Meet David

David Chiu is the City Attorney of San Francisco. He is the first Asian American elected to lead the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, recognized as one of the top municipal law offices in the country.  His Office and its 300 legal professionals provide legal counsel to the Mayor, Board of Supervisors and over 100 departments, boards, commissions and offices that comprise the City and County of San Francisco’s government. 

Before becoming City Attorney, David represented the 17th Assembly District, encompassing eastern San Francisco, in the California State Legislature. First elected in 2014, he was re-elected to three more terms in 2016, 2018, and 2020. In his first year, David was appointed to serve as Assistant Speaker pro Tempore. Between 2015 and 2021, David served as Chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee. He also served as the Chair of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and Policy Chair of the California Legislative Progressive Caucus.

During his seven years in the Legislature, David authored 75 bills that were signed into law. His laws addressed a wide spectrum of issues, including housing, homelessness, transportation, education, environment, health, public safety, as well as the civil rights of women, immigrants, LGBTQ Californians, and workers. Some of David’s most historic achievements tackled the issues of housing, homelessness, and renters’ rights—including the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019, described by Governor Newsom as the strongest renter protection law in the country.

Prior to the Legislature, David served for six years as President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the only President elected to three consecutive terms as he represented the city’s northeast neighborhoods of District 3. He was elected Board President on his first day of office in 2009, the first Asian American to hold the post. In that role, David authored 110 ordinances across a wide range of policy areas, including affordable housing, the environment, transportation, civil rights, healthcare, civic participation, small businesses, and ethics reform in partnership with then-City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

Prior to holding public office, David served as a law clerk to Judge James R. Browning of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Democratic Counsel to the U.S. Senate Constitution Subcommittee, a criminal prosecutor with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, a civil rights attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and general counsel to a public affairs technology company.

Before becoming an elected official, David was a San Francisco leader with deep ties to the community. He served as a Small Business Commissioner, president of the Asian American Bar Association, and judge-arbitrator with the Polk Street Community Court. He chaired the boards of the Youth Leadership Institute, the Chinatown Community Development Center, and Lower Polk Neighbors, as well as serving as a board member of Partners Ending Domestic Abuse. David was elected three times to the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee and served as his Assembly District’s executive board representative to the California Democratic Party.

The son of immigrants, David grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and received his undergraduate, master’s in public policy, and law degrees from Harvard University. 

David is married to Candace Chen. A third-generation San Franciscan, Candace is a public interest lawyer who manages a refugee foster care program. David and Candace have an eight-year-old son, Lucas.