Eric Mar

Eric Mar

Eric Lee Mar (born August 15, 1962) is a California politician, currently serving on the San Francisco Board of Education and San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee. He is now a candidate for San Francisco District 1 Supervisor.


Mar has worked as an associate professor at San Francisco State University since 1992. He teaches Asian American and Ethic Studies. [ ] ]

From 1993-97, Mar was the Assistant Dean for New College Law School in San Francisco, the oldest public interest law school in the country, where he taught a course on critical race theory. [ [ Full Biography for Eric Mar ] ]

Mar has served on the Human Rights Committee of the State Bar of California and the Civil Rights Committee of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Mar is a longtime board member of the Chinese Progressive Association and a founding member of APIforCE (Asians and Pacific Islanders for Community Empowerment) and the Institute for Multiracial Justice. He is a past executive board member of the Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. In 1999, Mar received the community service award from the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA). He is a former shop steward for SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 790.

In 2000, Eric Mar's house burned down and on the same day, his daughter Jade was born.

Political career

In 1998, Mar was elected to the San Francisco County & Central Committee of the Democratic Party.

After his house burned down in April, 2000, Mar was ineligible to run for Supervisor as he had planned. [ [ AsianWeek: Bay Area: Political Potstickers ] ] Instead, he ran for the Board of Education, placing second.

Mar has filed his intent to run for the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors in District 1, in the city's Richmond District. Mar is endorsed by District 1's current supervisor, Jake McGoldrick. [ [ Eric Mar running for supe in D1 - SFBG Politics Blog ] ]


"AsianWeek" magazine criticized Mar for his support of closing down the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps in San Francisco high schools: "Supporters of JROTC acknowledge problems with the U.S. military and gays, but say Mar and (Norman) Yee are discounting the tremendous benefit JROTC has provided to minorities and low-income students." [Staff Report (November 10, 2006) [ "End of the JROTC?"] "AsianWeek".]

The "San Francisco Chronicle" blamed Mar and two other Board of Education members for the tense relationship the Board had with former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman:

What (Ackerman) doesn't need is sniping and second-guessing from elected officials whose job is to set broad policies, not micromanage the superintendent's daily conduct. Tensions between school board members and superintendents come with the territory. But in San Francisco, those tensions had gone far beyond the limits of acceptability. Three board members in particular—Eric Mar, Sarah Lipson and Mark Sanchez—need to start working with Ackerman, not fighting with her virtually on a daily basis. [Editors (September 26, 2003) [ "Truce in the Schools."] "San Francisco Chronicle."]

"Beyond Chron" had a different opinion, placing blame instead with Ackerman:

The Examiner and Chronicle have been shameless propagandists for Arlene Ackerman. To their credit City voters saw through the smokescreen. If Ackerman had any respect for what public votes mean she would have quit after the November 2004 election because that is what the voters were saying when they rejected the candidacies of Heather Hiles, David Weiner and Coach Kane. Instead she stuck around to complain about commissioners city voters chose to re-elect... [claiming] she represents the "silent majority." []

Mar, along with other board members challenged the controversial Superintendent exemplified here:

Ackerman and her staff held a meeting a few weeks ago to explain [her] plan to parents and teachers, but it dissolved into a shouting match. Teachers now fill each other's e-mail boxes with messages blasting the administration, and students are threatening walkouts and transfers. The union representing teachers plans a demonstration at tonight's school board meeting. [ [ SAN FRANCISCO / Ackerman's 'dream' ruffles some factions / Forced to reapply for jobs, teachers say they're insulted ] ]

At a September 2003 meeting of the Board of Education, Mar was among "three board members with whom Ackerman has locked horns said they remain steadfast in their objections to her management of the district, which they characterize as autocratic and unyielding to differing views." [ S.F. schools chief vows to stay in job ] ] Ackerman resigned in 2005. Reported the "San Francisco Chronicle", "Mayor Newsom said he was saddened but not surprised by Ackerman's resignation considering the ongoing bickering that has gone on between her and a faction of the school board. He said it was a shame to be losing the architect of the improvements within city schools." [Knight, Healther (September 7, 2005) [ "Ackerman says she'll quit as schools chief."] "San Francisco Chronicle".]

In 2003, Mar, along with School Boarad members Sara Lipson and Mark Sanchez, floated a resolution to establish a district-wide anti-war rally in protest against the pending U.S. invasion of Iraq and to create a peace curriculum. Ackerman and other board members objected to the resolution calling it one-sided and for taking students out of school to participate in the rally. "The proposal failed but a watered-down version that passed the board called for a day of on-campus public discussion about the possibility of a war in Iraq.". [Knight, Heather (September 25, 2003) [ "Schools chief in S.F. hints at quitting."] San "Francisco Chronicle".]

In the 2006 Congressional election, Mar endorsed Krissy Keefer, the Green Party candidate, over Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.

Mar was criticized by members of the African-American community after he gave an interview to a Chinese-language newspaper in which he said Ackerman's attitude toward Asian-American's would be considered in the board of education's yearly evaluation of her performance. Ackerman is an African-American. Cedric Jackson, president of the San Francisco Black Leadership Forum, condemned Mar's actions as "unacceptable, irresponsible, intolerable behavior." [Knight, Heather (September 24, 2003) [ "3 S.F. school board members accused of plot on Ackerman."] "San Francisco Chronicle."] In November 2003, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom called on Mar to work for better relations with Ackerman. "There is no reason to create an acrimonious relationship when there doesn't need to be one -- the only people who suffer are the children," he said. "I can't imagine what it's like being a parent with a small child in the school district and listening to the rhetoric and knowing the work's not getting down because of that sideshow." [Knight, Heather (November 22, 2003) [ "Newsom lights into Gonzalez's backers on S.F. school board."] "San Francisco Chronicle".]

External links

* [ Mar's campaign site]


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