Celebrating 44 years of public service
Bevan Dufty was elected to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors in 2002 and re-elected in 2007 representing District 8: The Castro, Noe Valley, Glen Park, Diamond Heights, Duboce Triangle, Dolores Park & San Jose / Guerrero, Lower Haight and Buena Vista Heights neighborhoods.
Bevan often described his political career as moving down the political food chain, until he was curbside in San Francisco.
At 21, he worked on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm in the most powerful legislative arena in the world. Decades later, as Director of Neighborhood Services for Mayor Willie Brown in San Francisco, he came to realize that it is really local government that has the power to change lives in a tangible way -- by honoring the public trust and being timely, responsive and respectful whether solving one problem at a time or building systemic change.
Bevan Dufty found that focusing on little things can make a big difference. He encouraged Mayor Brown to launch the Open Door Program, a Saturday morning forum that provided an opportunity for individual San Franciscans to talk privately with the mayor about their individual problems. That program alone gave thousands of people personal access to their mayor in a way that never occurred before and countless problems were solved.
It was inspiring that individual citizens could petition the City's Mayor with ideas or complaints. A new Oceanview Library was built because community members came in to talk about how kids had to reach to a small, run down library by walking past a liquor store with active drug trade. At the end of the ten minute meeting, the Mayor committed that a library would be built, and it was.
Bevan's experience inspired him to run for Supervisor. He focused on the nuts and bolts issues in District 8 and led the establishment of Community Benefit Districts (CBDs) that continue to thrive in the Castro and Noe Valley. He worked with City Departments to shepherd vital renovations of park and library facilities including the Eureka Valley Rec Center, Upper Noe Rec Center, first phase of Dolores Park and the Noe Valley/Sally Brunn, Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk, and Glen Park Libraries.
Bevan helped establish the economic development and workforce programs that are signature programs of the LGBT Center and worked with a collaborative of LGBTQ youth providers to expand City funding and establish the Castro Youth Supportive Housing program. He worked with then Mayor Newsom to create a Crystal Meth Task Force that dramatically increased meth-related services and he partnered with the GLBT Historical Society to open the Castro Museum.
As Supervisor, he sponsored a wide-range of legislation from creating the City's Go Solar Program, to legislation that led to the renaissance of Food Trucks and Street Food and mandating feasibility studies for child care in every major City project. He also provided veto-proof majorities on important issues such as Health Access legislation, restrictions on formula retail and banning chain stores from Hayes Valley, Local Hire and Due Process for Undocumented Youth.
As a new BART Director in 2017, Bevan rolled up his sleeves and started weekly cleaning at the16th Street BART Plazas out of frustration with inadequate maintenance staffing. Supervisor Hillary Ronen joined him and, working together over four months, they moved BART to completely revamp cleaning protocols, including first-ever maintenance certifications, tripling staffing and dedicated staff so there is real ownership at Stations.
Photo: Steven Underhill Photography