Shaun Haines Wants To Help San Francisco Welcome All
To meet Shaun Haines is to come in contact with a man that has a vision. At 37-years-old, Haines is running for the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee in Assembly District 17 seat. Smart, warm, and sharply observant, Haines is truly a man of the people. A native, Haines lives and breathes San Francisco. At anytime, anywhere in The City, you may see Haines with his signature smile, tie, and happy attitude to match, having conversations with people about where they are from and why they moved to San Francisco. “I love that people want to be here. People that visit once and then turn around and move here, that is wonderful,” he says of the city he loves. Haines grew up in the Western Addition and has lived in the Portola, Ingleside, Hayes Valley, Richmond and Mission District neighborhoods. Born to a social worker mother and a retired Marine father, Haines learned the importance of being educated and aware of what is happening around him. A few years ago during a conversation in the Castro, a man compared his demeanor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and that sparked his interest in politics. “I was already volunteering in the community, but if I am giving people the spirit of King, then I need to take ownership of that. King is a large figure in civil rights, economics, and just about every other facet of life, and I feel like I am taking the baton from those leaders.” From that moment forward, Haines began to hone his energies into activism: fighting against wrongful evictions and gentrification, helping those in the LGBTQ community, and educating and informing about HIV/AIDS, particularly in Black and Latino communities. “Our infection rates are extremely high,” Haines says. While there have been times that Haines may have experienced economic hardship, that has not stopped him from participating in charity events such as AIDS Life Cycle and organizing photography and art events to fight HIV. “This is what I enjoy about my service to the community. I do it in a way where people can participate and are motivated.
Another topic that Shaun Haines is deeply passionate about are the police killings of unarmed Black and Brown men. As a Black man himself, this subject hits particularly close. “Our police organizations are not valuing Black life. I aim to change those situations through policy.” People talk about wanting things to change, but Haines sees solutions to address this issue. “Cameras and training which makes people understand their own biases, implicit and explicit. We have to move forward to where there is not a place that police use their privileges to justify homicide.”
When I ask Shaun Haines why people should elect him to serve on the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee in Assembly District 17, he says, “I represent many experiences that people go through. I’ve lived in various neighborhoods around the city. I know what it is like to be homeless, having faced eviction, dealing with workplace discrimination, profiling by the justice system — I have dealt with it all. I believe we need someone who has had those experiences to work with those who haven’t so we can bring these issues to our local Democratic party and work towards a solution.” Shaun Haines has a plan and he is ready to serve the city that he has grown up in, lives, and loves. “I love San Francisco and everything that it offers and want to do what I can to make it better, for everyone.”