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|Member of the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
from District 2
January 8, 2011
|Born||San Francisco, California|
|Residence||San Francisco, California|
|Alma mater||Loyola Marymount University (BA)
University College Dublin (MA)
University of Pennsylvania (JD)
|Website||Board of Supervisors
District 2 website
Supervisor Farrell is a born and raised San Franciscan, and grew up in the neighborhoods of District 2. He attended both Stuart Hall and Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, and subsequently received his B.A. from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, his M.A. from University College Dublin in Ireland, and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. Prior to being elected to the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Farrell practiced law as a corporate and securities attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Silicon Valley for 3 years, joined Thomas Weisel Partners as an investment banker where he was an integral part of the Internet & Digital Media team for over 5 years, and subsequently co-founded Quest Hospitality Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm focused on the hospitality and travel sector. Prior to his election to the Board of Supervisors, he served as a mid-level director of Quest Hospitality Ventures, a venture capital firm.
Supervisor Farrell was first elected in November 2010 by the voters of District 2, and subsequently reelected in November 2014 for his second term. Supervisor Farrell currently serves as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, as a founding member of the 2016-17 Super Bowl Bid Committee, and also serves on eight other local and state Boards and Committees.
In June 2016, Farrell was ordered to repay $191,000 in unlawful campaign funding after the City ethics panel voted, 5-0, to uphold the original 2014 decision of the San Francisco Ethics Commission that he should have to forfeit back to the City the amount raised from just two donors and used late in the 2010 election by Common Sense Voters, an independent expenditure committee, with improper communications from a campaign consultant. Farrell was exonerated by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, although the campaign consultant Chris Lee and Common Sense Voters were found to be in violation of federal campaign finance laws, but a further complaint was filed with the City commission by Janet Reilly, who lost to Farrell by 256 votes. City law, stricter than state law, holds candidates personally responsible for staff as well as themselves, whether they knew about the illegal communication or not. In an unusual move, Farrell responded with a lawsuit against the City in May to prevent further collection efforts from the Treasurer's office, and settled with the City for $25,000 in Oct. 2016.
Supervisor Farrell's legislative priorities include advancing policies and projects that address housing affordability and the cost of living, homelessness, boost local economic development, ensure neighborhood vitality, and enhance public safety and quality of life issues that affect all San Franciscans.
Since his election, Supervisor Farrell ushered through a unanimously supported two-year City budget that reflects San Francisco values and priorities, reformed the way San Francisco pays for retiree health care benefits - solving a $4.4 billion unfunded liability, and passed small business tax credit legislation so our City's small businesses can hire more employees and create more local jobs. In addition, Supervisor Farrell created a public-private partnership between the San Francisco non-profit Kiva.org and San Francisco's Office of Small Business to provide small businesses citywide greater access to capital at 0% interest, and became the first elected official in California to personally endorse Kiva borrowers on the platform.
Mark Farrell introduced an anti-gun ordinance in 2015, that placed onerous regulations on the only firearm retailer in the city, High Bridge Arms, causing the retailer to go out of business. Farrell told the San Francisco Chronicle, "From my perspective, if the last gun store in San Francisco wants to close its doors because of my legislation, so be it."
To address homelessness in San Francisco, Supervisor Farrell led the effort to double San Francisco's Homeless Outreach Team, authored and pass Laura's Law, which is a state law that allows for community-based compelled mental health treatment for the severely mentally ill, and has hosted numerous hearings on services and solutions to reduce and end homelessness in San Francisco.
To help keep families in San Francisco, Supervisor Farrell created the Schoolyards Project which opens public schoolyards on the weekends to create more open space and foster a greater sense of community and annually sponsors the Marina Family Festival in District 2. Supervisor Farrell has also called hearings on family flight to find and discuss the root causes which are causing families to leave San Francisco, and has worked on policies and projects to help reverse family flight.
To help integrate the benefits of technology into resident's everyday lives, Supervisor Farrell led a broad coalition to create "Free Wi-fi" in our city parks, plazas and open spaces and is working to expand online access to all communities across our city. Supervisor Farrell also authored and passed the City's landmark open data legislation that continued San Francisco's national leadership in the open data movement and will promote further local economic development and government efficiency.