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San Francisco Fires Long-Time Elections Official To Meet Its Racial Equity Goals


Jack McEvoy on November 22, 2022

The San Francisco elections commission decided last week to not renew director John Arntz’s contract, not because he failed to fulfill his duties, but because they wanted to hire a minority replacement, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The city commission voted to not renew Arntz’s five-year deal and instead will hire an independent recruiter to assess applicants for the position along with Arntz, should he choose to reapply, according to the SF Chronicle. Arntz, who was hired in 2002, did not receive a new contract because the commission wanted to carry out San Francisco’s “racial equity” plan that aims to maintain a “high level” of racial diversity in every government position.

“Our decision wasn’t about your performance, but after twenty years we wanted to take action on the City’s racial equity plan and give people an opportunity to compete for a leadership position,” commission president Chris Jerdonek wrote in an email Monday to Arntz, according to the SF Chronicle.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who touted the city’s racial equity plan after signing it in 2019, criticized the election commission’s decision to not renew Arntz’s contract, calling it “unfair politicization,” according to the SF Chronicle. Breed added that Arntz was a professional and model employee during the 20 years he served as director of the city’s elections.

“You have to actually open up your senior leadership roles… otherwise you get in a situation where you are literally waiting for someone to retire for those positions to open up,” fellow commissioner Cynthia Dai told the SF Chronicle.

The San Francisco elections commission and Arntz did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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