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Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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San Francisco CountyCandidate for Supervisor, District 7

Photo of Joel Engardio

Joel Engardio

9,216 votes (23.63%)Winning
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Top 3 Priorities

  • It's time for City Hall to focus on the basics and get them right: clean streets, less crime and better services
  • City Hall must stop using residents like a never-ending ATM. Fix an out-of-control budget by auditing every program and only paying for what works.
  • Address homelessness by dealing with the mental health crisis on our streets. We must expand conservatorship laws to give people with severe mental illness the treatment they need.



Joel has lived in San Francisco for 22 years. He has lived in District 7 for a decade and owns a home with his husband near Lake Merced.

Joel believes San Francisco's best days are ahead of us if we address today's problems with equal doses of innovation and common sense.

Joel is a neighborhood advocate. As the vice president of Stop Crime SF, Joel worked with a grassroots group of neighbors and San Francisco residents to reduce and prevent crime in our neighborhoods while holding public officials and the criminal justice system accountable.

Joel is a board member of two of San Francisco’s largest political clubs: the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and the United Democratic Club. At United Dems, he started Team Q to serve the club’s many LGBTQ members. Joel previously served on the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee and the board of the Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood Association.

Joel describes himself as a forward-thinking + pragmatic democrat.

Joel has a passion for advocating for people who don’t feel heard. This goes back to his upbringing. Joel’s mom cleaned houses for a living. Joel was raised in the General Motors factory town of Saginaw, Michigan by his single mom and grandmother. They didn’t have much money or education. But they taught Joel how to get things done with the resources they had.

A proud product of public schools, Joel attended Michigan State University on a journalism scholarship and has won multiple awards for his reports, essays and documentaries in outlets like USA Today, San Francisco Weekly and PBS. Joel’s prize-winning analysis of local San Francisco issues have appeared in columns and articles frequently published by the San Francisco Chronicle, Examiner and the Bay City Beacon.

As a journalist, Joel felt it was not enough to only report on the issues. He became part of the story by working to advance equality for all people at the American Civil Liberties Union. His contributions at the ACLU were recognized by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy with a scholarship to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Joel married Lionel Hsu soon after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it. Lionel is a software engineer and avid gardener who moved to the Bay Area from Taiwan in 2000.


Joel has a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (1)

  • San Francisco Chronicle

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

The pandemic has created new problems to go with what San Francisco already had. That’s why we won’t find solutions by going back to business as usual.

City Hall must change the decades-long practice of ignoring the needs of families when it comes to housing, schools and quality of life. It’s time to focus on the basics that our neighborhoods care about and get the basics right: clean streets, less crime and more effective services.

Joel is an advocate for parents, small businesses, and homeowners. Kids should be able to attend their neighborhood school. An entrepreneur should be able to open a business without roadblocks. People should feel safe living here.

Joel outlined a plan on how City Hall must change its ways to save small businesses. He knows we must radically rethink a $13 billion budget that was out of control for a long time. We need to audit every program and only pay for what works.

Joel is the rare candidate who has never been on the city payroll. As a journalist, he held the government accountable and gave residents a voice. He will do the same as a supervisor.

Joel will be a neighborhood supervisor you can rely on. As supervisor, Joel’s office will respond to your questions, concerns and ideas within 24 hours. Residents deserve more than what they’re getting from City Hall. Joel will help you get answers and results when you need them.

Joel’s ideas are informed by public policy training and community involvement. Joel helps lead Stop Crime SF, a victim’s rights group dedicated to public safety and making sure the justice system takes crime seriously while being accountable. His award-winning journalism examines how San Francisco can address its problems.

Joel believes our best days are ahead — if we’re willing to tackle today’s problems with equal doses of innovation and common sense.

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