Hillary Ronen

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Hillary Ronen
Member of the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
from District 9
Assumed office
January 9, 2017
Preceded byDavid Campos
Personal details
Political partyDemocratic
Residence(s)San Francisco, California
EducationUniversity of California, San Diego (BA)
University of California, Berkeley (JD)
WebsiteBoard of Supervisors
District 9 website

Hillary Ronen is an American politician and attorney serving as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from District 9, which includes the neighborhoods of Mission District, Bernal Heights, and Portola.[1][2]

Early life and career[edit]

Hillary Ronen was born to a working-class first-generation immigrant Jewish family. Ronen's father migrated to the United States from Israel in his twenties. Her mother was a schoolteacher.[3][4]

Ronen has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego and her juris doctor from University of California, Berkeley. After graduating from law school, she moved to the Mission District, where she joined La Raza Centro Legal. She worked as an immigrant rights attorney.[5][third-party source needed] In 2013, Ronen helped write and pass the California Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights, which mandates overtime pay.[6]

San Francisco Board of Supervisors[edit]

Ronen was a legislative aide and chief of staff to Supervisor David Campos. As an aide for Campos, she defended his proposals to prohibit the construction of market-rate housing in parts of San Francisco.[7] Campos could not seek reelection to the Board of Supervisors in 2016 due to term limits.[8] Ronen was elected as his successor in the November 2016 election, defeating Joshua Arce.[9] During the 2016 election campaign, Ronen allied herself with District 1 candidate Sandra Lee Fewer and District 11 candidate Kimberly Alvarenga; the trio pledged if elected to jointly push for a universal preschool program for 4-year-olds, along other priorities.[10]

Ronen was sworn in on January 9, 2017.[11] Her election helped create a female majority on the board for the first time in 20 years.[12]

In 2020, Ronen ran unopposed for reelection; she received 99.77% of the vote, with the remainder of votes being for write-in candidates.[13]


In 2022 she authored a Charter Amendment "Student Success Fund" which provides $60 million per year in city funds to support a community schools model with the goal of establishing programming in eligible schools to support student academic achievement and social emotional wellness.[14] Funding for the Student Success Fund, while drawn from the San Francisco General Fund, redirects monies from excess Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds that San Francisco receives from the State of California that are intended to fund educational purposes. The Charter Amendment passed the Board of Supervisors with unanimous support, and went onto the 2022 November Ballot as Proposition G. The ballot measure passed with 77.78% of the vote.[15]


In April 2017, Ronen introduced legislation to count children as tenants for purposes of relocation payments under Ellis Act evictions.[16]

In 2018, Ronen fought to prevent the construction of a 75-unit building on the site of a laundromat. She argued that an environmental review of the building did not consider the impact of a shadow on a nearby schoolyard, even though an environmental review conducted by officials at the San Francisco Planning Department showed that the new construction, including its shadow, would not have an adverse impact on children at the schoolyard.[17] A few months later, Ronen dropped her opposition, stating that the appeal process seeking to halt the project had been exhausted, thus allowing the project to proceed.[18]

In 2019, she co-sponsored a resolution opposing California Senate Bill 50, which would have required local governments to allow denser housing near public transit stations and jobs centers in order to reduce the housing shortage in California.[19]

In 2019, Ronen introduced legislation to close loopholes around tenant buyout laws that have historically become a form of tenant abuse, intimidation, and de facto eviction.[20]

In October 2021, Ronen voted against the construction of a 495-unit apartment complex (one-quarter of which were designated as affordable housing) on a Nordstrom's valet parking lot next to a BART station. Her vote was unusual, as she was blocking construction of housing in the district of another supervisors. The norm on the board is generally to honor the wishes of the district supervisor, who in this case was Matt Haney, a supporter of the proposed construction.[21] After the vote, The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board wrote that the Board of Supervisors "have lost their minds on housing" and that San Francisco "needs a Board of Supervisors that won't sabotage any and seemingly all earnest attempts to deal with this city's housing crisis."[22] The California Department of Housing and Community Development began an investigation into whether the San Francisco Board of Supervisors acted improperly in its decision to block the housing project.[23] Ronen defended her vote, saying she was "pro-housing."[24]

Ronen was an opponent of a proposed market-rate housing development at 1979 Mission Street, which was proposed in 2019 to be built on a block of shuttered retail at a tract next to the 16th Street Mission station. The project, by Crescent Heights, was intensely controversial. In 2021, Ronen and Breed introduced legislation to approval a deal in which Crescent Heights would transfer the site to the city to fulfill its affordable housing mandate for a different project (a tower at South Van Ness Avenue), and the city would then build 330 low-income housing units on the site.[25] Ronen hailed the agreement as a win for affordable housing.[25]

Mental Health SF[edit]

In 2019, Ronen proposed Mental Health SF legislation along with Supervisor Matt Haney.[26] Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors reached a compromise agreement on the mental health reform effort. The final legislation passed focuses on creating a universal system of mental health services, substance use treatment, and psychiatric medications to San Franciscans who need help.[27] The five key components of Mental Health SF include, the establishment of a Mental Health Service Center, establishment of an Office of Coordinated Care, the establishment of the 24/7 crisis response street team, the expansion of Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment, and the establishment of the Office of Private Health Insurance Accountability.[26]

In October 2019, Ronen worked with San Francisco City workers to reach a deal to keep the Adult Residential Facility open for people with severe mental illness.[28] In August 2019, the San Francisco Department of Public Health planned on displacing dozens of patients from the Adult Residential Facility, the only City-operated board and care option for people with severe mental illness.[29] Ronen drafted and introduced legislation to ensure that these beds would be used as intended, providing a safe and secure place for people who would otherwise be on the street. In October, Ronen, along with front-line staff, representatives from Local 21 and SEIU 1021, DPH leadership, residents and their families, and the Mayor's office worked together to reach an agreement and pass legislation to ensure the future of the Adult Residential Facility.[30]

Crime and policing[edit]

In 2020, during the George Floyd protests, Ronen was a vocal proponent of cuts to the San Francisco Police Department's budget.[31][32] She criticized Mayor London Breed's proposal in 2020 for a 2.6% decrease to the law enforcement budget as a "slap in the face" and called for deeper cuts.[31] In October 2022, Ronen repeated calls for cuts to the SFPD (whose budget at the time was up 4.4% from its 2019 levels).[33]

Ronen has opposed proposals to fill vacancies within SFPD, or to set minimum SFPD staffing levels,[34] and rejected Police Chief Bill Scott's assessment that there is a understaffing crisis within the department.[33] She has contended that Mayor Breed has given too much focus to police department vacancies at the expenses of vacancies in other city departments, such as the San Francisco Department of Public Health.[35] Ronen has also clashed with Scott after a series of San Francisco Chronicle reports showed that some SFPD officers ignored crimes in progress or failed to properly investigate them. In a letter to Scott, Ronen wrote that reports of officer apathy "indicate a systemic breakdown in your department" and suggested a "deliberate work stoppage"; Scott denied that this was the case.[36]

In March 2023, following a series of high-profile crimes in the city, Ronen demanded more police presence in the Mission within her district.[32] Rosen's reversal prompted critics to accuse her of hypocrisy; in response, Ronen criticized the police department for logging more than 100,000 overtime hours through mid-2023 patrolling Union Square and other shopping areas, rather than other parts of the city.[32]

In 2023, Ronen apologized for her role in aiding Fernando Madrigal, who was a member of the Norteños gang and simultaneously an activist who promoted reform of the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems. In July 2019, Madrigal fatally shot a 15-year-old bystander with an AR-15 while hunting members of rival gangs; before he was implicated in the killing, Ronen appeared with Madrigal at a rally on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, and Ronen wrote a letter to a court supporting Madrigal's petition for early release from his probation for a previous carjacking conviction. After Madrigal was arrested and pleaded guilty to the killing, Ronen tearfully apologized to the victim's mother, saying that she was horrified to discover that Madrigal had murdered the teenager and that she had "no idea" of the degree of Madrigal's gang involvement.[37][38]

Personal life[edit]

Ronen is married to attorney Francisco Ugarte. They live in the Bernal Heights neighborhood with their daughter.[39]


  1. ^ "District 9 | Board of Supervisors". sfbos.org.
  2. ^ "Supervisor race to represent the Mission and nearby neighborhoods kicks off in S.F." San Francisco Chronicle. April 18, 2023.
  3. ^ "Candidates Discuss Family Backgrounds". Mission Local. September 2, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  4. ^ "S3E19, Part 1: Hillary Ronen on Her Formative Years". storiedsf.libsyn.com.
  5. ^ "Supervisor Hillary Ronen Overview". sfbos.org.
  6. ^ Carolyn Said (October 25, 2021). "S.F. could be first to mandate paid sick leave for house cleaners, nannies". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  7. ^ "New San Francisco moratorium proposal targets large restaurants". San Francisco Business Times. June 4, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Emily Green, SF moderates win control of Board of Supervisors, San Francisco Chronicle (November 23, 2016).
  9. ^ Joe Rivano Barros, In First Post-Election Interview, Hillary Ronen Talks Trump and SF Mission, Mission Local (November 30, 2016).
  10. ^ Lizzie Johnson, John Wildermuth, Joe Garofoli, Rachel Swan, SF supervisor candidates team up even before getting elected, SFGate (September 25, 2016).
  11. ^ V. Alexandra de F. Szoenyi (January 29, 2017). "New District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen Talks Affordable Housing, Transit, More". Hoodline. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Heather Knight (January 6, 2017). "Women's rise to power in SF a glimmer of hope in politics". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  13. ^ "November 3, 2020 Final Election Results". San Francisco Department of Elections.
  14. ^ Lisa Moreno (July 26, 2022). "San Francisco Schools Could Get Up to $60 Million Under Measure Headed to Fall Ballot". San Francisco Standard. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  15. ^ "November 8, 2022 Election Results - Summary". sfelections.sfgov.org.
  16. ^ Heather Knight (April 11, 2017). "Ronen pushes to count SF kids as tenants for relocation payments". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  17. ^ "Developer threatens to sue as SF Supes delay Mission project". Mission Local. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  18. ^ "How the developer of SF's 'historic' laundromat quietly won". Mission Local. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  19. ^ "Resolution Opposing Wiener's SB 50 Housing Bill Heads to Full Board". SF Weekly. April 4, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  20. ^ Laura Waxmann (December 14, 2019). "Ronen wants to strengthen tenant protections in buyout law". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  21. ^ Dineen, J. K. (October 27, 2021). "Why did S.F. supervisors vote against a project to turn a parking lot into 500 housing units?". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  22. ^ Board, Chronicle Editorial (October 29, 2021). "Editorial: S.F. supervisors have lost their minds on housing. Here's what Mayor Breed can do about it". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  23. ^ Dineen, J. K. (October 28, 2021). "State investigating S.F.'s decision to reject turning parking lot into 500 housing units". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  24. ^ "SF supervisor's tweet linking rejected housing and GMOs draws ridicule". SFGATE. November 2, 2021. Retrieved November 3, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ a b J.K. Dinnen (November 1, 2021). "After years of contentious housing battles, S.F. poised to take ownership of 'Monster in the Mission' property". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  26. ^ a b "Mental Health SF Legislation Approved Unanimously by Board of Supervisors". sfmayor.org.
  27. ^ Ted Goldberg; April Dembosky (May 28, 2019). "Supervisors Propose Universal Mental Health Care in San Francisco". KQED. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  28. ^ "Mayor Breed, Supervisors Ronen, Haney, and Mandelman Announce Plan for Adult Residential Facility". sfmayor.org.
  29. ^ Laura Waxmann (August 22, 2019). "City cuts to long-term mental health beds prompt protest". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  30. ^ Joe Eskenazi (October 14, 2019). "Compromise reached to save Adult Residential Facility, which mayor and Health Department had moved to gut". Mission Local. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  31. ^ a b Mark, Julian (August 21, 2020). "Defunding the police? Supes push for more cuts to SFPD". Mission Local.
  32. ^ a b c Adam Shanks. "Are SF supervisors hypocrites on police funding, overtime?". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved June 24, 2023.
  33. ^ a b Stephanie Sierra, Lindsey Feingold, and John Kelly, Police department budget up 4.4% since 2019, despite SF officials making bold promises to defund, KGO-TV (October 13, 2022).
  34. ^ Aldo Toledo, S.F. voters to weigh in on police staffing levels after big fight, San Francisco Chronicle (November 28, 2023).
  35. ^ Aldo Toledo, S.F. Mayor Breed pushed to create hiring plan for health workers, San Francisco Chronicle (October 31, 2023).
  36. ^ J.D. Morris, S.F. supervisor questions police chief about reports of apathetic officers, San Francisco Chronicle (February 15, 2022).
  37. ^ Kevin Fagan, As he killed for the Norteños gang, he rallied at S.F. City Hall for criminal justice reforms, San Francisco Chronicle (updated March 21, 2023).
  38. ^ San Francisco politician apologizes to homicide victim’s mom after accidentally helping the killer, San Francisco Standard (September 12, 2023).
  39. ^ Heather Knight (October 24, 2016). "SF District 9 supervisor candidates pledge to listen to residents". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 12, 2017.

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