John Avalos represents San Francisco’s District 11. He is a third generation Mexican-American, and one of seven children.
John is among the first generation of his family to attend a four-year university, graduating with honors from UC Santa Barbara. He moved to San Francisco in 1989, and has been dedicated to educating, organizing, counseling, and protecting the rights of his fellow San Franciscans. He earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from SF State and worked as a counselor at the San Francisco Conservation Corps and the Columbia Park Boys and Girls Club. John was an organizer with Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth and with the Justice for Janitors Campaign of the Service Employees International Union and won family-supporting wages and affordable health care.
In 2005, John started as a legislative aide to Supervisor Chris Daly, where he helped craft the City’s budget, streamlining government and expanding funding for affordable housing, childcare, health and mental services, park restorations, and senior programs.
In 2008, John was elected to the Board of Supervisors. He has served as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, leading the City’s efforts to close a $1 billion shortfall while preserving jobs and services, protecting essential senior and children’s services, and saving vital health programs.
John has a strong and substantive legislative record. He passed the nation’s strongest local hiring legislation, providing thousands of living wage jobs for San Francisco residents. He has passed protections for tenants in foreclosed properties and need-based rental assistance to low-income families. He also increased the real estate transfer tax on high-end commercial buildings, which has brought in $50 million in new revenue annually.
During his tenure, John has developed a reputation as an effective legislator with firm principles, strong work ethic, and a unifying approach to getting the City’s work done. John and his wife, Karen Zapata, own a home in the Excelsior, and their two children, Rene and Emiliano, attend SF Community School, where Karen teaches.