District 8 Supervisor
District 8 includes The Castro, Noe Valley, Diamond Heights, Glen Park, Corona Heights, Eureka Valley, Dolores Heights, Mission Dolores, Duboce Triangle, Buena Vista Park, Cole Valley, Ashbury Heights, part of Twin Peaks, and the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District.
Won by 7,392 votes.
Up for Re-Election
Termed out in 2026
Rafael Mandelman is the Supervisor for San Francisco's District 8. Mandelman currently resides in the Mission (on the very edge of his district after boundaries were redrawn in 2022). He was previously a Deputy City Attorney in Oakland and on the Board of Trustees for the City College of San Francisco.
Mandelman first ran for Supervisor in 2010 and lost to current State Senator Scott Wiener. He ran again successfully in 2018, and was re-elected in 2022. Mandelman is exploring a run for Wiener's current state senate seat for the 2028 election.
Policy positions & priorities
Here's where Supervisor Mandelman stands on the issues:
Mental Health & Homelessness
Mandelman has witnessed the mental health and homelessness crisis firsthand through his mother, who suffered with both, shaping his views on state-sponsored interventions and conservatorship. In early 2020, shortly before the pandemic began, Mandelman and Mayor Breed announced that the city acquired two mental health facilities, in NoPa and the Mission. Mandelman has called for more court-ordered mental health treatment, noting: "There are unhoused people who simply need a home, and then there are people who really need more than that. We need to do a better job as a county of trying to make all of those levels of care available. But we also need to be pushing on the state to help fund that." Although the city implemented a state pilot program in 2019, by early 2022 only two people had been placed under conservatorship.
Mandelman has also advocated for moving people from tent encampments to city-provided shelter (in contrast to the city's typical approach of leaving people in tents until they receive "permanent supportive housing"). Calling the current homelessness experience "inhumane" and "irrational," in early 2022, Mandelman introduced his "A Place for All" initiative, requiring the city to provide shelter to everyone willing to accept it. He also supports efforts to clarify that those who refuse shelter cannot be considered "involuntarily homeless," which would allow the city to remove their tents from public spaces. The city's encampments, he said, "are dangerous for the people who are in them and terrible for the people who are trying to live and work in those neighborhoods . . . . We have hundreds of people a year dying of overdoses."
Mandelman claims to be a "pro-housing voice," and campaigned on "address[ing] the housing crisis," but has repeatedly voted to block housing in San Francisco. He voted to block building housing on a Nordstrom valet parking lot, which included 24% affordable units, and voted against converting a single-family home into 10 units. He joined arguably San Francisco's most anti-housing supervisor, Aaron Peskin, in sponsoring legislation that--had it not failed--could have disastrously limited housing development. After a host of officials and builders came out against the "terrifying" legislation, even Peskin acknowledged that the proposal was a failure. Mandelman also opposed SB50, Senator Wiener's proposal to increase housing density in areas around public transit stops.
Mandelman did try to support housing production with a two-part proposal to both legalize building multi-unit fourplexes and to make it harder to build large single-family homes--the idea being to promote more small units, which would be more affordable. But other supervisors amended and watered down the bill and Mayor Breed eventually vetoed it, stating that in its final form it would interfere with a pro-housing state law and actually hurt housing production.
Mandleman has been a moderating voice on public safety issues, resisting the Board of Supervisors's most extreme anti-law-enforcement tendencies. He was a relative voice of reason during the board's effort to defund the police in 2020, pushing back on supervisors who wanted to cancel all police academy classes and slash police overtime. Similarly, when Supervisor Peskin passed legislation to limit the SFPD from using surveillance technologies, Mandelman scrutinized the measure and, after it passed, supported different legislation that re-authorized some use of surveillance cameras.
Mandelman declined to take a public position on the recall of former District Attorney Chesa Boudin, but personally voted in favor of the recall and endorsed Brooke Jenkins, the strongest candidate and the only real prosecutor running for DA, to succeed Boudin.
In May 2023, Mandelman called out SFPD's low rates of traffic citations, contributing to the city failing to meet the goals of Vision Zero that were set almost 10 years ago. "Our streets are as deadly as ever," he said, calling for SFPD to restore enforcement to at least the same levels as 2014.
Streets & Transit
Mandelman is chair of the Board of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, which funds and plans public transit options in the city. He led the push for Proposition L on the Nov. 2022 ballot, which renewed a sales tax to fund $2.6b of transit costs over 30 years. He co-sponsored Mayor Breed's legislation to make JFK Drive, in Golden Gate Park, a permanent car-free space for use by pedestrians and cyclists.
Key votes and actions
Mental Health & Homelessness
Worked to have the city acquire mental health facilities that were otherwise at risk of shutting down.
Supported the city's adoption of the state's conservatorship process.
Authored the "A Place for All" initiative to increase the city's homeless shelter beds.
Tried to pass legislation that could have severely limited the ability to add additional housing units to existing properties.
Opposed the development of 495 units of family-sized housing, which would have been built on a Nordstrom valet parking lot.
Opposed the conversion of a single-family home to 10 units at 1151 Washington St.
Tried to pass fourplex legislation that he argued was pro-housing, but that was vetoed by the mayor, who said it would "set back housing production."
Failed to take a stance on the recall of DA Chesa Boudin, but told the Chronicle that he personally voted for it.
Supported the recall of only two out of three recalled Board of Education members.