San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener has no problem standing out in a crowd. The District 8 supe (representing the Castro, Noe Valley, Duboce Triangle, as well as parts of the Mission and more), who stands at an impressive 6-foot-7-inches, graduated from Duke, went to Harvard Law, and earned a Fulbright scholarship, all before bringing his distinct political style of quiet efficiency to San Francisco.
And while some of Wiener's political choices may have surprised his left-leaning constituents during his five years office, he's no stranger to controversy and national press. In 2012 he drafted legislation to ban nudity in San Francisco after Jane Warner Memorial Plaza in the Castro became a magnet for a group of nude activists that raised the ire of local businesses and residents. In July of this year, he made headlines again when he brushed off Bill O’Reilly’s producer in City Hall with the retort, “Fox News isn’t real news.” A sound clip that quickly went viral.
Despite these more colorful moments, Wiener is consistently focused on what he calls "smart growth issues;" public transportation, affordable housing, and healthcare are where he directs most of his attention. He authored Proposition B, which tied Muni funding to population growth (he rides Muni everyday), and he’s working on plans to develop a bigger BART system and to bring high-speed rail to the Bay Area. Wiener has pushed for laws making it easier to add in-law units to help ease the housing crisis, and he helped extend healthcare to the SF’s transgender community.
“In San Francisco’s political climate, we get to push the envelope on new things and model good progressive politics for the rest of the country,” he said of his recent political moves.
Best of all? Wiener is not afraid of getting real with his constituents. As someone who is notoriously tight-lipped about his private life (gay, single), Wiener revealed in 2014 that he was taking the anti-viral drug Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (aka PreP). “That was a difficult decision,” he says, “As an elected official, it’s very vulnerable to reveal something about your personal life especially regarding sexual health.” It was a big step toward removing the stigma around PreP. “The similarities to access to birth control are uncanny,” he says.
But the next big project for Wiener is one that will take him to the national level on a day-to-day basis? He recently announced his bid for State Senator to fill Mark Leno’s term-limited seat. “What doesn’t get done in Sacramento has a big impact on what we can do here in San Francisco,” he says. “I’d like to get some things done.” // scottwiener.com