Roberta Bechtel and Carol Dimmick at Triangle Park

By Joel P. Engardio

There’s a reason Christopher Guest mockumentaries and fictional TV shows like Schitt’s Creek and Parks and Recreation are so popular. They reveal the humor and pathos in the daily travails of a town’s residents trying to make their patch of life better.

And the little guy gets to win, or at least find purpose after enduring the indignity of living in a world where you can’t beat City Hall.

If neighborhood politics in San Francisco were a Netflix show, 77-year-old Carol Dimmick would be a central character. She raised two sons, became an investigative journalist in…

Welcome to my special newsletter about ways to change the San Francisco school board and how to get involved. This is update 13.

Find out below how an upcoming Supreme Court case could help Alison Collins win her $87 million lawsuit against the San Francisco school district and her fellow commissioners. The saga of our school board never ends.

This newsletter contains:

  • Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Help Alison Collins Lawsuit
  • What’s the Difference Between Recall and Reform?
  • Drive-Thru Recall Petition Signing (Sunday May 2)
  • The Case for Recalling the School Board
  • Recall Timeline
  • Action Items

Do you have…

By Joel P. Engardio

The security video that shows the violent attack of an 84-year-old grandfather on a San Francisco street is horrifying to watch. It went viral, documenting one of the many attacks on Asian American seniors since the pandemic started.

Rong Xin Liao survived the jump-kick to his face and the impact of being thrown to the concrete sidewalk from his walker seat as he waited for the bus. But he suffered a skull fracture and needed surgery to relieve brain swelling.

It took more than a year for Rong Xin Liao and his family to get their…

Welcome to my special newsletter about ways to change the San Francisco school board and how to get involved. This is update 11.

Our first drive-thru for signing the school board recall petition was a huge success. Nearly 500 people showed up! And 20 volunteers made everything run smoothly.

We’re going to do more drive-thrus to meet demand. Here are the next two dates:

Sunday April 18
11am to 1pm
Eucalyptus Drive in front of Lowell High School

Sunday April 25
11am to 1pm
Eucalyptus Drive in front of Lowell High School

Drive-thru traffic flow map

San Francisco Board of Education

By Joel P. Engardio

An effort is underway to recall three school board commissioners: Alison Collins, Gabriela Lopez, and Faauuga Moliga. They are the only three commissioners of seven currently eligible for recall. The rest were recently elected and recall proceedings cannot begin for them until six months into their term.

70,000 verified signatures of San Francisco voters must be delivered to the Department of Elections before September 1 for a recall to qualify for the ballot.

Click here to visit the official school board recall website for instructions on where and how to sign a recall petition. Signatures must…

Welcome to my special newsletter about ways to change the school board and how to get involved. This is update 9.

The official school board recall petitions are ready to sign.

Click here to get a petition.

Download, print, sign, and mail your petition.

FYI: Anything you sign online doesn’t count. There were many online petitions asking for Alison Collins to resign. But the actual recall petition must be signed with pen on paper. The only way to recall the school board is here.

The petitions were approved just when we needed them most.

Reasons to recall
I didn’t think the…

San Francisco School Board meeting March 2021

Welcome to my special newsletter about ways to change the school board and get involved. This is update 8.

Perspective is the theme of this update. As the school board descends into ever-more chaos and controversy, we must keep perspective on why the call to replace and reform the school board was raised in the first place.

This newsletter covers the following reasons:

  • All the decisions that hindered the ability to safely reopen schools.
  • A profoundly flawed school renaming process that took priority over getting kids back in classrooms.
  • The end of merit-based admissions to Lowell High School, which was…

Atlanta, March 2021. Photo credit: Megan Varner/Getty Images

By Joel P. Engardio

It was another troubling week for Asian Americans.

Monday: Danny Yu Chang was struck in the head and knocked unconscious during his lunch break in downtown San Francisco.

Meredith Willa Dodson with her husband and two kids, ages five and three. Photo credit: Deeksha Prakash

Welcome to my special newsletter about actions to change the school board. This is update 7.

This update includes:

  • The Big Three Actions
  • Q&A with Super Mom Meredith Willa Dodson
  • Head Scratch and Heartbreak from the School Board
  • Communication Links

The goal of this newsletter is to provide information on the ways to reform the school board and give direction on how you can get involved.

Do you have friends who would like this newsletter? Ask them to subscribe here.

Thanks for your support,
Joel Engardio

P.S. This newsletter is also published as a blog post. Click here to read…

KPIX news crew was robbed of its camera at gunpoint near San Francisco’s Twin Peaks.

By Joel P. Engardio

Consider this: a TV news crew reporting on increased crime in a San Francisco neighborhood was robbed of their camera at gunpoint.

Fortunately, no one was injured during this ironic property crime. Yet outrage over the brazen robbery is justified given the string of violent killings in San Francisco recently.

And the numerous attacks on Asian seniors.

We’ve all seen the viral video of the 84-year-old grandfather who was body slammed on the sidewalk and killed on his morning walk. …

Joel Engardio

Forward-thinking + pragmatic Democrat, civil liberties advocate, award-winning journalist, Westside SF homeowner. My local views at

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