I first encountered Julie Pitta in 2021, the summer of recall fever. Committees coordinated their volunteers and signature collectors to scour San Francisco strategically setting up tables. Eager voters lined up, grabbing a clipboard to sign petitions in their show of support of the cause.
Julie Pitta frequented the bustling Clement Street Farmers Market, held each Sunday morning in San Francisco’s Richmond District. There’s lots of reliable foot traffic there. One day, she wandered over to our table where I along with volunteers collected signatures for the effort to recall DA Chesa Boudin. Our table was an ironing board actually, with pens, petitions and signage. Several of us wore our unmistakable Recall Team shirts and hoodies. You couldn’t miss us.
Pitta was indeed curious – but no, she was not a supporter of recalling the now-ousted Boudin; she was, in fact a staunch supporter of Chesa, and part of a competing group at a table a block away.
Directly across the street from our setup, barely a 10 second walk, was another, different signature-gathering effort: three embattled SFUSD school district board commissioners were being threatened with a recall, and that table was manned by recall committee volunteers with their respective petitions. That group and our group developed a friendship, referring petition signers back and forth across the street to each other.
One day, an infamous day, a certain man by the name of Jason Kruta was caught stealing petitions from the school board recall table. The incident was caught on camera by one of our Chesa Recall Team members who ran over to the action amid shouting and demands to return the papers. Mr. Kruta was later identified, charged, arrested, sued, deposed and ultimately given a slap on the wrist in exchange for an apology to the SFUSD recall group. Further digging revealed Mr. Kruta was a DSA member (Democratic Socialists of America) and cult adherent.