San Francisco media turns alleged recall petition theft into cause celebre

Lee Heidhues 6.17.2021

The San Francisco Chronicle has blown up the apparent theft of Petitions seeking to recall several School Board members into a cause celebre. 

The Chronicle for months has been aggressively advocating to bring down School Board member Allison Colins. The Chronicle has published lurid details about Ms. Colins problems with the Department of Building Inspection, her interactions with members of the public and her remarks directed towards the Asian-American community in its nonstop campaign.

Alison Collins I 3.31.2021
Beleaguered School Board member Allison Colins

The apparent theft of Recall petitions has given the Chronicle another opportunity to put the School Board recall with Alison Collins front and center as its target.

In addition to the attached article the Chronicle ran a lengthy feature by its award winning columnist going into granular detail about this incident.

San Francisco Chronicle – Megan Cassidy 6.17.2021

An employee for Jewish Vocational Service in San Francisco was fired after a now-viral video caught him allegedly stealing petition signatures for a recall campaign against three members of the city’s school board.

A statement from JVS, published online Thursday, stated that the company had begun a fact-gathering mission about the employee after becoming aware of the video. The company said the employee was off-duty at the time and “apparently interfering with the petition-gathering process of the San Francisco Board of Education recall.”

JVS helps people in the Bay Area train for and connect with living-wage jobs, according to company’s website.

JVS and School Board Recall IV  6.17.2021.jpg


“We immediately placed the employee on administrative leave and, now, after a thorough review we have dismissed the employee,” the firm’s statement read. “We are grateful for the guidance and support we’ve received from the San Francisco community, of which we have been honored to be a part of for almost 50 years.”

Recall campaign officials applauded the decision in a tweet Thursday afternoon.

JVS and School Board Recall I 6.17.2021
Alleged theft of San Francisco School Board Recall petitiions

“We appreciate the thoughtfulness of @JVSBayArea in making this decision and upholding democracy and the rights of the people to hold our elected leaders accountable without fear, intimidation or disruption,” the tweet said.

Police said that about 11:20 a.m. on May 30, officers responded to a reported theft at Third Avenue and Clement Street and spoke to a campaign volunteer who said a man approached him during the signature drive, took the petition paperwork and then walked away.

“The victim confronted the suspect and after a verbal confrontation the suspect returned the petition paperwork back to the victim,” police officials said in a statement. “The suspect then fled on foot. Officers also met with witnesses that gave their accounts of the incident.”

San Francisco police said they were aware of the possible identification of the suspect being posted on social media and said they are working “diligently”on the case.