Q&A: EJ Jones on Running for District 11 Supervisor

Jones said he will serve as a branch between City Hall and constituents if elected.

EJ Jones is running for District 11 supervisor. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

Ernest “EJ” Jones made his debut onto the political scene as one of District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí’s legislative aides, and now he’s running to succeed his former boss.

The active neighborhood member and Ingleside resident filed paperwork for District 11 supervisor last month and is focusing his campaign on community involvement.

Though the election isn’t until November 2024 — and no other candidates have registered to date — Jones is looking forward to jumping in and having the opportunity to continue supporting his neighbors.

“As a person who grew up in this community, everything that I have is because of the support for my community,” Jones said. “I take that with me when I try to lead. I really try to lead from a place of understanding and try to lean into those values when I’m working.”

His ultimate goal is to create a thriving and safe community that provides the essential benefits for each and every member. He plans to see continued growth in the district for housing, small businesses and improvement projects and to ensure every resident has a voice and access to City Hall.

“I’m really excited about this process,” Jones said. “I love the District 11 community. Their issues are my issues and I’m an open book. If there’s ever any questions or anything they want to talk about, I'm here and ready to meet and have those conversations.”

The Ingleside Light caught up with Jones to discuss his plans for becoming a city representative.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What inspired you to run for supervisor?

A few things. I had actually left Supervisor Safaí’s office in August. My father had passed away. It was a change in my life that took me out of the office and it brought me back into just being a community member.

Even being a community member, so many folks from the neighborhood and the community were still reaching out to me and asking me, "How do I get this done?" "What are the best ways?" For the first time, it really dawned on me how much representation matters. Having someone with a lived experience of being from the community, being a neighbor — having that perspective — and wanting to make sure that a voice is heard.

So, twofold: First, for the love for the community. Second, for understanding that representation matters and the necessity of having someone that understands our neighborhoods in office.

Man in crowd
EJ Jones at the Merced Heights Playground celebration. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

During Safaí’s budget town hall there was a lot of concern around safety, cleanliness and investment in the district. How do you plan to address those concerns?

During the last budget process, something really amazing happened. Supervisor Safaí added Samuel Berensen, who is a liaison between the police, public works and his office. I love that idea because it gives you a go-to person to contact when you have issues around cleanliness. Continuing to support that but also I think it’s really big to have community involvement.

Having folks realize that even as community members, we have a role to play. While the city will carry a huge lift, just having active and engaged folks. Even from my standpoint, remaining active and engaged and making sure that 311 is noticed when things are out. Just all of those things coming together to make sure that we have improvements.

How do you plan to be involved with District 11?

I plan to continue to work with all of the community groups. I think there’s been some missed opportunities over the last few years to bring folks together on a lot of projects. I think people have been working in silos on things, so being able to just coordinate some of that and make sure people are knowledgeable of the resources that are there. I'll leverage relationships to be able to make sure that not only the community is thriving but the community groups and the neighboring communities are also thriving. 

What is one thing you would be different from the current supervisor or other supervisors?

Being on the ground, having those conversations and, I don’t know if it’s necessarily different than what other supervisors are doing, but it’s a commitment. I would definitely be committed to leading from the community and using transparency as a tool to make sure everyone’s involved.

Why should people vote for you?

When some think of San Francisco, District 11 is an afterthought. I’m committed to working to get the investments that we deserve and exercising my voice to support practical solutions to our community’s issues. I’ve served this community for years and I’m ready to continue leading to make sure our community and city get the attention it demands.

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