For the past 26 years, Senator Scott Wiener has worked day and night for San Francisco, never giving up until the job is done. As a State Senator, former member of the Board of Supervisors, and longtime community leader, he has championed progressive policies on housing, healthcare access (including for mental health and drug addiction), public transit, climate action, criminal justice reform, civil rights, consumer protection, and other critical issues.
Senator Wiener has never shied away from tough, important issues even at personal cost. He helped build a statewide and national pro-housing movement despite personal demonization. He aggressively advances a pro-LGBTQ legislative agenda despite intense political attacks from the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Donald Trump Jr., and Ted Cruz, in addition to an avalanche of death threats. Scott Wiener always puts the community first, even if he pays a personal price for doing so in today’s toxic political environment.
Elected in November 2016 and reelected in 2020, Senator Scott Wiener represents District 11 in the California State Senate. District 11 includes all of San Francisco, Broadmoor, Colma, and Daly City, as well as portions of South San Francisco.
In the State Senate, Senator Wiener works day and night to make housing more affordable; strengthen and expand our public transportation systems; increase access to health care, including mental health and addiction treatment; ensure families have access to food, child care, paid family leave, and other critical supports; fight climate change and keep California in the lead on climate action; reform our broken criminal justice system; and safeguard and expand the rights of all communities, including immigrants and LGBTQ people.
Senator Wiener has authored 75 bills that have been signed into law. Among them are SB 35 and 423, landmark laws to expedite housing permits, which have resulted in thousands of new affordable homes in San Francisco; SB 4, which allows faith institutions and nonprofit colleges to build affordable housing on their land by-right, without any discretionary approval process; SB 10, which provides a powerful tool for local governments to zone for more housing more quickly; SB 828, which required California cities to plan for much more housing than they had previously; SB 886, which streamlines and accelerates student housing production across the state; SB 922, which expedites approval of rapid bus lanes, bike lanes, and pedestrian safety projects; SB 855, which made California the national leader in mental health and addiction treatment access by requiring insurance companies to cover all medically necessary treatments; SB 822, which enacted the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation; SB 1045 and SB 40, which expanded and strengthened California’s conservatorship laws to help individuals who are living on our streets with severe mental health and substance use disorders; SB 253, a first-in-the-nation climate law which requires corporations to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions; SB 379, which required cities to implement instant, app-based permitting for solar and energy storage systems; SB 700, the largest investment in clean energy storage in California history; SB 923, which modernized California’s eyewitness identification standards to ensure innocent people are not sent to prison; SB 136, which reduced mass incarceration by repealing California’s most commonly used sentence enhancement; SB 73, which ended mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses; SB 107, which provided refuge for trans kids and their families in California so they can avoid criminal prosecution for seeking or allowing gender-affirming care in states like Texas and Alabama; SB 407, which ensures foster families provide affirming environments for LGBTQ foster youth; SB 219, which protects LGBTQ seniors in long-term care facilities; SB 159, which allowed pharmacists to provide PrEP and PEP (powerful HIV prevention medications) without a physician’s prescription; and SB 132, which required prisons to house transgender incarcerated individuals according to where they’re safest (for example, by gender identity).
Senator Wiener has been recognized by respected community organizations for his work. Larkin Street Youth Services honored Senator Wiener for his work to combat youth homelessness in California. Senator Wiener was named Legislator of the Year by the California Sexual Assault Investigators Association and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, for his work reforming California’s criminal justice system, and by the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition and California Building Industry Association for his work addressing California’s housing shortage. He was also named Legislator of the Year by the California Solar & Storage Association for his work to expand clean energy, and by the American Red Cross for his advocacy to support blood donations during the COVID-19 pandemic and end discriminatory donation requirements for gay and bisexual men. The National Stewardship Action Council named him a Legislative Champion for his work to reduce plastic waste in California.
Senator Wiener serves as Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, Co-Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, Chair of the Senate Mental Health Caucus, and Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Public Transportation. He previously served as Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, the Senate Legislative Ethics Committee, and the Senate Human Services Committee. Senator Wiener is a member of the Public Safety Committee, Judiciary Committee, Governance and Finance Committee, Health Committee, Appropriations Committee, and Legislative Ethics Committee. He also serves on the Governor's Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education and the California Cultural and Historical Endowment Board of Trustees.
Before his election to the Senate, Senator Wiener served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representing the district previously represented by Supervisor Harvey Milk. During his time on the Board of Supervisors, Senator Wiener authored a number of first-in-the-nation laws, including mandating fully paid parental leave for all working parents and requiring water recycling and solar power in new developments. He focused extensively on housing and public transportation, authoring laws to expedite approval of affordable housing, legalize new in-law units, and tie public transportation funding to population growth.
Before his election to the Board of Supervisors, Senator Wiener spent fifteen years practicing law: as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, in private practice at Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, and as a law clerk for Justice Alan Handler on the New Jersey Supreme Court. Senator Wiener co-chaired the Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club, BALIF (the Bay Area’s LGBTQ bar association), and the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, and served on the national board of directors of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.
Senator Wiener grew up in New Jersey, the son of a small business owner and a public school teacher, and attended K-12 public school. He received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He spent a year in Chile on a Fulbright Scholarship doing historical research. He has lived in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood since 1997.