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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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County

San Francisco CountyCandidate for Supervisor, District 11

Photo of Kim Alvarenga

Kim Alvarenga

Union Political Director
10,809 votes (49%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Build affordable housing for our low- and middle-income families and seniors so that all residents can afford to stay in San Francisco.
  • Expand free universal pre-school as part of SF Unified School District to support our working families. Adding pre-k for four year-olds to our existing school system will ensure all kids have an equal chance to succeed.
  • Ensure that our neighborhood parks and public spaces receive their equitable share of the City budget and resources. Bring back full staffing to our Rec and Park clubhouses to keep them open and make them our community centers again.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Political Director for SEIU 1021, representing San Francisco's Public Sector workers
District Director, California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (2008–2014)
Director of Economic Justice & Human Rights, Women of Color Resource Center, (2005–2006)

Education

Visitation Valley Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School (Philip Burton) (current)
City College of San Francisco (current)
Mills College in Oakland, CA. B.A. in Women Studies with a minor in Ethnic Studies (current)

Biography

Kimberly Alvarenga was raised in San Francisco’s Mission district. Immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador, her parent’s first met in the early 1960’s at El Farolito Restaurant on 24th and Florida, where her mother waited tables and her father took his daily lunch breaks while working for the Sunset Scavenger Garbage Company. After they separated, Kimberly’s mother raised her on her own while working as a domestic worker and having to rely on public assistance when she could not make ends meet for her and her daughter. When Kimberly was eight, she and her mother moved to the Holly Courts housing projects in the Bernal Heights neighborhood. Being raised by a single mother would have a profound influence on Kimberly’s future advocacy work.

While growing up in San Francisco, Kimberly attended local public schools, including Hawthorn Elementary (Cesar Chavez), Visitation Valley Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School (Philip Burton). She studied part-time at City College of San Francisco while working nonprofit jobs. At the age of 37, she earned a B.A. in Women Studies with a minor in Ethnic Studies from Mills College in Oakland, CA.

Kimberly started her career serving working families at Bay Area Legal Aid as a Legal Advocate, where she managed the Eviction Defense Clinic and also represented low-income families seeking assistance with Public Benefits issues, including Food Stamps, Medi-Cal and CalWorks. Kimberly went on to manage numerous comprehensive social services, economic development and housing programs for Catholic Charities, BRIDGE Housing and Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, where she continued to support families in need. In 2005, Kimberly was Director of Economic Justice & Human Rights at the Women of Color Resource Center, where she primarily focused on statewide policy advocacy on behalf of women and girls.

In 2008, Kimberly joined California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano as District Director, where she spent six years advocating for policy change at the local and statewide level. Kimberly also managed and directed a broad range of constituent services and support for San Francisco residents who sought the Assemblymember’s assistance. Kimberly advocated on behalf of working families and other underrepresented communities including women, children, immigrants, and LGBTQ communities.

Among her accomplishments, Kimberly played a significant role in the campaign to Save City College of San Francisco, The California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and Seth’s Law, California’s landmark Bullying Bill, which protects children who are bullied in California schools.

Currently the Political Director for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, which represents over 54,000 workers across Northern California, Kimberly is working on a number of critical local and statewide issues that impact working families, including workers’ rights, statewide minimum wage and affordable housing.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • San Francisco United Educators
  • Matt Haney, President of the San Francisco Board of Education

Organizations (13)

  • San Francisco District 11 Democratic Club
  • United Educators of San Francisco (SF Unified School District Teachers)
  • California Nurses Association
  • American Federation-Teachers (AFT) 2121 (City College Teachers)
  • Sierra Club
  • San Francisco Women's Political Committee
  • Affordable Housing Alliance
  • Planned Parenthood Northern California Action Fund
  • San Francisco Latino Democratic Club
  • San Francisco Rising Action Fund
  • DogPAC of San Francisco
  • Equality California
  • San Francisco Tenants Union

Elected Officials (1)

  • Rafael Mandelman, President of San Francisco Community College Board

Individuals (3)

  • Former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano
  • Former Mayor Art Agnos
  • John Burton, Chairman, California Democratic Party

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (4)

Many people feel that San Francisco's political system suffers from systemic corruption. Do you agree? If so, what would you propose to eliminate the corruption?
Answer from Kim Alvarenga:

I have seen firsthand the way special interests attempt to buy local elections and influence local policymakers. In this district race alone, there has already been over $700,000 spent by corporations, real estate developers, and special interests outside of San Francisco to try to mislead voters. This is a detriment to our democracy and reinforces a "pay to play" system at City Hall which does not put the interests of local residents first. To eliminate this corruption, we must stop unlimited spending in local races where possible. One such example is in the representative races for the SF Democratic County Central Committee. We must make it easier for the average citizen to know who is supporting which candidate, and to understand the campaign finance laws that are supposed to create a level playing field.

If elected, what solutions do you propose to deal with the high cost of living in San Francisco?
Answer from Kim Alvarenga:

 

As Supervisor, I would prioritize making sure all our families have access to housing they can afford so that they are not forced to leave our city, or even worse, end up on the streets. We must develop affordable housing for our District 11 low- and middle-income families and seniors. Community efforts have already identified 10-15 potential sites, and I will work with community groups to secure our best options during my first term, including revising zoning laws on our commercial corridor to encourage more affordable housing and activate shopping streets.

 

In addition to housing costs, there are many other costs of living that our families are struggling with, including: public transportation, education costs, health insurance, etc. I would fight to ensure that our families have access to a social safety net that includes: permanent free MUNI for low-income families and seniors, free City College, and access to Healthy SF (San Francisco's universal health care program).

 

 The San Francisco Police Department’s relationships with the city’s diverse communities, and with the way in which it handles arrests, has recently come under scrutiny.  Do you agree that there is a problem and if so, please describe what you would do to resolve the issues.
Answer from Kim Alvarenga:

 

As a woman of color who grew up in public housing at Holly Courts in San Francisco, I am constantly aware of the importance of all communities of color working and standing together to fight oppression and build for the future. People of color, especially African Americans and Latino people, have been the target of racial bias and discrimination in our SFPD as recent scandals such as racist text messages and the killings of innocent Black and Brown residents have shown. SFPD needs to earn the trust of our city's residents, and they need to be held fully accountable for the institutional racism that is deeply seeded within the department.

 

I believe that our police officers need to get out of their patrol cars more and actually interact positively with and build relationships with the community they are supposed to be protecting. As a Supervisor, I would increase foot patrols by police and get beat cops out of their cars and walking our neighborhood streets and getting to know local merchants and residents.

 

Many people believe that efforts to address the crisis of homelessness have not been effective. What would you, as a county elected official, do differently to successfully resolve the city's homelessness problem?
Answer from Kim Alvarenga:

While District 11 may not have homeless encampments in our neighborhoods the way other districts do, it is important to remember that many families are just one paycheck or eviction away from becoming homeless.

In San Francisco, for many years now, we have had a persistent tragedy of adults and families living on the street, many who are the most vulnerable in our community: veterans, people with mental illness, and those struggling with addiction. And, with them, we now have thousands of families, who have lost or been evicted from their homes. We must approach this grave problem with compassion and confront the root causes of the problem, instead of using homelessness as a platform for political gain.

 

To solve homelessness, we need to address the extreme lack of affordable housing and coordinated supportive services in the City. The focus on building market-rate housing will not miraculously create affordable housing for our low and very low-income residents, nor will it create or pay for supportive services for the homeless, who are generally struggling with many complicated issues.

 

We must look at end homelessness from a short-term and long-term perspective.

 

 

In the short-term, we must build off of the success of the Navigation Centers, and open several more immediately that will be able to serve simultaneously 500 people. For the Navigation Centers to work, short-term housing and rent subsidies need to be available. The City needs to negotiate long-term leases with SROs and other existing housing buildings the homelessness need homes. Thats the bottom line. Navigation Centers wont work unless there are homes for people to move in to. Also, we need to better coordinate supportive services so that the services are strategic and effective: each person needs to be appropriately matched with the services they need. The creation and direction of the new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing Services is promising; we need to continue to support its vision of coordinated services and data gathering. The Mayor and Board of Supervisors must immediately prioritize the funding for housing, subsidies and supportive services; we cannot allow City Hall to move on to the next newsworthy issue.

 

 

I support DHSHs method of working with folks in tents in a thoughtful and compassionate manner: DHSH is using a month-long process of building trust with folks and assessing service needs before helping people move out of tents. City Hall needs to help support this compassionate and promising approach.

 

 

Simultaneously, we need to address the long-term issue of affordable housing and keeping people in their homes. We must develop funding and plans to build 500 units of supportive housing within 5 years. We also need to put in place increased funding within the next year for rapid rehousing, that is, rent subsidies to ensure people can stay housed. These subsidies, along with supportive services, have proved to be very successful for keeping folks in a stable situation.

 

 

 

 

 

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