Jane Kim is currently the President of the San Francisco Board of Education and a civil rights attorney at Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. In her grassroots campaign for the Board of Education, Jane was the highest citywide vote-getter, becoming the first Korean-American elected official in San Francisco.
As a Commissioner on the Board of Education, Jane Kim has advocated for expanded access for immigrant families, more equitable distribution of district resources, and greater accountability by the administration to the community whom they serve. Even as funding and resources for education at the state level have continued to decline, Jane has led her colleagues in the difficult challenge of balancing a fractured budget, while still prioritizing student needs and preserving district jobs.
She has demonstrated leadership on a number of important educational reforms including closing the achievement/opportunity gap, redesigning the student assignment process, and promoting policies that have decreased the suspension and expulsion rates at SFUSD. She has continually made accessibility a top priority, regularly meeting with families and stakeholders and encouraging community participation in district issues.
On January 13, 2010, Jane’s colleagues on the school board unanimously elected her to serve as President of that body. In this capacity, Jane Kim administers a $400 million budget.
From Community Organizer to Elected Legislator
Prior to serving on the Board of Education, Jane was a fellow at The Greenlining Institute, where she developed economic development policies and advocated for increased consumer protections for communities of color.
In 2001, she left The Greenlining Institute for the Chinatown Community Development Center in San Francisco, where she worked as a Senior Community Organizer. For the next six years, Jane Kim worked as a community advocate to strengthen tenant protections and improve public safety for her community.
As Director of CCDC’s Adopt-an-Alleyway program, Jane Kim led hundreds of volunteers on monthly outings to clean up the alleyways in Chinatown—the thoroughfares that the City neglected to clean. Jane successfully grew this community clean-up program by over 350% in number of active participants, earning her nationwide recognition for innovative community problem solving. Jane also directed a youth leadership program where youth collaborated with seniors and families living in SRO’s in intergenerational social activism.
In 2005, Jane Kim was elected to serve as President of the San Francisco People’s Organization, an advocacy coalition that included over forty community organizations and labor unions working together to map a progressive agenda for San Francisco through legislating and organizing.
Based on her experiences as a community organizer working with young people, Jane Kim was encouraged to run for a seat on San Francisco’s Board of Education. She received the most votes citywide in her 2006 election. In that election, Jane placed first out of fifteen candidates in District 6—earning over 1,000 more votes than her closest competitor.
A History of Cultural and Civic Leadership
In addition to her civic engagement, Jane Kim has been a supporter of the arts community in San Francisco. She is a co-founder and co-director of Locus Arts in the North Mission and SOMA, a performance venue that showcased over 400 local emerging artists. Jane also served on the Board of Directors for the Asian American Theater Company from 2002-2004, and helped in the fight to save the popular SOMA Filipino community arts space, Bindlestiff Studios.
Her non-profit experience has extended from teaching young leaders the skills to engage in innovative philanthropy (Full Circle Fund) to advocating for expanded representation for women in the public arts and non-profit sector (Women's Foundation Community Action Grant Committee). Jane is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, plays the electric bass guitar and continues to serve on the juror committee for Youth Speaks's nationally recognized annual Hip-Hop Slam.
Jane's family immigrated to the United States in the early 1970's and she took her first job at the age of 14 at the Coalition on Homelessness in New York City. She worked at the Coalition for four years, where she gained valuable insight into the systemic roots of homelessness and began a lifelong commitment to advocating for the underserved, as well as developing successful anti-poverty policies.
Jane received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, where she studied Political Science and Asian American Studies. She went on to receive her law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law, Boalt Hall.
Jane Kim resides in District 6--- she lives in the Civic Center area.