FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO - Today Matt Haney, San Francisco District 6 Supervisor, announced his candidacy in the special election to represent California’s 17th Assembly district. Supervisor Haney is a progressive leader who has spent his career fighting for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, tenants, small business owners, and the city’s most vulnerable residents. He proudly represents San Francisco’s most diverse district on the Board of Supervisors and is running for Assembly so he can bring more resources back to San Francisco and make an even bigger impact statewide.
“Matt has a proven track record as an effective progressive leader on the Board of Supervisors,” said Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton. “I’ve seen firsthand his ability to tackle difficult citywide issues like homelessness and housing and deliver real results for our residents. As Budget Chair, he shepherded our city’s $13.2 billion COVID recovery budget, which included historic funding to target homelessness and expand mental health services, public safety initiatives, and investments in Black, Latinx, API, and LGBTQ+ communities. Matt’s leadership and dedication serving our city make him the best person to represent San Francisco at this critical time, and I fully endorse his candidacy.”
Following the attacks on AAPI elders in San Francisco, Supervisor Haney demanded increased support and protection to prevent future acts of violence. As Budget Chair, he championed $15.8 million in broader funding for public safety through investments in community safety initiatives and alternative models of response. To support AAPI residents who are impacted by crime in San Francisco, Supervisor Haney established targeted budget investments that funded victim witness investigators, property crime advocates, and an emergency victim fund.
"When the Chinese community faced violent, racist attacks and demanded investments in public safety, Matt listened and delivered for our community,” said Police Commissioner Larry Yee, who is also the President of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association*, also known as the Six Companies. “He personally visited and supported the victims of crimes, and as Budget Chair, invested in community policing and diverse police recruits. Matt is not one to sit on the sidelines in times of crisis and as an Assemblymember I am confident he will continue to be one of the loudest voices in the room advocating for AAPI elders, children, families, and small businesses.”
Supervisor Haney also helped spearhead the effort to guarantee mental health care for all San Franciscans through Mental Health SF, implemented common sense policies like 24-hour bathrooms and universal tenant protections, facilitated thousands of new units of housing in his district, and oversaw record investments in housing, public safety, and economic recovery as Budget Chair.
“I am proud to endorse Matt Haney for Assembly because he has been a true progressive leader for over 15 years and has spent his career fighting for the most marginalized,” said Assemblymember Ash Kalra, Chair of the California Legislative Progressive Caucus and Chair of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee. “The Overpaid Executive Tax, a ballot measure led by Matt and passed with overwhelming support from voters, is the nation’s first tax aimed at combating pay inequity. Companies whose CEO is making 100 to 600 times more than the average worker deserve to get taxed to help close the pay gap. We need more progressive voices in Sacramento, and Matt is a leader who will bring fresh ideas to solve hard issues and actually get things done.”
When the pandemic hit, Supervisor Haney devoted his attention to supporting his constituents by authoring legislation to house over 2,000 people experiencing homelessness in hotels and working on the frontlines as a disaster service worker at one of San Francisco’s community COVID shelter hotels when there was a staff shortage. He launched relief programs to keep restaurants and music venues afloat during the shutdown, led the fight to open mass-vaccination sites, and ensured workers had masks, gloves, and adequate sick pay.
“When our members needed support during the pandemic, Matt was our champion," said Rudy Gonzalez, former Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council and current Executive Director of the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council. “Matt stood shoulder to shoulder with our members as we demanded hazard pay and personal protective equipment for workers. We need a leader in Sacramento who understands the struggles that workers and our families face. Matt has been a vocal labor ally throughout his career in public service and I have no doubt he will continue to be a voice for working families in the Assembly.”
“For music venues and the nightlife industry, the pandemic was almost a deathblow,” said Ben Bleiman, President of the Entertainment Commission*. “Luckily, we had Matt Haney on our side fighting for us to stay open and helping us support our workers. His $3 million Music & Entertainment Venue Recovery Fund provided direct relief grants that saved many venues on the brink of closure. He made a promise to help us and he stayed true to it. We need that commitment and character in the State Assembly and I can think of no better person to send than Matt Haney.”
Supervisor Haney has also represented two historic LGBTQ communities in San Francisco. District 6 is home to the world’s first transgender cultural district, the Compton’s Transgender District, as well as the Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District. The Tenderloin, western SOMA, and Folsom in particular are home to queer and trans people, many who are low-income, impacted by HIV, people of color, and disabled. In his time in office, he has focused on bringing funding and resources for these communities and ensured the cultural districts had the support they needed from the City to placemake, provide housing and access to health care, and other vital services to these vulnerable communities.
“In District 6, Matt has represented some of the most vulnerable and diverse members of San Francisco’s LGBTQ community,” said co-founder of the Trans District and San Francisco Democratic Party Chair* Honey Mahogany. “He has been a critical ally in City Hall in supporting San Francisco’s Transgender District and the Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District, and has lead the fight for funding and equitible access to services for queer seniors, low-income LGBTQ residents, queer people of color, and trans people. I know he will continue to be a staunch ally for queer and trans people in the State Assembly.”
Prior to his election to the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Haney was elected twice to the San Francisco Board of Education. As President of the Board, he led SFUSD to achieve its highest graduation and college attendance rates. He is also the only school board member to have visited all 113 public K-12 schools in San Francisco.
“I’m endorsing Matt because he is relentless in his efforts to improve the lives of others,” said California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “When I first met him over a decade ago, he was making waves as the Executive Director of UC Student Association where he led advocacy and outreach on behalf of the 200,000+ UC students across the state. When he became the President of the SF Board of Education, he led initiatives to ensure that all students have access to computer science and technology and passed landmark policies to better support undocumented students, students with incarcerated parents, and unaccompanied minors. He also authored the transformative ‘Safe and Supportive Schools’ policy to end unnecessary school suspensions and expulsions, which had disproportionately affected students of color. Matt is skilled at finding interventions that target injustices and inequalities in our systems, and that’s exactly what we need more of in Sacramento.”
“Matt Haney is a proud progressive who possesses the experience, empathy, and passion for public service that we need in our leaders,” said former BART Board President Lateefah Simon. “Social justice is at the heart of Matt’s work. From co-founding #cut50, a national organization working to end mass incarceration, to his pro bono work as a tenants rights attorney, Matt is a natural problem-solver who leaps to take on tough challenges. He has proven his ability to deliver across a spectrum of issues and I can say with certainty that he is the best person San Francisco could send to the State Assembly.”
Supervisor Haney is also the only local elected official to ever earn the endorsement of then-President Barack Obama, who said in 2016, “Matt is an extraordinary leader...I believe Matt represents the passion, commitment and vision that we need in our elected leaders.”
Supervisor Haney holds a BA in Urban Development from UC Berkeley, where he graduated with highest honors and as a Valedictorian finalist. He also holds an MA from Stanford University School of Education, a JD from Stanford Law School, and an LLM in Human Rights from National University of Ireland where he was a Senator George Mitchell Scholar.
He was raised by a single mother in the Bay Area and lives in the Tenderloin with his two orange tabby cats. If elected he will be one of only three renters in the state assembly, and the first tenant San Francisco has sent to Sacramento in decades.
Assembly District 17 has a population of approximately 524,000 which encompasses eastern San Francisco.
Future updates about Supervisor Haney’s campaign will be available at MattHaney.com.
*Title for identification purposes only.