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Tuesday November 7, 2017 — Local Elections
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City of SausalitoCandidate for City CouncilShort Term

Photo of Susan Cleveland-Knowles

Susan Cleveland-Knowles

Planning Commissioner/Attorney
1,157 votes (46.98%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ensure sound financial stewardship to maintain and improve basic city infrastructure like parks, roads, and sewers as well as services to support our quality of life.
  • Develop, implement and deliver sensible solutions that balance our small town character with the need to remain a vital community that can adapt to change
  • Maintain a collaborative, productive environment at our local government level that respects and works for our entire community.



Profession:SF Deputy City Attorney, Sausalito Planning Comm'r
Planning Commissioner, Current Chair, Sausalito Planning Commission — Appointed position (2013–current)
Planning Commission appointment, Sausalito Short Term Rental Task Force — Appointed position (2014–2014)
Community Member, Sausalito Housing Element Task Force — Appointed position (2011–2012)


Stanford University Law degree (1997)
Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service B.S., International Economics, cum laude (1990)


Susan Cleveland-Knowles has demonstrated her commitment to the Sausalito community.  A long-time resident, she is the Chair of the Sausalito Planning Commission and has volunteered on both the Housing Element Task Force and the Short Term Rental Task Force.

Susan is raising her children in our town.  Like many other parents, she has dedicated countless hours to improving our local public school, including service on the Board of the Willow Creek Foundation. Susan also worked with other families, community members and seniors to pass Measure F to improve our parks.  


Susan has dedicated her professional life to public service, choosing a career in municipal law and policy at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.  In eighteen years as a Deputy City Attorney, she has developed special expertise in land use and transportation.  For much of that time, she advised San Francisco’s Planning Commission and Planning Department, Board of Supervisors, and Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.  She is now the General Counsel to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, a $1.2 billion agency that oversees public transportation and other transportation solutions. In that role, Susan leads a team of attorneys that tackle a wide array of municipal issues.

For nine years, Susan served on the Board of San Francisco Baykeeper (including as its Chair), a nonprofit advocacy group that works to protect water quality in the Bay and its watershed.  


Susan’s education and experience prior to embarking on her public service career developed her skills as a consensus-builder and problem-solver.   After graduating from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Susan was among the first Americans to help develop a public interest sector in Eastern Europe after the Berlin Wall came down.  As the on-the-ground representative for several American charitable foundations, she coordinated and fostered nascent environmental groups in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

After graduating from Stanford Law School, Susan was a two-year fellow at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger – a boutique law firm specializing in environmental and land use law on behalf of local government agencies and nonprofit organizations.       

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Peter Van Meter

Organizations (4)

  • Marin Independent Journal
  • Sierra Club
  • Marin Women's Political Action Committee
  • Marin Democratic Party

Elected Officials (4)

  • Congressman Jared Huffman
  • Mayor Ray Withy
  • Tom Theodores
  • Joe Burns

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