Mayor London Breed Appoints Assemblymember David Chiu to Serve as San Francisco City Attorney
Assemblymember Chiu, who previously served as President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and as a public interest attorney, will replace Dennis Herrera, who served as City Attorney since 2001
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today appointed Assemblymember David Chiu to serve as the next San Francisco City Attorney. Chiu will succeed City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who served in that role since 2001 and will be the new General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
Chiu has represented the 17th Assembly District since 2014, during which time he has authored a wide range of bills on issues relating to housing, homelessness, transportation, education, environment, health, public safety, and civil rights. Before entering public office, Chiu served as a civil rights attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, a criminal prosecutor with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, Democratic Counsel to the United States Senate Constitution Subcommittee, and a law clerk for Judge James R. Browning of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
“I am proud to appoint David Chiu as the next City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco,” said Mayor Breed. “David has spent his career working to improve the lives of San Franciscans, from his time at the Board of Supervisors through his work as an Assemblymember. He has the vision, integrity, and experience, and I know he will continue to fight for the people in our community who are most in need. I know that he will bring that same approach to this new role and I am confident that the City Attorney’s Office will be in good hands for years to come.”
"I am deeply grateful and humbled by the opportunity to serve as San Francisco's next City Attorney," said Assemblymember Chiu. "Throughout my legal career and in public service, I have seen the real impact of the law on everyday people. It will be an honor to be able to use the power of the law to fight for justice on behalf of the people of San Francisco in this new capacity. The San Francisco City Attorney's Office has been on the forefront of some of the most important legal battles in the country, and I look forward to continuing that legacy."
In the State Legislature, Chiu authored significant legislation to expand and strengthen the civil rights of women, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ Californians. As chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, he worked to protect tenants from evictions during COVID, and passed the largest expansion of tenants’ rights in California in decades. Chiu fought often to protect consumers through the regulation of entrenched interests like pharmaceutical companies, Wall Street banks, lead paint companies, for-profit colleges, and gun manufacturers.
Chiu received his undergraduate, master’s, and law degrees from Harvard University. The son of immigrant parents, he grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to San Francisco in 1996. Chiu would be the first Asian American City Attorney of San Francisco.
The City Attorney’s Office is tasked with providing legal services for the City and County of San Francisco. This includes representing the City in all legal proceedings, providing advice and written opinions, making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding settlements or dismissal of legal proceedings, investigating claims made against the City, and pursuing allegations of unfair and unlawful competition in the City.
“It has been the professional honor and privilege of my life to serve the people of San Francisco as their City Attorney for nearly 20 years,” outgoing City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. “I’m pleased to be able to leave this office in the hands of David Chiu, someone who is committed to the mission, values, and integrity that have made the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office so remarkable for so long. I’ve known David for years. He is a person of principle and integrity. He is committed to transparency and clean government. And he is independent. He is going to be a great City Attorney.”
Chiu will replace Dennis Herrera, who was first elected as City Attorney in 2001. Herrera will become the new General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on November 1, 2021.
Following Chiu’s start as City Attorney, the Governor will call for a special election to be held within 140 days for the Assembly District 17 seat.