Andrea Merida recall, Denver Public Schools, Colorado (2010)
After several back-and-forths with the Denver Elections Division about the wording on the recall paperwork, recall organizers finally got the green light to start collecting signatures in very late September. From the time they received that confirmation, they had 60 days in which to collect 4,032 signatures, a number of signatures equalling 40% of those who voted in Merida's school board district in the last school board election.
Merida was elected to the Denver Public Schools school board in November 3, 2009 by a 116-vote margin, defeating Ismael Garcia. She achieved early notoriety by declining to wait until her scheduled swearing-date of November 30, 2009, opting unexpectedly to have a judge swear her in earlier that day. This deprived her District 2 school board predecessor of being able to participate for a final time as a board member at the meeting that was scheduled that evening.
Motivation for recall
Recall organizers said that they wanted Merida removed from office because she wrote an op-ed for the Denver Post in July 2010 critical of U.S. Senate candidate Michael Bennet, without disclosing that she was on the payroll of Bennet's opponent, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff. In May and June 2010, Merida earned $5,000 working for the Romanoff campaign. She quit when the Denver Post revealed that she was working for Romanoff's campaign committee as a paid staffer, while speaking out in various public ways, including the op-ed in the Denver Post, without revealing her financial ties to Romanoff.
When Merida quit working for the Romanoff campaign, she apologized for the non-disclosure on her website, saying:
- "I would like to set the record straight about the issue of the non-disclosure of my position as a paid field organizer for the Romanoff campaign. I neglected to tell the Denver Post that I hold such a position, though not intentionally. In my naivete, I believed it was not an issue, because campaigns are supposed to be separate from board work. For my oversight, I must apologize, and I regret any injury I may have caused. As a result, I have decided to resign from the campaign, though this creates financial hardship for my household, because my first loyalty is to the students of DPS and to my constituents. There can be no cloudiness about this fact."
Recall organizer Banuelos said, "I feel like she has a political agenda. She's always asking for transparency, transparency. But that's the pot calling the kettle black."
- Recall campaigns in Colorado
- Political recall efforts, 2010
- School board recalls
- Laws governing recall in Colorado
- Ed News Colorado, "Tuesday Churn", November 30, 2010
- Denver Post, "Recall effort launched against DPS board member Merida", September 8, 2010
- Westword, "Attempt to recall DPS board member fails, petitioners vow to try again", September 10, 2011
- Westword, "Andrea Merida's classroom behavior has earned her a seat apart on the Denver school board", September 23, 2010
- Andrea Merida's website, "About those campaigns…", July 26, 2010
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