San Francisco District Attorney
When Chesa was just fourteen months old, both of his biological parents were incarcerated for driving the getaway car in a robbery that tragically took the lives of three men. His mother spent twenty-two years in prison. His father may never get out. Chesa knows the destructive impacts of mass incarceration – he had to go through a metal detector and steel gates just to touch his parents. Although he was lucky enough to end up in a stable, loving family, he watched other friends with incarcerated parents end up in prison themselves.
That is why Chesa worked his entire life on reforming the criminal justice system. In high school he spoke out in support of other children with incarcerated parents. In college he did research on racial bias and collateral consequences for immigrants in the prison system and studied abroad to learn Spanish. After a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, He went to Yale Law school where he defended people against deportation and sued employers for wage theft and unlawful working conditions. After law school he clerked for two federal judges in California and then began working as a public defender to fight a criminal justice system that oppresses the poor and people of color.
Throughout his life, and his legal career, Chesa has fought for underdogs, organized against war, advocated for social justice, and worked to end mass incarceration. Chesa is running for DA so he can continue his life’s work in pursuing equal and social justice for everyone.