It was standing room only at The Barn at Maurice Car’rie Winery Saturday morning as One Temecula Valley PAC (1TVPAC) officially kicked off its recall effort to remove Temecula Valley Unified School District Board President Joseph Komrosky, Board Clerk Jennifer Wiersma and Board Member Danny Gonzalez.

“This is not the Temecula that we all know it to be,” Jeff Pack, 1TVPAC principal, said. “This is just not the atmosphere that we are used to enjoying.”

Nancy Hughes, who has lived in Temecula for 40 years, said the biggest change she’s noticed since the board majority’s election last fall is the divisiveness in the community.

“I’ve seen horrible animosity between people,” she said. “There’s no discussion at all.”

For Saturday’s event, Hughes was tasked with helping people find a place to park at the winery.

“The energy was amazing,” she said. “There were hundreds. That parking lot was packed.”

Former Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards addresses recall supporters. (Alicia Ramirez/TN News)

The event, which featured a number of speakers, including former mayors Jeff Comerchero and Maryann Edwards, who both made it a point to address that this recall effort was not about politics.

“I have to make a confession: I’ve been a registered Republican all my life,” Comerchero said. “It’s important because I’m not the only one involved in this effort that’s a Republican, and we have many who are Democrats and liberals and conservatives and you name it.”

“This is not a tool that you use for political purposes, it’s something that needs to be done,” Edwards said. “When people are willing to lie, defy the law, take our district to the brink of bankruptcy and still continue to lie, they are a cancer in this community and must be removed.”

Edwards said the current division in the community started with “a lie” that “our children are being indoctrinated at school.”

“From that lie, a movement was born that gave rise to a political campaign of lies,” she said. “It was meticulously choreographed to scare parents and divide a community that historically had been very proud of its schools, teachers and administration and rightfully so. It was now promoted as a frightening scenario that called for drastic changes.”

Other speakers included Svante Myrick, president of People For the American Way; Holly Hall, a concerned grandparent and retired special education teacher; Jenn Reaves with Defense of Democracy; Jack Murphy, a TVUSD graduate and USC student; and Deon Hairston, a teacher and pastor who was forcibly removed from the TVUSD workshop on critical race theory after he responded to a woman who told him to leave the country.

“This board is trying to erase the Black community’s experience from history,” he said. “I need you to get that in your minds. I need you to understand this.

“If we allow this to happen, we allow the continuation of a system that elevates one group while suppressing others,” he continued. “The blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors will be in vain if we let these people succeed in their attempts to perpetuate a book version of history. We cannot let this happen.”

While the group heard from speakers inside, outside about a dozen protesters of the event lined the road leading to the winery holding up signs in support of Komrosky, Wiersma and Gonzalez.

“Whatever they’re doing is for the constituents, and we’re the constituents who put them in there, whether they like it or not,” Mark Center, who came from his home in Murrieta for the protest, said. “Like Obama said, ‘Elections have consequences.’ The consequences are these three people, and they don’t like what they’re doing.”

About a dozen protesters gathered on the road leading to the winery to protest the recall effort. (Alicia Ramirez/TN News)

Center said that while he does not reside within the TVUSD boundaries, he “worked [his] ass off to help get a change in the board to add maybe a little bit of balance.”

Bill Weston, a Temecula resident, came out to protest the recall effort and support the board members who he said replaced “three liberal members that were not being effective.”

Weston said the previous board allowed the school to “do things that they shouldn’t, like CRT.” During the board workshop on CRT, the board members as well as the consultant hired by the district to train teachers, said CRT was not being taught in TVUSD schools.

Weston also said that the school was “making it all about being gay.”

“The school is there for reading, writing and arithmetic,” he said. “And it’s grown out of control.”

Back inside, recall supporters stocked up on yard signs, t-shirts and stickers to show their support for the effort. One thing they couldn’t do though was sign a recall petition.

“It’s part of the messiness of the democratic process,” David Matics, 1TVPAC treasurer and TVUSD parent, said. “We have to make sure all our t’s are crossed, i’s dotted, commas in the right place, but they are very minor corrections, and we do expect to be able to start collecting signatures as soon as midweek.”

The PAC is currently signing up volunteers to canvass and collect signatures once they get the greenlight.

Julie Geary, 1TVPAC outreach coordinator and Temecula resident, said the PAC is also keeping tabs on other school districts within the region as well as city councils.

“We are looking at our whole county and looking at these issues and looking at these people that are instilling a national political agenda,” she said. “And we’re trying to hold them accountable.”

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Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.

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