Who is John Arntz? White SF election director who worked for 20 YEARS FIRED to promote ‘racial equity’

As Department Director, John Arntz helped establish plans such as Racial Equity Action, which ultimately cost him his job after 20 years of service

Who is John Arntz? White SF election director who worked for 20 YEARS FIRED to promote ‘racial equity’
John Arntz will step down from the position of Election Director this year (KTVU screenshot/Youtube)
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SAN FRANSISCO, CALIFORNIA: San Francisco Election Director John Arntz will have to step down after 20 years of service to achieve "racial equity." John, who is White, will not have his contract renewed for the next year. The decision comes in after San Francisco's Elections Commission decided in a 4 to 2 decision last week.

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According to Daily Mail, the city officials will not extend his contract after next year. "It's hard to achieve diversity targets if senior roles never open up," said Cynthia Dai, a commission member. She added, "This has nothing to do with his performance."

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Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor London Breed opined, "John Arntz has served San Francisco with integrity and professionalism and has stayed completely independent. He's remained impartial and has avoided getting caught up in the web of City politics, which we see now as a result of this unnecessary vote." Breed added, "Rather than working on key issues to recover and rebuild our City, this is a good example of unfair politicization of a key part of our government that is working well for the voters of this city." However, Commission's president Chris Jerdonek informed Arntz in an email, "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." 

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John Artnz (San Fransisco Election office)
John Arntz (San Fransisco Department of Elections

Who is John Arntz?

According to his LinkedIn profile, he is a graduate of English from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The 57-year-old has also completed his business studies at The University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law. He has been working as the election director since April 2002. The move of not renewing his contract came in just eight days after the November 8 midterm election.

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According to Mission Local, David Chiu, City Attorney, said he was 'mystified' by the commission's decision. He said, "Some folks have forgotten the history of this department. Before Director Arntz, we had five directors in as many years, ballot boxes floating in the bay, and an intense lack of confidence in city elections." Elections Commission wrote to the mayor in 2021, stating, "San Francisco runs one of the best elections in the country and we believe this transparent process has allowed us to continue to improve our elections." The elections at San Fransisco for the past two decades have taken place under his leadership. 

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Arntz has also received an appreciation email  from Division Manager Mayank Patel, "Under the leadership of Director Arntz, our Department successfully conducted over thirty public elections and rebuilt the public's confidence in the city's elections processes from the ground up." However, the decision to pull down Arntz has resulted in a conflict between elected officials and unelected bureaucracies. The claim of those in defense of Arntz says that the city's 'racial equity plan' cited to support their decision was created by the same elected officials that are now criticizing the decision not to renew him.

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Meanwhile, "Members of the Elections Commission are tasked with ensuring free, fair, and functional elections and must act in the best interests of the City and County. The decision to dismiss John Arntz after 20 years of impeccable leadership is a dereliction of the Commission’s duty," said Supervisor Catherine Stefani. 

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