San Francisco has elected HIV-positive candidate Matt Dorsey to the city’s Board of Supervisors. As a supervisor, Dorsey will aim to address some of the city’s most daunting challenges, such as homelessness, addiction, safety and open-air drug markets. But as someone who openly discusses his own struggles with addiction and understands the needs of the LGBTQ and HIV communities, Dorsey says he is the right person to tackle these challenges.
Although Dorsey is the first person living with HIV elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, he’s not the first one to serve on the board. That would be HIV advocate Jeff Sheehy, who was appointed in 2017 to replace Scott Wiener as District 8 supervisor.
Nor will this be Dorsey’s first time serving as District 6 supervisor—he currently holds the post. Mayor London Breed appointed Dorsey to the position in May after the previous supervisor, Matt Haney, vacated the seat to join the State Assembly.
District 6 is a hub of billion-dollar tech giants and iconic skyscrapers, like the Salesforce and Millennium towers. The district includes the neighborhoods South of Market (SoMa), Mission Bay, Treasure Island and the Tenderloin. SoMa and the Tenderloin have reported the majority of the city’s overdose deaths in the past two years.
Safety remains a top issue for District 6, Dorsey told KRON4 News before the election, who said that a lot of the district’s safety issues are related to open-air drug dealing and associated issues, such as homelessness, addiction and the mental health crisis.
Dorsey addresses the addiction issue in one of his campaign ads, which you can watch in the Facebook post below:
“I’m tired of people dying. I’m tired of our city dying,” Dorsey says in the ad. “We’re standing idly by as drug dealers dish out fentanyl to anyone, killing nearly 1,700 San Franciscans since 2020. No more looking the other way. Drug dealers need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and we must give people real opportunities for recovery. I personally struggled with addiction for years. I was fortunate to recover. Only when we all say enough is enough will the city we love recover too.”
To tackle the challenges, Dorsey plans to launch the San Francisco Recovers program, which consists of the following five elements:
- Public health objectives and programs;
- Criminal justice objectives and programs;
- “Right to Recovery” programs;
- “Sober New Deal” programs;
- Enhanced transparency objectives and programs.
For the past two years, Dorsey worked as a spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department. He also served 14 years in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, according to MattDorsey.org. He was also elected to the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee. Throughout his career, he has focused on affordable housing, HIV protections, LGBTQ rights and public safety resources.