Today I am asking for your support to vote for me to be your supervisor in District 11.
I was raised in this city. My mother, an immigrant, was a domestic worker and raised me on the values of hard work, integrity and determination. I saw her get up every morning to take care of other people’s children so that I could have more opportunities than she did. We lived in public housing at Holly Courts, and I know firsthand how important affordable housing is; without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My 87-year-old mother still lives in public housing and I often wonder how she would make ends meet if not for her rent-controlled apartment. I think about so many seniors and families in San Francisco who shoulder that burden and it is what motivates me to run for office.
I got my education in San Francisco public schools including Hawthorne Elementary (now Cesar Chavez), Visitacion Valley Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School (now Burton). When I went to school part-time at City College, I was a “non-traditional” student, working at various social service organizations full-time and helping my mom. Eventually I transferred to Mills College, finishing my degree at 37 years old.
I started my career serving tenants at Bay Area Legal Aid, where I helped low-income families fight evictions and connected them to housing. I also represented families seeking assistance with Food Stamps, Medi-Cal and CalWorks. I continued to support families in need at Catholic Charities, BRIDGE Housing and the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, where I managed social services, housing programs, and convened the “Coalition to Save St. Luke’s” when Sutter wanted to close down the closest ER to District 11 residents.
In 2008, I had the wonderful opportunity to advocate for families at the state level when I joined California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano as his District Director. During those six years, some of my proudest accomplishments were advocating for the Campaign to Save City College of San Francisco, passing the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and Seth’s Law, California’s landmark anti-bullying bill. After working for Assemblymember Ammiano, I went on to help pass the $15 minimum wage in California, bringing together low-wage workers and Gov. Jerry Brown.
More than anything else, I want to make sure all San Francisco families can continue to live and work in our beautiful city. San Francisco is for everyone, not just those who can afford it. We desperately need more affordable housing. We need our current and long-time homeowners to stay in their neighborhoods. With a growing population comes more cars, we need to make sure that pedestrian safety is a priority in our neighborhood streets. Our health relies on improvements like efficient public transportation and greening our neighborhoods. And we need safe and clean parks that are kept up to the highest standards for our children and families.
I love San Francisco and I have a passion for helping the people who live here. I believe I am the only candidate who has the policy experience and integrity — two key elements of the job — to stay true to the residents of the district. I am beholden to no one except the parents, seniors, small business owners and children who make our district great. I’m proud to have the endorsements of the everyday people who make this city run: nurses, teachers, service employees and the local District 11 Democratic Club.
I am humbled by the support I have received from District 11 residents and would be honored to be your supervisor.
Kim Alvarenga is a candidate for District 11 Supervisor and is raising her 4-year-old son with her partner in the Excelsior. She is currently the Political Director for SEIU 1021, representing nurses, healthcare workers, public sector and non-profit workers.