Leticia Garcia and Sophia Green recall, Fontana Unified School District, California (2013)

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A vote about whether to recall Leticia Garcia and Sophia Green from their positions on the school board of the Fontana Unified School District in San Bernardino County, California took place on July 16, 2013.[1] Leticia Garcia and Sophia Green were recalled.[2] The recall effort was launched in July of 2012[3] and signatures were submitted in January of 2013.[4]

Timeline

The following is the general timeline of the recall:

  • July 2012: Recall effort announced
  • January 30, 2013: Signatures for both recalls submitted
  • July 16, 2013: Election date; Leticia Garcia and Sophia Green recalled
  • August 13, 2013: Official deadline for canvass and certification[5]

Reasons for recall

The catalyst for recall was Garcia and Green's opposition to a city-sponsored after school program. The notice of intention to circulate a recall petition states that "Garcia maligned the reputation of a program that capably serves 3,500 students and their families, jeopardizing future funding that provides over 350 jobs." Other grounds for recall include Garcia's vote to eliminate all the district's counselors, "unfounded accusations against the Fontana School Administrators and Teachers of cheating on procedures and practices on standardized state tests," and Garcia's support for a failed parcel tax ballot measure. The recall petition against Green states that Green "has repeatedly stated in public and on the record that she owes no explanation to voters for her actions or decisions."[3]

Mayor supports recall effort

Fontana's mayor, Acquanetta Warren, was a proponent of the recall effort. Warren faced a recall effort in 2011, but the recall didn't make it to the ballot.

Warren said, "I'm all in...I have been getting so many telephone calls and e-mails from people in the community about what's going on at the School Board...if I am going to lead this community, it's my job to get those two on the ballot (of a recall election) and let the people decide."[6]

In April 2013, Mayor Warren made a series of controversial posts on Facebook regarding the recall. She posted an image of a circle with a line running through Garcia and Green and the words "No Convicted Criminals" beside it. Warren posted this image to several Facebook pages, including the page of the Fontana Teachers Association. Neither Garcia nor Green has a criminal record.[1]

Garcia's response

A week before the July election Garcia released a response to the recall, saying among other things: "This attempt to recall me is nothing more than a personal vendetta against me by the mayor and her supporters" and "Since when is voting in opposition to a contract an offense worthy of recall? I am only guilty of asking tough questions and particularly about a $4 million contract with the city for after school services."[7]

Opposition to recall

The Fontana Democratic Club opposes the recall effort.[8]

Path to the ballot

The recall effort began in July 2012. Recall organizers were first required to submit a batch of 10 signatures in order to move forward with the recall process.[3] Recall supporters then needed to submit 7,905 signatures on each petition by January 30, 2013.[6] On January 30, recall organizers submitted 11,658 signatures on Garcia's petition, and 11,432 signatures on Green's petition. A recall election, which is projected to cost the district $102,000, was scheduled for July 16, 2013.[4][9]

Five people submitted their candidacy for the school board positions should Garcia and/or Green be recalled:[10]

  • Shannon O'Brien and Socorro Enriquez for Garcia's position.
  • Ayanna Blackmon-Balogun, Olivia Lopez and Jason O'Brien for Green's position.

Ballot language

The ballot language according to San Bernardino County is as follows:

FONTANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Distrito Escolar Unificado Fontana
Shall LETICIA GARCIA be recalled (removed) from the office of Governing Board Member?
¿Debería removerse (retirarse) a LETICIA GARCIA de su puesto como Miembro de la Junta Gobernante?
YES / SI
NO / NO


Candidates to succeed LETICIA GARCIA if she is recalled (removed) from office.
Candidatos para ocupar el puesto de LETICIA GARCIA si se le remueve (retira) del puesto.
Vote for one / Vote por uno
SOCORRO ENRIQUEZ
Parent
Madre de Familia
SHANNON O BRIEN
Non-Profit Director/Parent
Directora de Org. sin Fines de Lucro/Madre de Familia
(Write-In / En-escrito)[11][12]

FONTANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Distrito Escolar Unificado Fontana
Shall SOPHIA GREEN be recalled (removed) from the office of Governing Board Member?
¿Debería removerse (retirarse) a SOPHIA GREEN de su puesto como Miembro de la Junta Gobernante?
YES / SI
NO / NO


Candidates to succeed SOPHIA GREEN if she is recalled (removed) from office.
Candidatos para ocupar el puesto de SOPHIA GREEN si se le remueve (retira) del puesto.
Vote for one / Vote por uno
OLIVIA LOPEZ
Retired School Employee
Empleada de Escuela Jubilada
JASON O BRIEN
Police Detective
Policía Investigador
AYANNA BLACKMON-BALOGUN
Teacher/Author
Maestra/Autora
(Write-In / En-escrito)[11][12]

Election results

Leticia Garcia recall

Fontana USD - Recall Leticia Garcia Question (2013)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Recall3,08669.79%
Retain1,33630.21%
Election results via: San Bernardino County Elections Office of the Registrar of Voters (Last Updated: July 19, 2013 3:11 PM)
Fontana USD - To Succeed Leticia Garcia (2013)
ResultVotesPercentage
DefeateddSOCORRO ENRIQUEZ 1,368 38.71%
ApprovedaSHANNON O BRIEN 2,166 61.29%
Election results via: San Bernardino County Elections Office of the Registrar of Voters (Last Updated: July 19, 2013 3:11 PM)

Sophia Green recall

Fontana USD - Recall Sophia Green Question (2013)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Recall3,07170.61%
Retain1,27829.39%
Election results via: San Bernardino County Elections Office of the Registrar of Voters (Last Updated: July 19, 2013 3:11 PM)
Fontana USD - To Succeed Sophia Green (2013)
ResultVotesPercentage
DefeateddOLIVIA LOPEZ 795 22.29%
DefeateddJASON O BRIEN 1,199 33.62%
ApprovedaAYANNA BLACKMON-BALOGUN 1,572 44.08%
Election results via: San Bernardino County Elections Office of the Registrar of Voters (Last Updated: July 19, 2013 3:11 PM)

Aftermath

On the evening of the election, Leticia Garcia stated she would look at potential legal actions, stating, "In the coming days, I will be examining my legal options regarding the unethical and illegal way the entire process was conducted: from the signature-gathering all the way through the closing of the polls this evening." She also stated of the 8 percent turnout rate of the recall election, "It is disturbing to me that a record-low turnout could overturn the will of the voters who elected me in 2010."[13][2]

See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Sun, "Fontana mayor adds fuel to fire in recall effort", April 27, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 County of San Bernardino, "Fontana Unified School District Special Recall Election July 16, 2013," Accessed: July 21, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, "Group readies recall drive against two Fontana Unified School District board members", July 4, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Sun, "Fontana school board recall group turns in petitions", January 30, 2013
  5. County of San Bernardino, "SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY ELECTIONS OFFICE FONTANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT SPECIAL RECALL ELECTION JULY 16, 2013"
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Sun, "Fontana mayor supports school district recall campaign", September 21, 2012
  7. Fontana Herald News, "Statements for and against the recall of Leticia Garcia," July 11, 2013
  8. Fontana Democratic Club, "FDC Resolution: Resolution to Oppose the Recall Election of FUSD Board Members Leticia Garcia and Sophia Green", January 31, 2013
  9. The Sun, "Fontana Unified school board recall campaign makes final push," July 13, 2013
  10. Fontana Herald News, "Five candidates seek two FUSD seats if recall is successful," July 5, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 County of San Bernardino, "Special Recall Election Fontana Unified School District Tuesday, July 16, 2013"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  13. Fontana Herald News, "Leticia Garcia says she will be examining her legal options after her loss in recall election," July 17, 2013