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    Profiles of Compassion and Courage: David Campos


    District 9 Supervisor David Campos has, for nearly 5 years, represented Bernal Heights, part of Portola and the Inner Mission. A Harvard Law School graduate, Campos previously worked as a lawyer in private practice and then served as Deputy City Attorney for San Francisco. He now lives in Bernal Heights with his fiancé Phil and their English bulldog Winston.

    SS: How did you become involved in your work?

    DC: As a young, gay, immigrant growing up in South Central Los Angeles, it was not lost on me how blessed I was to have the opportunities I did. Despite not speaking English when I first arrived, I was able to work hard and secure scholarships to Stanford and Harvard, eventually becoming the public servant that I am today. I came to this work, and I continue to do this work, because I want every child to have the same opportunities that I had. I began my work as Deputy City Attorney for San Francisco, where I served as lead counsel for the San Francisco Unified School District. In my time there, I led the efforts to implement the school’s desegregation program. I then served on the San Francisco Police Commission. Since 2008, I’ve been the Supervisor of District 9, which has been the greatest job of my life. I am now thrilled to be running for State Assembly, in Tom Ammiano’s legacy seat.

    SS: Name one of your key mentors and explain how they inspired your work.

    DC: That’s too hard; I’ll have to name three. Growing up, my mother and father both worked two jobs to ensure that we had food on the table and quality educations, and they never complained. They taught me the power of hard work and humility. And, like so many of us in the LGBT community, I have long looked up to Tom Ammiano, and have learned much about leadership and tenacity from working with him over the years.

    SS: If you could fix or solve one major problem in the Bay Area, what would it be and why?

    DC: The most pressing problem I see in the Bay Area is its increasing lack of affordability. Prohibitive cost of living doesn’t just mean that we lose people; we also lose their potential contributions. The Bay Area has always attracted and cultivated leaders, artists and change makers, and if we lose them, we lose their voices at the table. I want the Bay Area to keep its table rich with diversity.

    SS: Among your many achievements, which one are you most proud of and why?

    DC: I am extremely proud of the coalition building that has come out of my campaigns and my office. I am in awe of the diversity of my supporters, and inspired by how many communities I’ve been fortunate to work with throughout the years. We’ve been able to bring so many different constituencies with such different backgrounds together to accomplish our shared goals, and that is a lasting accomplishment.

    SS: What are your future goals and aspirations?

    DC: My most immediate aspiration is to make sure Assembly District 17 continues to lead the way for our communities in the State Legislature. I want to ensure that LGBT communities, immigrant communities, and families who are struggling to stay in San Francisco have a continued voice in Sacramento. We still have a lot of work to do to make sure our communities are safe, respected, and represented, and I want to do that work.

    Stu Smith is board chair emeritus of Shanti Project, board chair of The Paratransit Coordinating Council, a member of the Castro Country Club Advisory Board and the LGBT Senior Task Force, and producer and host of the public access TV program “The Drag Show.” KQED has honored Stu as a 2013 LGBT Hero.