A transgender school board candidate picked up early backing this week from San Francisco’s progressive LGBT political club.
Jamie Rafaela Wolfe, who lost her first bid for a school board seat in 2010, is again seeking to join the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education this fall. She won an early endorsement Tuesday night (April 15) from the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, on whose board Wolfe previously served.
“Earning the vote for early endorsement of my campaign for school board left me immensely excited and honored,” Wolfe, 36, told the Bay Area Reporter via a Facebook message. “This is a rarity in politics and one which I will carry with integrity. Thank you Milk Club!”
A behaviorist and floor manager at Oakes Children’s Center Inc., a nonprofit that provides educational and therapeutic services to children with emotional and developmental issues, Wolfe has also been a lead organizer for the annual Trans March during Pride weekend.
Milk club Co-President Laura Thomas told the B.A.R. that the group’s members are “delighted” to back Wolfe’s candidacy.
“She’s been a leader in the Milk Club as well as in the community. We are proud to be able to support transgender candidates for office such as Jamie,” Thomas wrote in an emailed reply. “We know that Jamie will work hard for a better education for all San Francisco kids. In particular, we believe that trans young people in our public schools deserve a role model like Jamie on the school board. We look forward to campaigning with her and will work hard to get her elected in November.”
Three school board seats will be on the November ballot, with at least one an open seat as current member Kim-Shree Maufas will not be seeking a third term. Another incumbent board member, Hydra Mendoza, has yet to announce if she will seek re-election while Emily Murase is seeking re-election to her seat on the school board.
The local Board of Education has not had an out LGBT member since early January 2009. So far two out candidates have declared bids for school board this year.
In addition to Wolfe, Mark Murphy, 48, a communications and marketing consultant whose husband is an elementary school teacher in the district, is also running.