Harvey Milk Club pressures backers of school board candidate over transphobic remarks

The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club on Wednesday moved to urge candidates running for office to rescind their endorsements of school board hopeful Josephine Zhao.

The club released its endorsements for the November election along with a list of motions seeking to put pressure on candidates including California Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma and Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu.

Zhao came under fire by the club for allegedly transphobic remarks she made four years ago after she secured endorsements by Mayor London Breed and Sen. Scott Wiener earlier this month. The public school mom and school district employee in 2013 advocated against gender-neutral bathrooms in San Francisco schools, and told Chinese media that the policy would lead to rape on campuses.

Last week, Zhao apologized for the remarks in an interview with the San Francisco Examiner and contended that she has changed her position on the policy. Still, the club voted on Tuesday to reschedule a vote to consider rescinding its previous endorsement of Ma, who is running for State Treasurer, due to her “endorsement of Josephine Zhao for school board.”

SEE RELATED: School board candidate under fire for past transphobic statements

The club also voted to urge all members of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee to oppose Chu — who has also endorsed Zhao — in her run for re-election as Assessor-Recorder. The DCCC was expected to finalize its endorsements with a vote Wednesday night.

Mia Satya, one of two transgender candidates running for a seat on the school board, has previously received the club’s endorsement. On Tuesday, the club voted to press Breed to appoint a transgender candidate to the soon-to-be-vacant seat of school board president Hydra Mendoza-McDonell, a mayoral appointee.

Breed told the San Francisco Examiner last week that she stands by her endorsement of Zhao, whom she called “a good person.” Likewise, Wiener has said he will continue to back Zhao.

But other local leaders and candidates have pulled their endorsements, including Supervisor Catherine Stefani and supervisor candidate Christine Johnson.

On Wednesday, Zhao dispelled rumors that she had put her campaign on hold.

“I am running my campaign full speed,” she said.

lwaxmann@sfexaminer.com

Laura Waxmann
Share
Published by
Laura Waxmann

Recent Posts

Beautiful memories of the Presidio’s beautiful Burger King

It’s a strange comment on a changing San Francisco that one can feel nostalgic about the demolition of a former…

2 hours ago

Observation Post at The Presidio: Remembering the Burger King with the best view

The Observation Post at The Presidio is set to be torn down. The building once served as a Burger King…

2 hours ago

Classes cancelled at SF State over bad air

Classes have been cancelled at San Francisco State University through the end of this week due to continued smoke blowing…

3 hours ago

SFPD awards medals of valor to officers for bravery in police shootings

In October 2016, a mentally disturbed man acting erratically in Lakeshore Plaza shot a police officer in the head. The…

4 hours ago

SF looks to grow revenues for planting more street trees

The head of San Francisco’s new street tree program called for patience Wednesday, saying it will take an additional three…

4 hours ago

Lyft, Uber drivers protest sudden deactivations

A dozen or so Lyft and Uber drivers protested outside Lyft’s corporate headquarters Wednesday morning and called for the company…

6 hours ago