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How to Run for City Attorney in San Francisco, California

2 min read
San Francisco Dock
Good Party Politics Team · Nov 6, 2023

Embarking on a campaign for the role of City Attorney is a significant move toward impacting your community in San Francisco, California. This guide is crafted to demystify the process of running for office and outline the essentials for aspiring candidates for the position of City Attorney.

Understanding the Role of City Attorney

Let’s dive into the essentials of the City Attorney position:

  • The duties of a City Attorney encompass representing the city in legal proceedings, crafting legal documents, and advising city officials on legal matters. They are also charged with prosecuting violations of city ordinances.

  • The San Francisco City Attorney operates at the municipal level.

  • The position is nonpartisan, meaning party affiliation is not a factor in the duties performed.

  • The role of City Attorney is a full-time commitment.

To gain a deeper insight into the role, you might look into the work of current and former City Attorneys and their impact on San Francisco.

Qualifications to Run for San Francisco City Attorney

Wondering if you're cut out for the job? Here are the main qualifications for running for City Attorney in San Francisco:

  • Candidates must reside in San Francisco and be registered voters there when they receive their nomination papers. They must maintain their voter registration throughout their term.

  • To launch a campaign, you'll need to meet specific voter signature requirements and pay a filing fee. The details for filing include a $2,000 fee or two percent of the annual salary for the office, whichever is higher. The number of signatures ranges from 20 to 30 for larger cities and 5 to 10 for smaller ones. 

  • You can submit your candidacy papers at the Director of Elections' office, located at 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102, or call them at 415-554-4375 for more information.

How the San Francisco City Attorney Is Elected

The City Attorney election is a part of the San Francisco municipal elections set for November 5, 2024. The position is up for election every four years. To find out what other roles are being contested during the municipal elections, visit your local government's website.


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Steps to Run for City Attorney in San Francisco

Launching a campaign for City Attorney can be quite the endeavor. Thankfully, Good Party’s AI Campaign Manager is on hand to streamline your journey.

Here's a roadmap to guide your campaign efforts:

  • Get to grips with the unique aspects of your community. Understanding the history, demographics, and core issues of your community is crucial, and Good Party’s AI Campaign Manager can supply you with detailed local voter data to help.

  • Map out a comprehensive campaign strategy. Assemble a team that complements your strengths and strategize voter engagement activities leading up to the election. Good Party provides specialized support for impactful voter outreach.

  • Ensure you meet all the candidacy requirements. Make a plan for signature collection and financial documentation. The AI Campaign Manager can guide you through the key components of campaign finance setup.

  • Hone your campaign's message. A coherent and impactful message is the heart of any local political campaign. The AI Campaign Manager offers tools to craft campaign materials from policy platforms to social media content.

  • Establish a robust digital footprint. A user-friendly campaign website and active social media presence are vital. Good Party’s AI tools can help create content that will resonate with your audience online.

  • Connect with voters personally. Whether it’s through canvassing, texting, or community events, the AI Campaign Manager can help you track your voter outreach efforts efficiently.

  • Mobilize your support base. Energize your campaign with volunteers, tapping into Good Party’s network for assistance with phone banking and awareness campaigns.

  • Focus on voter turnout. Encouraging your supporters to vote on election day is crucial, especially for local elections. Good Party’s tools offer expert guidance for your get-out-the-vote (GOTV) strategies.

Reasons to Run for San Francisco City Attorney

Running for City Attorney allows you to be the voice of your community, tackling issues all the way from homelessness to inclusivity in San Francisco. It's a chance to ensure diverse options on the ballot, challenging incumbents and bringing fresh perspectives to the table.

Resources to Help You Run for City Attorney

If you're set to run for City Attorney, Good Party is ready to support you from start to finish. We back candidates who are independent, third-party, and nonpartisan in elections nationwide. Reach out to discover how Good Party’s free tools and resources can propel your campaign for City Attorney.

To become part of Good Party's growing community and connect with other independent candidates, you can also join Good Party's Discord server.

Photo by Will Truettner on Unsplash


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How to Run for Office
San Francisco Dock
By Good Party Politics Team
The politics team is focused on transforming the political landscape by promoting transparency, accountability, and positive change. They aim to engage citizens in the political process, encourage informed decision-making, and support candidates who prioritize the common good. Their mission revolves around creating a more fair and just political system, fostering collaboration, and breaking down traditional barriers of partisanship.