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Newsletter No. 36

Voters are organizing to recall both District 5’s Aurelio Mattucci and District 1’s Jon Kaji.

Both have drawn residents’ criticism, which we will review in a future newsletter, but their attempt to derail Metro’s C Line extension pushed the organizers into action.

The recall process starts when City Clerk Rebecca Poirier receives a petition signed by 60 of a district’s registered voters.

At the moment, the Mattucci effort is further along. Its organizers have the petition signed by more than 60, just in case some signatures are questioned. They also have a committee in place with a chair and a treasurer, along with a pro-bono attorney to guide them through the recall rules.

A few personal points: I am No. 39 out of the 60. If the recall succeeds, I will not seek the seat. I ran in 2022 because, at that moment, no one else was prepared to oppose Mattucci. Some excellent candidates have already indicated that they would be available to fill the seat in 2024. I am neither chair nor treasurer. I am serving as the committee’s communications director.

The Kaji recall campaign is coming together. It has identified a treasurer, as well as a pro-bono attorney and may already have its chair in place by the time this newsletter is posted.

Future newsletters will delve into the timelines for the recalls’ various stages.

Unlike most recalls these days, no paid signature gatherers will be used. Everyone will be a volunteer. Anyone signing a recall petition must live in the district, but that doesn’t preclude outside-the-district volunteers from helping to get signatures.

As someone who has overseen multiple volunteer efforts, I estimate that each campaign will need about 100 volunteers to gather about 3,500 signatures in District 5 and about 2,800 in District 1. If you are interested in being one of those volunteers, email me at

The March ballot:

TUSD President Jeremy Gerson is telling friends that he has decided to file for the open District 6 seat, and he may have done so by the time this newsletter goes out. Gerson, a teacher, handily won election to the school board in 2018. He had no opponent in 2022. If he doesn’t run for the Council seat, he wouldn’t have to step down from a safe seat in 2026 because TUSD does not have term limits. He would be replacing a termed-out Mike Griffiths.

He would be the district’s third candidate and would be facing:

Tony Yeh, a realtor and member of the Planning Commission, and Mayor George Chen’s candidate.

Jack Walser, owner of an art-supply and gun store, who was appointed to the Council when Tim Goodrich quit with almost a year left in his term. And I owe Walser an apology: I incorrectly said he would have approved that gun store when its owner appealed the Planning Commission’s turndown. A mistake I deeply regret.

Before I go:

Want to tell the City Council your opinion on an agenda item or address any concerns? Send it to; in the subject line put the agenda item or the topic.

If you also want your comments to appear in an agenda item’s Staff Report, send it as well to Make sure that you have sent it by 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting – earlier if you want it included in the agenda’s first posting, which can be a week ahead.

Jean Adelsman

Feel free to share with friends. And if you email a response to, please indicate whether you are expressing a thought for my eyes only or whether I may share your comments with the whole audience.

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