First elected in November 2016, 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. Senator Wiener was re-elected to a second term in November 2020.
In the Senate, Senator Wiener works to make housing more affordable, invest in our transportation systems, increase access to healthcare, support working families, meaningfully address climate change and the impacts of wildfire, reform our criminal justice system, reduce gun violence, reduce California’s high poverty rate, and safeguard and expand the rights of all communities, including immigrants and the LGBTQ community.
Senator Wiener has authored 42 bills that have been signed into law. Among them are SB 35, a landmark law to streamline housing approvals in cities not meeting their housing goals; SB 855, which makes California the national leader in mental health and addiction care access by requiring insurance companies to cover all medically necessary mental health and substance use disorder treatments; SB 822, which enacts the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation; SB 1045 and SB 40, which expand and strengthen California’s conservatorship laws to help individuals who are living on our streets with severe mental health and substance use disorders; SB 700, the largest investment in clean energy storage in California history; SB 923, which modernizes California’s eyewitness identification standards to ensure innocent people are not sent to prison; SB 136, which reduces mass incarceration by repealing California’s most commonly used sentence enhancement; SB 219, which protects LGBTQ seniors in long-term care facilities; SB 159, which allows pharmacists to provide PrEP and PEP (powerful HIV prevention medications) without a physician’s prescription; and SB 132, which requires prisons to house transgender incarcerated individuals according to where they’re safest (for example, by gender identity).
Larkin Street Youth Services honored Senator Wiener with the Anne B. Stanton Award for his work to combat youth homelessness throughout 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 on site solar storage throughout the state.
Senator Wiener serves as Chair of the Senate Housing Committee and is a member of the Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee; the Human Services Committee; the Public Safety Committee; the Governmental Organization Committee; the Governance and Finance Committee; and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. He serves as the Senate’s Assistant Majority Whip and as the Vice Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.
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, requiring water recycling and solar power in new developments, and banning public spending in states with LGBTQ hate laws. He focused extensively on housing and public transportation, authoring laws to streamline approvals of affordable housing, to legalize new in-law units, and to tie public transportation funding to population growth.
Before his election to the Board of Supervisors, Senator Wiener spent 15 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 LGBTQ Community Center, as well as serving 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 teacher, and attended public school. He came out during college in North Carolina at a time when the LGBTQ community was facing constant hatred and a deadly pandemic. Those experiences instilled in him a drive to fight for those who are marginalized and facing attacks. 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.