Adlah Chisti Talks About Her District 11 Supervisor Campaign

If elected to office, Adlah Chisti would focus on child and senior care, housing, small businesses and public safety.

Woman with child in cafe.
Adlah Chisti and her two-year-old child. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

Adlah Chisti has joined the EJ Jones and Roger Marenco in the race to represent District 11 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Chisti’s career is in the political realm where she mainly worked on campaigns like on Vice President Kamala Harris’ senate campaign and District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar’s 2020 campaign. She has a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University and has been a teacher and educator for the education non-profit Aim High in addition to being an environmental planner with Caltrans.

Now, she is placing herself front and center in the upcoming November election cycle.

“I understand organizing and activating supporters and building momentum for a cause or candidate,” Chisti said. “My campaign experience directly shapes my approach. As such my community ties — as someone raised and deeply rooted in District 11 — influence our campaign structure prioritizing community input and engagement.”

Chisti, whose sister is City College of San Francisco Board of Trustee member Aliya Chisti, is a full-time mother to a two-year-old and an in-home support services caregiver to her parents. She has focused her campaign on issues that she not only deals with personally but on patterns she’s seen throughout her time in the neighborhood such as child and senior care, housing, small business and public safety.

“We are the last beacon of the working class and working-class families so that is why it’s really important to protect and preserve what we have,” Chisti said.

The Ingleside Light caught up with Chisti to discuss what she would do if elected.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What inspired you to run for supervisor? 

One of the reasons I’m running is senior care. I have two parents and District 11 has an aging population. Another is for child care and affordable child care. It’s also important to me with my two-year-old daughter. She is second generation here in the district. There are a lot of families who live in the district that are more than two to three generations. For me, it’s really important to protect and preserve the neighborhood integrity that we live in.

What is one issue in District 11 that you see that’s not being addressed?

These are issues that are more citywide but they do impact District 11: public safety, crime, housing and business revitalization. I think the most important is small business revitalization. The corridors and the blight that we have and that we're seeing and some of those things a lot of people are concerned about. Not only do we have problems but we need to fix problems. We need solutions.

How do you plan to be involved in District 11?

We have already established community resources so it’s going back to building those partnerships with the community resources, with the nonprofits. Working with Coleman Advocates, working with Poder, which are two big strong nonprofits in the Excelsior. It’s working with Friends of OMI and it’s working with I.T. Bookman-South West and the community out there and to continue building those partnerships and building new partnerships. We have neighborhood associations. We have the Cayuga Neighborhood Improvement Association. We have the Excelsior Development Improvement Association. We have the OMI Council. We have the Ocean Avenue Association. We have the Excelsior Outer Mission Merchants Association. To continue listening and continue the collaborative work with these organizations and to work with everybody. That, for me, is part of my platform on my campaign is collaboration. It’s listening and collaboration and that’s going to be really important.

Even if I'm not elected, I’m going to continue to work with the person who is elected because that’s so huge. We need that. We need collaboration. We need adults to be adults and to work together.

What is something you would do differently compared to current or past supervisors?

I went to Lick-Wilmerding High School and Dr. Al Adams, who was a headmaster there, his motto there was having head, heart and hands and that really resonated with me throughout the rest of my life and my work ethic. I think that’s important because you need the head, you need the hands to do that action and then you need the heart, you need the compassion. Compassion is important. You need the background. You need to make sure you’re bringing in all the stakeholders and you’re bringing in everybody to talk at the table but how you do that, it’s going to be transparency, accountability and working with your heart and having the compassion to collaborate with people.

Why should people vote for you?

I think people should vote for me because I’m a genuine person from the district. I am living in a multi-generational home, which is probably a good percentage of the district. I speak Spanish. I speak Hindi. I speak English. People should vote for me because I’m here wanting to protect and preserve integrity. We want to have integrity in our policies and we want to have integrity in our neighborhoods. We want to have integrity for our families, our children and our seniors. We really want our future generation to be able to afford to live and continue to live in District 11.

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