David CamposDemocratic2014 Candidate for Assembly District 17 - California
- Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors (2008-present)
- Commissioner, San Francisco Police Department (2005-2008)
- Deputy city attorney, City of San Francisco (1999-????)
- BA degree in political science, Stanford University (1993)
- JD degree, Harvard Law School (1996)
David Campos is a two-term Supervisor representing San Francisco's District nine. He is currently running for the California State Assembly. Campos has previously served San Francisco as a Police Commissioner, Deputy City Attorney, lead counsel for the San Francisco Unified School District, and Chair of the San Francisco Transportation Authority. He is running in District 17, representing San Francisco's east side.
As a Guatemalan immigrant who rose from poverty to earn a scholarship to the nation's leading educational institutions, Supervisor Campos wants every California child to have the same opportunity California gave him. While California rights our economy and gets our fiscal house in order, his commitment will be to ensure that the underdogs - not entrenched and powerful interests - come first.
Supervisor Campos came to the United States, together with his parents and two sisters, as an undocumented immigrant at age 14 after a harrowing journey from war-torn Guatemala. Despite not initially speaking English, David excelled in school, graduating at the top of his class from Jefferson High School, in a poverty-ridden section of South Central Los Angeles. David earned scholarships to Stanford University and Harvard Law School.
He began his career in public service in 1999, serving as a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco. As a Deputy City Attorney, David handled a variety of important legal matters and cases, including serving as the lead counsel in implementing the San Francisco Unified School District's school desegregation.
David's dedication to youth and education continued as a Police Commissioner and San Francisco Supervisor. A long-time advocate of community policing, David worked to bring police and violence prevention organizations together and helped reduce violence in the Mission and other neighborhoods.
As Chair of San Francisco's Transportation Authority, David led the successful effort to provide free transit on MUNI for low-income youth, an effort made necessary in part by the loss of school buses to state and local budget cuts.
Health care has always been a priority for Supervisor Campos, who led successful negotiations to keep St. Luke's hospital open in the Mission, focused attention on restaurant workers who weren't receiving the health care consumers were paying for, and worked closely with Planned Parenthood to devise legislation to stop harassment of patients at a women's health clinic near St Luke's.
David is a strong supporter of clean energy and authored San Francisco's Community Choice Aggregation law, which will soon launch to bring San Franciscan the choice to purchase clean energy.
David has lived in Bernal Heights for the past nine years with his husband Phil and their English bulldog Winston.
Campos would be the first Latino to be elected to the State Assembly in the history of San Francisco, and continue a recent tradition of openly-gay leaders serving in the seat, beginning with Carole Migden (1996-2002) and continuing with Mark Leno (2002-2008) and Tom Ammiano (2008 to present).
- Restoration of funding for both K-12 and higher public education.
- Expansion of health care coverage either through full implementation of the Affordable Care Act or through a "public option."
- Greater expansion of clean energy programs statewide.
- California Nurses Association
- California Teachers Association
- Sierra Club
q & a
How would you prioritize the fiscal choices the Legislature must make to align the state’s income and spending?
I am running for office because I believe that government has a role to play in making people's lives better, particularly the lives of low income, working and middle class people. It is for this reason that I believe that it is important for the person who represents San Francisco's 17th assembly district in the state, be a champion for regular people. While fiscal responsibility and avoiding government waste can be important, California and other states have consistently ignored additional revenue sources, like Prop 13. If California is serious about educating our children, providing a safety net to our communities and having world class transportation, civic spaces and other critical infrastructure we must take seriously the need to generate additional revenues.
Given our current drought condition, concern for water rights and usage is an important issue. What solutions would you support to address our water problems?
I support the co-equal goals of protecting the ecosystem and water supply reliability. I also support the principle that those who will benefit from the infrastructure improvements planned for the state should be willing to pay for those improvements. Regarding BDCP, it is important to me that the water supply amounts to the Central Valley and Southern California remain the same as they are today, with increased reliability. It is also important that the water rights and water supply for Hetch Hetchy are preserved, to protect the 2.6 million people in 7 Bay Area counties that rely on water from the Hetch Hetchy system. I would encourage diversification of water resources across the state by supporting efforts such as recycled water, groundwater programs, and conservation.
It is also important that we take immediate steps to address climate change in order to prevent more frequent and severe droughts in the future.
California high school students rank lower than many states in student performance. What do you see as the ongoing role of the Legislature in addressing this problem?
California should be consistently ranked the top public education system in the country, and it is not. It was once, however, and I think that we need to look at what worked for us in the past. The most specific proposal that I would support would be to simply increase funding to the levels at which we funded public schools in California back in the 1960's, when our public schools, both K through 12 and higher education systems, were the envy of the world. Proposition 30 last year has stopped the slide into the abyss. However, we need to reverse that and one way to do that is to reform Proposition 13 and de-couple commercial from residential properties. Remember, our schools took their biggest funding blow from the loss of property tax revenue. Reforming Proposition 13 could go a long way
toward restoring that funding.
What other major issues do you think the Legislature must address? What are your own priorities?
Many of my top priorities will be around issues of affordability- in education, in housing, and in healthcare. San Francisco's greatness is being hindered by its prohibitive cost, and many of our most valuable and deserving residents are unable to live and grow here with dignity and comfort. I want to work to ensure that the opportunities I had as a young person immigrating here are still available for young people today. That means prioritizing legislation that makes education, housing, and healthcare more accessible to those who need it. I will also continue to advocate for and advance the rights of immigrants, Latinos, LGBT people, workers, and women. These are communities who are still being disenfranchised and unfairly treated in our political system and I remain committed to fighting for a more just society in these areas.
I have the most legislative policy experience in education, transportation, and immigration. As a former General Counsel for SFUD, and a lifelong advocate for making good education accessible to all, I have a firm grasp on the needs of our current education system. As a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors I have focused a lot of my time and energy on transportation issues as well. I have served as the chair of San Francisco County Transportation Authority and represent San Francisco as a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). As mentioned before, throughout my life and public service I have worked hard to advocate for immigrants and their communities. The result of that advocacy is that I am an experienced policy maker on immigration issues with many achievements and victories under my belt.