, that means we could have petitions to sign in 10 days!— Recall SF School Board (@recallsfboe) March 25, 2021
We are stopping the 30 reasons campaign so we focus on organizing to collect signatures.
Sign-up on our website to stay informed: https://t.co/lX2Q0IhFyw pic.twitter.com/ZHBMJDSqw0