About Martin Rawlings-Fein 马文龙

Why Run for School Board?

I am a proud LGBT (bi+ and trans) parent with deep ties to the public school system. I was born and raised in San Jose, Ca, and have been a lifetime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. Raised by a single mother, I have three siblings who have since spread out across California and Oregon where my mother finally retired.

I attended exclusively public schools through middle school, and multiple public high schools including Abraham LincolnGunderson  and after moving around during my freshman year I finally ended up at Prospect in Saratoga, CA. When I finally went to college I attended Berkeley City College due to their Program for Adult College Education (PACE) since I was already a working adult at the time and I finished my baccalaureate at New College of California. I went on to earn my master's degree in Jewish Studies through the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies (CJS) at the Graduate Theological Union. I had career goals of becoming a rabbi, but then after some deep consideration I decided to run for the San Francisco Board of Education instead.

I have considered running for the San Francisco school board since my daughter began kindergarten, it was then I realized that the system was a shambles, while going through The Assignment Process for the first time. My wife and I called it the parent hazing and the moniker has remained throughout the three times that we have gone through the process. I support revamping the broken assignment process, and through that addressing the root causes of the Achievement Gap, assisting in the timely implementation of the Digital District Plan, and looking at ways that we can support algebraic learning in middle school within the Common Core State Standards.

I would also support revisiting a Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program that will truly engage neurodiverse students and bring those families that have left our school communities back to the public schools. I want to support educator salary increases and assist in building solutions to rising housing costs across San Francisco. I also want to create avenues of engagement and communication between faculty, students and parents, and work towards clear communication of positive trans and gender non-conforming policies, including bathroom signage and student rights district-wide.

I hope that you will join me in bringing common sense ideas and progressive values to the San Francisco Board of Education!
Martin Rawlings-Fein
  • From the blog

    🏃Still running, but the marathon has turned into a sprint!🏃‍♀️

    Hello all,

    Yes! I am still running for the San Francisco Board of Education, and I can't do this alone. I need your help!

    Tomorrow is a big day for donations, as tomorrow evening is another pre-election deadline for funding. If I am one of your top candidates, please take a moment to donate today through my ActBlue page! Help push my campaign funds higher, and if you live outside of San Francisco, consider donating to help keep my campaign afloat and assist us to make the campaign expenditures for mailings and campaign lit!

    Anything from $5 to $500 can help drive my campaign to another level of outreach. Please also consider volunteering for canvassing, hosting a house party or calling voters. Together we can do this! 


    *$500 is the upper limit one can donate in an election cycle*



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    A Response on Education

    A couple days ago while heading to Rosh Hashanah services, I learned that one of the other candidates dropped out of the race for San Francisco School Board. People had been calling for Zhao to step aside for a while now while her personal views about trans people like myself evolved. When I was asked about whether or not I would "disavow" her at the Harvey Milk club, I said that I would rather educate her on trans issues than cut her off as many of my colleagues were quick to do from the stage.

    Let me tell you why.

    I am trans, a fact that doesn't get me clocked as much as my trans sisters, but can oftentimes get me misgendered when people want to make a point. My identity is not a wedge issue, but people try make it so when it’s convenient for them. Performative allies try to make it about their own candidates being supportive of trans kids, but trans identity all comes down to, for me personally, me being a man and others accepting that point. For trans children, their gender identity should receive as much dignity and respect as anyone else’s.

    When someone says that they are, "not down with Zhao," it cuts her, as a paraprofessional, off from the education that I want to bring to the district on this and many other issues. I don't have the luxury of cutting people who do not get my transgender identity out of my life and disavowing them. For me, to do that would mean cutting many people I meet on the street out of a conversation. A conversation to educate. A conversation to change ignorance. A chance to make things for myself and others just a bit better than they are right now. Disavowing people who are evolving in their ideas would mean that we would lose potential allies, and yes, even the performative ones.

    I thank Josephine Zhao for thinking about her past statements and halting her run for a position that impacts the youth of San Francisco – and education in the Bay. 

    We have less than 54 days till Election Day, please support our campaign by donating just $25 and please share my Facebook page, my donation link and campaign website.

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