Chesa Boudin celebrates his district attorney win, Nov. 9, 2019. (Photo/Natasha Florentino-Courtesy Boudin campaign)
Chesa Boudin celebrates his district attorney win, Nov. 9, 2019. (Photo/Natasha Florentino-Courtesy Boudin campaign)

Chesa Boudin is bad for S.F.; Coachella is bad for Passover; etc.


Pesach dissed at Coachella

I risk being overly critical, but a 10-minute seder at the Coachella music festival?

I am in favor of sharing Passover with non-Jews in unique environments, and Kosha Dillz is well-intentioned (“‘Matzahchella’: Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz hosts mini-seders at Coachella,” online, April 20).

But given our present world, wouldn’t more time devoted to an important holiday, with universal appeal, be more appropriate?

J. does not control this man, but why give him the exposure? Short-attention span and disinterest in religious rituals and traditions among the young is a concern. So why select the youth who chose Coachella over a more traditional seder to feature in your paper?

Karen Levi
Potomac, Md.


My take on Chesa Boudin

One must have compassion for Chesa Boudin for growing up without his parents, who were serving long prison sentences for their role in a 1981 robbery in which three persons were murdered (“Chesa Boudin: How Passover themes I learned as a child guide me as San Francisco DA today,” April 8).

In his opinion piece, he wrote of “their foolish and harmful decision to participate …  even if they never intended for anyone to get hurt.” He added: “My mother was serving a life sentence — despite never having touched a weapon or having intended to hurt anyone.”

Chesa Boudin with his dad, David Gilbert, in an undated photo. (Photo/San Francisco District Attorney's Office)
Chesa Boudin with his dad, David Gilbert, in an undated photo. (Photo/San Francisco District Attorney’s Office)

However, much more is at stake here than what he considers an unduly harsh penalty,

Boudin is the San Francisco DA who is facing recall due to what many feel are his soft-on-crime policies.

While it’s fair to ask whether his parents’ sentences were overly severe, the answer is emphatically no.

They were hardly naifs. Both had long histories of political violence and terrorism; his mom was a member of the Weather Underground who participated in the 1969 “Days of Rage” attacks on businesses and police in Chicago. The group went on to plant bombs in police headquarters, the U.S. Capitol and at least 18 other locations. Becoming a fugitive after a bomb exploded prematurely in her Greenwich Village apartment in 1970, Kathy Boudin lived underground until her arrest for the armored car robbery in 1981. She was a decoy driver for heavily armed members of the Black Liberation Army who murdered three persons, including two police officers.

We are in the midst of a serious crime wave that has taken a particularly severe toll on American police. Many, myself included, consider progressive DAs like Boudin to be a large part of the problem. San Franciscans should vote for his removal.

Steve Astrachan
Pleasant Hill


Criminals ‘needn’t worry’

Of course, the criminal defense lawyer–turned-prosecutor Chesa Boudin presents readers a self-serving religious opinion piece about Passover lessons to ingratiate himself with readers (”Chesa Boudin: How Passover themes I learned as a child guide me as San Francisco DA today,” April 8).

His parents were in state prison because they were convicted in New York state of armed robbery leading to the murder of a security guard.

He emphasizes creation of “a system that holds accountable those in power who oppress and exploit others.” To him, the word “accountable” obviously means only “those in power,” and the vast majority of criminal lawbreakers needn’t worry while Boudin is San Francisco’s district attorney — elected in 2019 only because of “ranked-choice” voting (instead of a runoff between the two leading vote-getters in the November general election).

If he wants to prosecute “those in power,” why hasn’t he utilized the taxpayer-supported Criminal Division’s White-Collar Crimes Unit, which in 2021 had an estimated annual cost of $4.2 million to $6.3 million in salaries and fringe benefits, and why has he abdicated City Hall corruption responsibility in favor of the United States Attorney’s Office?

He concentrates on pursuing police officers rather than burglaries, robberies, murders, car break-ins and shoplifting.

That’s why voters will recall him on June 7, and he can return to the public defender’s office, his true love professionally.

Judge Quentin L. Kopp (Ret.)
San Francisco


‘Educational malpractice’

We are witnessing widespread educational malpractice exercised under the unwatchful eyes of our California Department of Education (“Ethnic studies debate comes to UC system with proposed admission requirement,” April 8).

Despite the overwhelming rejection of Proposition 16, which called for return to affirmative actions, California school districts are doing away with “neutrality, objectivity … and meritocracy.” Under the pretense of righting the wrongs, American history is suddenly turned upside down, while the country is portrayed as an irredeemable villain, incapable of change or adjustment.

The Trojan horse of these progressives’ American history is the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) concocted by the “Liberated” group. The core of Liberated is teachers and educators who came up with the first draft of the ESMC. It was roundly rejected by Californians for its purely ideological and antisemitic content expressed in an unprofessional jargon language.

The second draft was not much better. Finally, the third draft had some improvements. Still, overall, the document has remained highly divisive and tendentious, with America being presented as frozen in the slavery years and abusive of minorities who have never experienced any meaningful betterment.

Factually, Liberated is promoting the ESMC first draft. It even managed to convince the University of California conglomerate to consider a requirement that the Liberated ESMC version should be a prerequisite for university admission.

This march toward an educational abyss and societal disintegration may be stopped only by the our Department of Education and the California Assembly, under whose auspices the whole ethnic studies initiative is taking place. The sooner they act, the better it will be for children, parents, our state and our country.

Vladimir Kaplan
San Mateo

J. Readers

J. welcomes letters and comments from our readers. To submit a letter, email it to [email protected].