Matt Haney Declares Candidacy for School Board

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

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Published on April 13, 2012 with 6 Comments

University of California Students Association Executive Director Matt Haney formally declared Wednesday his candidacy for San Francisco School Board. Photos by Luke Thomas.

By Luke Thomas

April 13, 2012

Accompanied by family, friends and College Board Trustee Steve Ngo, former Obama 2008 campaign organizer Matt Haney officially declared Wednesday his candidacy for San Francisco School Board.

Haney, a progressive, said he is running because, “Education is the most important and critical institution in our society – and it’s under attack right now.”

While California ranks 49th in education funding, Haney said he remains optimistic that more affluent cities like San Francisco will be able to make up funding shortfalls through progressive taxation and other revenue-generating measures.

“San Francisco is one the most progressive and innovative cities in the entire country,” Haney said. “If there’s one place where we should be able to get public education right, it should be here.”

“What I bring is a different perspective than one that exists on the School Board right now,” Haney added. “I work full-time as a student advocate. I understand the needs of students and how to include student voices at the table – and I think that’s something that’s missing (from the school board) right now.”

Haney, who turns 30 next week, previously worked in Sacramento as a policy analyst on state and national issues, experience and expertise he says will be helpful in analyzing issues in the school district and identifying workable solutions.

In his current role as the executive director of the UC Students Association, “we try to find ways to bring new revenue to reinvest in education and opportunities for young people,” he said. “We need Prop 13 reform. We need more taxes on people who can pay – and we just have to be honest about that.”

His political mentors include Ngo, Attorney General Kamala Harris and President Barack Obama.

Ngo, who has early-endorsed Haney, said, “I can’t think of a better person to represent students, especially under-served youth in the city on the school board. I think he is going to be a vigorous and thoughtful advocate for all students, but especially those students who really need an advocate – low-income students, limited English proficiency students, students of color. I think he’s going to be a smart policy maker.”

Haney’s mother, Kris Calvin, who served on the School Board in South Pasadena and flew to San Francisco to be with her son for the filing, said, “I think because Matt has always been someone who really enjoys people, it doesn’t surprise me that he wants to go into public service; that he wants to do something where he can hear what people need.”

Four of 7 school board seats are up for election in November. Three incumbents – Sandra Fewer, Jill Wynns and Rachel Norton – are running for re-election.  Norman Yee, who is running to replace termed out District 7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd on the Board of Supervisors, is not seeking re-election to the school board.

More Photos

Matt Haney with his sister Erin Haney, mother Kris Calvin, College Board Trustee Steve Ngo and his wife, Tina Lee, and 50+1 founder Nicole Derse – posed for a photo outside the Department of Elections.

Matt Haney signs on the dotted line, officially declaring his candidacy for San Francisco School Board.

An all smiles school board candidate, Matt Haney.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Comments for Matt Haney Declares Candidacy for School Board are now closed.

  1. Nah, Richmondman, this guy actually really cares about improving our schools and his motives are pure. I know him well.

  2. Another future career politician hoping to use a Board Of Education job as a stepping stone into the Board of Supervisors, a la Ammiano, McGoldrick and Mar. All of whom left the BOE in worse shape than they found it.

  3. He has what it takes!

  4. Thank you for proofreading! Typos now corrected.

  5. formerly –> formally
    city’s –> cities (x2)
    We need this guy to improve our education system, indeed!

  6. The progressive bench just got deeper.