Proposal to Let Noncitizens Vote for SF School Board Resurrected

Supervisor Eric Mar has an idea that stands in stark contrast to the national discussion about deporting immigrants who don’t have legal status — he wants to let noncitizens vote in local school board elections.

On Tuesday, Mar proposed a charter amendment at the Board of Supervisors’ weekly meeting for the November ballot that would allow the noncitizen parents, legal guardians or caregivers of students 18 and younger who are enrolled in San Francisco public schools to vote in local school board elections, whether they have a green card or a visa or are living in the country without documentation.


The proposal resurrects two previous ballot measures. In 2004, voters narrowly rejected the same proposal by then-Supervisor Matt Gonzalez with 49 percent in favor and 51 percent opposed. An even larger margin of voters rejected it in 2010, with 46 percent in favor and 54 percent opposed. Assemblyman David Chiu proposed that measure when he was a supervisor.