Jeff Adachi

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Jeff Adachi
Jeff Adachi.jpg
San Francisco Public Defender
In office
March 2002 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 13
Bachelor'sUniversity of California, Berkeley
J.D.Hastings College of the Law
(dead link) Office website
Jeff Adachi is San Francisco's elected public defender. He was a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco on the November 8, 2011 ballot.[1][2]

He was elected to the position of San Francisco Public Defender in March 2002 after having worked in the San Francisco Public Defender's office for fifteen years as a Deputy Public Defender. From 1998-2001, he was the Chief Attorney of the San Francisco Public Defender's office.[3]

Adachi's parents and grandparents were confined in internment camps during World War II. Adachi says that this is what led to his commitment to justice: "My desire to be a public defender comes from both my parents' and grandparents' experience of being interned during the war. They lost everything, stripped of all their possessions, and were incarcerated for four years. Their struggle for justice is something that has always stayed with me."[4]


Adachi obtained his law degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1985. He attended Sacramento City College before earning his undergraduate at the University of California-Berkeley.[3][5]

Pension reform crusader

The San Francisco Chronicle in October 2011 described Adachi as "waging a one-man war on rising pension costs."[5]

Proposition B in 2010

See also: San Francisco Pension Reform, Proposition B (November 2010)

Adachi was the leading force behind the San Francisco's Proposition B on the November 2, 2010 ballot. Proposition B, which was narrowly defeated, would have required city workers to contribute more to their own pension and health insurance costs.[6]

According to Rachel Gordon, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Adachi is an unusual crusader for pension reform. As the city's elected public defender, he has been a solid voice for San Francisco's political left and until now has had the strong backing of organized labor. By pushing his pension measure, he has alienated a portion of his base and, some say, better positioned himself for a possible run for mayor by trumpeting an issue that has resonated with moderate voters."[1]

Proposition D in 2011

See also: San Francisco Pension Reform, Proposition D (November 2011)

In the wake of the loss of Proposition B in November 2010, Adachi re-formulated his pension reform measure and submitted three variations of a new concept to the San Francisco elections office in March 2011.[7]

Ultimately, Adachi's second effort, Proposition D, qualified for the November 8, 2011 ballot after its supporters submitted 72,640 signatures on July 11. This was 26,000 more signatures than were required.[8]


Jeff Adachi describes the San Francisco public defender's office


See also: San Francisco mayoral election, 2011

Adachi says that he decided to jump into San Francisco's November 8, 2011 mayoral election the night before the filing deadline while watching a debate among the existing mayoral contenders: "Everybody was talking about how fine and dandy everything was. I turned to my wife and said, 'No one's talking about the real issues - fixing the structural problems in the city.' She said, 'Well, what are you going to do about it?'"[5]


Adachi was re-elected to a third four-year term as San Francisco's Public Defender on the November 2, 2010 ballot with no opposition. He won 199,502 votes in this uncontested election, which was 98.85% of votes cast.[9]


Adachi was re-elected to the position of San Francisco's Public Defender on November 7, 2006 with no opposition. He won 180,771 votes in this uncontested election, which was 98.85% of votes cast.[10]


Adachi was first elected to the position of San Francisco's Public Defender on March 5, 2002. His opponent in the race was Kimiko Burton.[11]

  • Adachi: 71,489 (54.43%)
  • Burton: 59,608 (45.38%)


Adachi and his wife, Mutsuko, are the parents of one daughter.[3]

External links