Todd David began as Executive Director of SFHAC on December 1st. Prior, he was the Political Director for Scott Wiener’s successful State Senate campaign. We asked Todd a few questions about his background in local politics and what he’s excited about moving forward.
For those who don’t know your story, tell us a little bit about your background in neighborhood advocacy and San Francisco politics.
I entered neighborhood advocacy and politics in a very organic manner. When my oldest child started attending San Francisco’s public schools in kindergarten, I became curious about how public schools were funded (or more appropriately, why SF public schools were chronically under funded). My family was fortunate that my son was able to enroll in Alvarado Elementary school which is located one block from our home. Along with a group of other Alvarado parents, I started engaging Noe Valley merchants and neighbors in supporting Alvarado. My activity in the neighborhood spring boarded from there as I became President of the neighborhood association, Friends of Noe Valley, as well as President of Residents of Noe Valley Town Square, an organization that raised $7 million through a public-private partnership to create a permanent open space in the heart of the Noe Valley 24th Street commercial corridor.
What is your most proud accomplishment in your career thus far?
I have three professional accomplishments in which I take the most pride:
I co-founded the San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (Parent PAC). The Parent PAC was founded six years ago and it has effectively advocated for policies and supported politicians that will help families thrive in San Francisco.
I am immensely proud and humbled by the creation of the Noe Valley Town Square. Open space often disappears and is very rarely created. Furthermore, how often does one get to create a park?
I was the Campaign Manager of the San Francisco Soda Tax in 2014. And although the tax did not garner the two-thirds majority necessary to pass, I am immensely proud of the 56% of the vote it received given that the 2014 Soda Tax campaign was outspent by the American Beverage Association 34:1. The recent passage of the 2016 San Francisco Soda Tax will help ensure that thousands of San Francisco’s children will not develop Type II diabetes as a result of sugary beverage consumption.
Housing and land use are both very political topics in San Francisco. What has been your experience with these issues during your campaigns?
Housing creation as well as transitioning homelessness from the streets in to supportive housing were two topics that were hotly debated during the recent State Senate race. As Senator Wiener’s Political Director during that race, I was proud that the campaign embraced a philosophy that the Bay Area needs more housing at all income levels. The creation of more housing will more easily allow teachers, firefighters, first responders and families to call San Francisco and the Bay Area “home.”
What are some of the campaigns or policies you’re most excited to work on at SFHAC?
I’m excited about advocating for smart housing policies that will help create housing for the middle class. Unfortunately, I know far too many families who chose to leave San Francisco due to the high cost of housing, and that is unacceptable. Furthermore, as a parent of three children, I have a personal interest in supporting policies that would make San Francisco more affordable. I want to work to ensure that smart housing policies are adopted by the City that will enable my three children to afford to live in our wonderful City.
SFHAC members can meet Todd in person at our Holiday Party on December 14. RSVP here.