Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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San Francisco CountyCandidate for Supervisor, District 8

Photo of Rafael Mandelman

Rafael Mandelman

City College Trustee/Attorney
20,267 votes (61.1%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Solving Street Homelessness
  • Building Affordable Housing
  • Making a World-Class Transportation System



Profession:City College Trustee/Urban Development Attorney
President and Member, City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees — Elected position (2012–current)
Member, San Francisco Democratic Central Committee — Elected position (2006–current)
Deputy City Attorney, City of Oakland (2015–2018)
Partner, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP (2011–2015)
Member, San Francisco Board of Appeals — Appointed position (2008–2010)
Member, San Francisco Building Inspection Commission — Appointed position (2008–2008)


University of California Berkeley School of Law Juris Doctor (2000)
Harvard University Masters in Public Policy, Concentration in Housing, Urban Economic Development and Transportation (1999)
Yale University Bachelor of Arts, History (1996)

Community Activities

Board Chair & Member, San Francisco LGBT Community Center (2012–current)
Member, Jewish Vocational Services Public Policy Advisory Committee (2009–current)
Board Chair, Livable City (2010–2012)
President, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club (2008–2009)
President, Noe Valley Democratic Club (2003–2005)

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (5)

  • San Francisco Democratic Party
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Sierra Club
  • California Nurses Association
  • United Educators of San Francisco

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of San Francisco (2)

What do you see as the biggest challenge in your District, and what would you do to address it?
Answer from Rafael Mandelman:


The epidemic of street homelessness that we see every day is the biggest challenge we are facing as a city, and its impacts are felt in the Castro, the Mission and other District 8 neighborhoods. Homelessness is personal for me. My mother suffered from serious mental illness for most of her life and was homeless for a time when I was young. As an adult I was able to get a conservatorship over her, and get her into safe and reliable care. I’ve witnessed firsthand the failures of our system to provide sick and mentally ill folks the help they need. Over the last eight years our City budget has nearly doubled—from $6 billion to $10 billion annually, and yet in that time we significantly reduced the number of psychiatric beds at SFGH, leaving those San Franciscans most acutely in crisis literally nowhere to go. As Supervisor I will work tirelessly to ensure that we have the short and long-term psychiatric facilities we need to care for folks who cannot care for themselves, expanded residential and outpatient drug treatment resources for those in need of treatment and strong and effective case management services. But that only addresses the most visible piece of the crisis. The much larger portion of the homeless population, which is largely invisible, is comprised of people who are not mentally ill or drug-addicted but have suffered economic and/or health setbacks in an increasingly stratified and unforgiving economic environment. We can’t solve that portion of the crisis without addressing economic inequality and significantly expanding public investment in the acquisition of land and buildings and preservation and development of permanently affordable housing for San Franciscans who cannot afford market rents.

What experience or qualifications do you have the make you well suited for the Supervisor role?
Answer from Rafael Mandelman:



    • I have practical, real world experience addressing the most important issues in District 8 and San Francisco and want to bring that experience to the Board of Supervisors. As an urban development attorney, I have spent the last 17 years building affordable housing, revitalizing commercial districts and making more livable neighborhoods in the Bay Area. I was elected to the City College Board of Trustees when the accreditor was threatening to close CCSF. I helped lead the fight against that accreditor, and as President of that Board I made the tough, sometimes unpopular choices necessary to save the College and helped to make CCSF free for all San Franciscans. As Chair of the Board of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center I oversaw a renovation which added 10,000 feet of much-needed below-market non-profit office space, putting the Center on a stable financial footing for the first time in its 15 years. Additionally, I have had the honor of serving as President of the Noe Valley Democratic Club, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and District 8 Democratic Club, member of the Democratic County Central Committee since 2006, Commissioner on the San Francisco Building Inspection Commission and Board of Appeals, and Board Chair of Livable City.

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