John Avalos

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John Avalos
Member of the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
from District 11
In office
January 8, 2009 – January 8, 2017
MayorGavin Newsom
Ed Lee
Preceded byGerardo Sandoval
Succeeded byAhsha Safaí
Personal details
Born (1964-03-11) March 11, 1964 (age 58)[1]
Wilmington, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Residence(s)San Francisco, California
Alma materUniversity of California, Santa Barbara (BA)
San Francisco State University (MA)
WebsiteSupervisor John Avalos

John Avalos is an American politician. He was member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing District 11. The district consists of the Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, Ingleside, Oceanview, and Outer Mission districts. Avalos was elected on November 4, 2008 in the 2008 San Francisco election and took office on January 8, 2009. He was termed out of office and succeeded in January 2017 by Ahsha Safaí.[2]

Early life[edit]

Avalos was born in Wilmington, California. His mother, an office manager, and his father, a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, raised seven children.[3] His parents divorced when he was young, and his mother cared for them on her own. Avalos moved to Andover, Massachusetts as a teenager and graduated from Andover High School in 1982.[4]

Avalos earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1988 from University of California, Santa Barbara[5] and master's degree in social work from San Francisco State University. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college.

Early political and organizing work[edit]

Avalos worked as an organizer for Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth in San Francisco's Excelsior District, and on the Justice for Janitors Campaign for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1877. Avalos worked as an educator and counselor for the Columbia Park Boys and Girls Club, Mission Neighborhood Health Center, and San Francisco Conservation Corps.[6] For four years before being elected to the Board of Supervisors, Avalos was a legislative aide for supervisor Chris Daly.[7]

San Francisco supervisor[edit]

On November 4, 2008, John Avalos won the election for San Francisco District 11 supervisor with 28.23% of the total votes in round one and 52.93% in round four, under the city's instant-runoff voting system.[8] District 11 includes the Outer Mission, Excelsior, Oceanview, Merced Heights, Cayuga, and Ingleside neighborhoods.

As chair of the Budget and Finance Committee in 2009 and 2010, John Avalos led the Board of Supervisors' effort to approve budgets, closing deficits of over $500 million. In January 2011, Avalos was appointed to serve as chair of the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee.[9]

In June 2010, Avalos introduced a resolution condemning "Israel's military attack on the freedom flotilla".[10]

On Tuesday, December 14, 2010, Avalos' local hiring ordinance passed with an 8-3 vote. This legislation mandates that up to 50% of labor hours on San Francisco public works projects go to San Francisco residents. Requirements start at 20% in the first year, building up to 50% after seven years.[11]

Avalos voted to reinstate Ross Mirkarimi as sheriff after Mayor Ed Lee initiated official removal proceedings against Sheriff Mirkarimi. Avalos said that removing Mirkarimi would be "a dangerous precedent to set and a slippery slope to open up as a political tool."[12]

In 2013, Avalos sponsored legislation to prohibit San Francisco from complying with Federal authorities' requests to "hold" illegal immigrants who may be subject to deportation.[13]

2011 San Francisco mayoral campaign[edit]

On April 18, 2011, Avalos filed to run for mayor of San Francisco as a progressive candidate.[14] Avalos placed second in the race after incumbent Mayor Ed Lee.[15]

On January 18, 2019, the San Francisco Ethics Commission fined Avalos $12,146 for failing to properly disclose campaign finances from his unsuccessful run for mayor in 2011.[16] According to the Ethics Commission, Avalos’ campaign committee improperly reported $26,506 — or 11 percent — of his total contributions. The committee also failed to maintain complete records for $391,594 worth of expenditures, 60 percent of the total amount of money spent.[16] Avalos accepted the settlement in front of the commission.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Avalos was married to Karen (née Zapata), a public-school teacher, and they have two children. Avalos is a third-generation Mexican American, Zapata a first-generation Peruvian American.[17]

Since 2014 Avalos and his wife have been separated. He revealed that he had an affair with his legislative aide, Raquel Redondiez, who subsequently took an unpaid leave from her job.[15] Avalos said, "I felt it was most appropriate for her to find employment outside this office... I let a lot of people down, and I’m really sorry."[15]


  1. ^ Sabatini, Joshua (2008-01-02). "Out with the old, in with new". San Francisco Examiner.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "The Union Workhorse - Ahsha Safai, Excelsior". Bay City Beacon. January 3, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Supervisor Avalos-About". San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  4. ^ "Town Talk: '82 grad is San Fran pol and other quick hits". The Andover Townsman. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  5. ^ "City and County of San Francisco Friday, April 01, 2011". April 1, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  6. ^ "Supervisor Avalos - About". City and County Board of Supervisors, San Francisco, CA. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  7. ^ "The Case For John Avalos". Fog City Journal San Francisco, CA. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  8. ^ "Ranked-Choice Voting Report - District 11". City and County of San Francisco Department of Elections. Archived from the original on 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  9. ^ "They have issues: Members of the new Board speak". Bay Guardian, San Francisco, CA. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
  10. ^ "SF considers condemning Israel's flotilla raid". KGO-TV San Francisco, CA. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  11. ^ "Sf Adopts Local Hiring Law". Bay Citizen, San Francisco, CA. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  12. ^ Knight, Heather; Coté, John. "Ross Mirkarimi to keep job, supes decide". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  13. ^ "S.F. officials want city to stop detaining people on federal immigration holds". The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2015-07-03.
  14. ^ Coté, John; Knight, Heather (2011-04-18). "Progressive Avalos enlivens S.F. mayor's race". San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  15. ^ a b c "S.F. Supervisor Avalos admits affair with top staffer". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  16. ^ a b c "SF Ethics Commission fines former Supe John Avalos $12,000 over campaign finances". San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  17. ^ "Board of Supervisors: John Avalos". City and County of San Francisco. Retrieved 2009-01-16.[permanent dead link]