Hillary Ronen is the supervisor for District 9. Before being elected to the Board of Supervisors, Ronen served as the Chief of Staff for former District 9 Supervisor David Campos
Ronen has suggested that she is unlikely to pursue elected office after her current term expires in early 2025. In a conversation with San Francisco Chronicle reporters, she expressed doubt that she could make a difference in the city because, "[the] root of the problem... poverty, inequality, racism, broken tax system, exploitation of workers, segregation... is not fixable at the local level." She blamed those national issues, rather than the actions of herself and others in city leadership, for the problems she sees in her district.
Policy positions & priorities
Here's where Supervisor Ronen stands on the issues:
Ronen chairs the Board of Supervisors committee on homelessness, where she has overseen the city's unsuccessful efforts to reduce its unhoused population. The city's approach has been widely criticized for spending heavily, with few results. For example, in October 2023 Ronen's committee approved "the most expensive homeless response ever," paying $140,000 annually per vehicle to have RVs park in an empty lot.
Ronen's jurisdiction includes the Mission district, which contains many homeless encampments. Ronen supported building "tiny cabins" as a partial solution, but retreated and said the plan might be off the table after a community meeting where neighbors objected to housing homeless people nearby--even though she was "clearly exasperated" and called the neighbor objections "a NIMBY thing." The cabins may still be built in her district, despite Ronen's inconsistent support.
Ronen is a frequent critic of the SFPD, although her critiques have shifted over time. In 2020, she was a leading proponent of defunding the police in San Francisco, saying: "I want to make it clear that I believe strongly in defunding the police and reducing the number of officers on our force."
But by 2023, Ronen reversed course and began criticizing the SFPD for not providing enough police officers: "I've been begging this department to give the Mission what it deserves in terms of police presence, all year long. And I've been told time and time and time and time again there are no officers that we can send to Mission."
Ronen is a close ally and supporter of San Francisco's former district attorney, Chesa Boudin, who voters recalled from office in 2022. She endorsed him and raised funds for his campaign; opposed the recall and blamed San Francisco's crime problems on the police force; and spoke out defiantly on the night Boudin was recalled, blaming "billionaires" and declaring: "We are not done tonight or ever, fighting our system of injustice in the United States." Like Boudin, Ronen opposes prosecution of sex work, and has introduced legislation to legalize prostitution in San Francisco.
Opposing Housing Development and Advocating for Price Controls
Ronen has repeatedly voted to block housing development, arguing that homes are undesirable "luxury housing" unless they're subject to price controls or rent limits. For example, in 2018, Ronen blocked the construction of a 75-unit building on the site of a laundromat; in 2021, she joined anti-housing supervisors in blocking 495 homes at the site of a Nordstrom valet parking lot; and in 2023, she blocked conversion of a single-family home into 10 units. In opposing rules that would streamline housing production, she explained her philosophy: "I don't believe that increasing the supply of luxury housing will trickle down... It's never going to happen."
An avid walker, Ronen believes in making SF's communities "walkable, bikeable, and transit-oriented." She has supported public transportation when it's practical and, in some cases, even when it's less so. For example, she advocated for the "Free Muni" program, which would have piloted making bus and light rail travel free in San Francisco. The program was opposed by the head of San Francisco's transit authority, who pointed out that it could overwhelm a system that was trying to recover from low ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports suggested that the transit authority was also concerned that the city's buses would become "rolling homeless shelters," leading to a "Muni Death Spiral." The Free Muni pilot was passed by the Board of Supervisors before being vetoed by Mayor London Breed.
Key votes and actions
Voted to block the creation of a 495-unit apartment complex on the site of a Nordstrom valet parking lot, much of which would have been affordable housing.
Opposed the conversion of a single-family home to 10 units at 1151 Washington St.
Supported defunding the police.
Strongly opposed attempts to redirect funds away from "resource centers" for drug users, and toward treatment for drug addicts.
Supported permanently closing JFK drive to cars to create a safe area for pedestrians and cyclists in Golden Gate Park.
Supported closing the Great Highway to cars on the weekends, creating another bike- and pedestrian-friendly area, along the coast.