About David Onek
Time to Elect a District Attorney Focused on Preventing Crime
Criminal justice attorney and former Police Commissioner David Onek is the only District Attorney candidate with a proven record as a reformer in the criminal justice system. David understands that the key to safety is balancing long prison terms for violent offenders with programs like job training and drug treatment to help low-level offenders get back on track and prevent crime.
San Francisco’s teachers and six of the seven school board members support David because he is the only candidate with a clear plan to keep kids in school, and to keep youth who enter the juvenile justice system from becoming adult criminals.
Because of David’s focus on bringing law enforcement and community together to prevent crime, he has built the largest coalition of any candidate, including Sheriff Michael Hennessey, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, the California Police Chiefs Association, the Democratic Party, the Sierra Club and more than 2,000 others.
David is the only candidate in the race who has clearly and unequivocally opposed the death penalty throughout his career and throughout this campaign - as District Attorney he will not seek it under any circumstances, because it does not make us safer.
A graduate of Stanford Law School, David began his career at community-based organizations like Walden House and Legal Services for Children, working to keep young people in school and out of the criminal justice system. He has also worked at leading criminal justice reform organizations like the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and the W. Haywood Burns Institute, where he focused on reducing racial disparities in the system.
David has also served in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and as a San Francisco Police Commissioner, where he helped local law enforcement implement national best practices. David is a Senior Fellow at Berkeley Law School and the Founding Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice, where he worked to build partnerships between law enforcement and the community to make our neighborhoods safer.
David’s career has been focused on reducing the enormous resources devoted to incarceration and instead investing in what prevents crime - such as more community policing officers on our streets, more teachers in our schools, and more services in our communities.
David and his wife Kara are the proud parents of two daughters, Olivia and Nora, and live in Bernal Heights.