Gordon Mar

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Gordon Mar
Gordon Mar, official portrait, 2019 (from sfbos.org).jpg
Gordon Mar (official portrait, 2019)
Member of the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
from District 4
Assumed office
January 8, 2019
MayorLondon Breed
Preceded byKaty Tang
Succeeded byJoel Engardio
Personal details
Political partyDemocratic
Residence(s)San Francisco, California

Gordon Mar is an American politician from San Francisco. He has been a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors since 2019, representing District 4. He is the brother of former District 1 supervisor, Eric Mar.

District 4 includes the western San Francisco neighborhoods of Central Sunset, Outer Sunset, Parkside, Outer Parkside, and Pine Lake Park.[1]

Political Career[edit]

He was Executive Director of Jobs with Justice San Francisco and the Chinese Progressive Association.[2][3]

San Francisco Board of Supervisors[edit]

After incumbent District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang declined to run for re-election in 2018, Mar filed papers to run for the District 4 seat in the November election. In the months leading up to the race, the campaigns of both Mar and his primary opponent, Jessica Ho, were criticized for "mudslinging" tactics. A Mar campaign staffer was caught tearing down a poster for Ho.[4][5]

Mar was elected supervisor for District 4 on November 6, 2018, receiving 10,314 first preference votes (36.29 percent of all valid votes).[6] After allocation of preferences from eliminated candidates in San Francisco's ranked-choice voting system, Mar received 56.84 percent of final-round votes, compared to 43.16 percent for runner-up Jessica Ho, an aide to the incumbent supervisor Katy Tang.[citation needed]

Mar led negotiations with San Francisco Mayor London Breed to fully fund City College of San Francisco's free tuition program for ten years beginning in 2019,[7] and negotiated a deal to provide full reserve funding for raises for San Francisco Unified School District educators.[8]

Mar has called on SFPD to release aggregated demographic data on Asian-American crime victims, following an increase in hate crimes in San Francisco and several high-profile attacks on members of the Chinese community,[9] and announced legislation requiring this data to be released annually.

Mar is the author of a number of ordinances reforming San Francisco's electoral system and addressing money in politics, including 2019's Proposition F[10] addressing pay-to-play politics, corporate contributions, and dark-money donations, and Public Financing 2.0, which tripled the impact of San Francisco's public financing program for elections.[11]

In November 2022, Mar lost his bid for re-election to Joel Engardio. With the redistricting process, Engardio was eligible to run in District 4 after running and losing three prior campaigns for Supervisor in District 7.[12] With this loss, Mar became the first elected Supervisor in the ranked-choice era to lose their reelection bid. [13]

Positions on housing[edit]

Mar spearheaded multiple Board of Supervisors resolutions which denounced California State Senator Scott Weiner's SB 50 bill, which would have legalized higher density housing development in areas close to public transit.[14] When asked to explain why he voted to block the construction of a 495-unit apartment complex (with 25% affordable housing) on a Nordstrom's valet parking lot in the South of Market neighborhood, Mar said there was an abundance of available "luxury units" in the neighborhood and families "can check Craigslist today" to find housing.[15]

Mar opposes building a Navigation Center in District 4.[16]

When asked to comment on legislation that would permit construction of fourplexes across the city, Mar said "a modest density increase to single-family zoning is certainly worth considering" in San Francisco but did not specify further.[17] Later in 2021, amid debates to allow the construction of four housing units on lots previously designated for single-family housing, Mar proposed to prohibit the construction of market-rate housing on the upzoned lots.[18][19]

In November 2021, Mar proposed to scale down a 98-unit low-income apartment complex in the Sunset District so that it would only have 80 units. Mar characterized this as a compromise between supporters and opponents of the apartment complex.[20]

In January 2022, Mar defended the delay in approval for a $18.7 million grant to repurpose a hotel into a homeless shelter for upwards of 250 people. Mar said, "We’re all well aware of the urgency of this work. But I would echo the comments of my colleagues that we can’t use that urgency to go through a bad process."[21]

Personal life[edit]

His wife Cecilia is a realtor.[22] Together, they are landlords.[22]


  1. ^ "Gordon Mar, District 4". San Francisco Board of Supervisors.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Joshua, Sabatini (November 8, 2018). "Gordon Mar declares victory in District 4 supervisor race". San Francisco Examiner.
  3. ^ "District 4 | Board of Supervisors". San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 4, Gordon Mar.
  4. ^ "In SF's Sunset, paid campaign staffer tears down opposition's poster". SFChronicle.com. October 29, 2018. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  5. ^ "Mudslinging race for supervisor from Sunset distracts voters from issues". SFChronicle.com. October 31, 2018. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  6. ^ SF Elections 2018a.
  7. ^ "Deal reached to fund Free City College, withdraw ballot measure". The San Francisco Examiner. May 23, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  8. ^ "SF Board of Supervisors advances consensus plan to spend $185 million in 'windfall' funds". Mission Local. February 6, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  9. ^ "Rising fear of crime in Chinese community prompts legislative action". The San Francisco Examiner. July 30, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  10. ^ "Proposition F Submittal Form" (PDF). San Francisco Department of Elections. June 18, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "Supervisors Triple Matching Rate For Public Campaign Funds - September 17, 2019". SF Weekly. September 17, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  12. ^ Joel Engardio
  13. ^ https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/sfbos-incumbent-gordon-mar-concedes-joel-engardio-d4-sunset-district-westside/
  14. ^ Brinklow, Adam (December 6, 2019). "California transit-housing bill trashed in SF ahead of new push". Curbed SF. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  15. ^ Knight, Heather (October 30, 2021). "S.F.'s real housing crisis: Supervisors who took a wrecking ball to plans for 800 units". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  16. ^ "SF District Four supervisor hopefuls agree on issues, not priorities". San Francisco Chronicle. October 16, 2018. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  17. ^ "San Francisco is one of California's most conservative cities - when it comes to housing". SFChronicle.com. January 23, 2021. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  18. ^ Dineen, J. K. (November 16, 2021). "S.F. supervisor wants affordable housing to focus on middle income households". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  19. ^ Dineen, J. K. (November 16, 2021). "S.F. supervisor pushes competing plan for fourplexes in single-family areas. Critics say it wouldn't produce much housing". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  20. ^ Dineen, J. K. (November 24, 2021). "Supervisor Mar pushes compromise for contested Sunset District affordable housing project". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  21. ^ writer, Carly Graf Examiner staff (January 6, 2022). "Latest homeless shelter delay epitomizes San Francisco's biggest challenge". The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  22. ^ a b Collaborative, TechEquity (October 18, 2018). "Local Candidate Questionnaire: Gordon Mar, 2018 Candidate for San Francisco Board of Supervisors". TechEquity Collaborative. Retrieved October 31, 2021.

Additional sources[edit]