top of page

A Lifetime of Service to District 9

Dear Neighbors,
I first experienced the power and joy of community as a child growing up in the Mission District. The neighborhood was a multicultural melting pot, and I knew every single family on our block. I spent my days playing outside with my friends and visiting their homes, where something was always cooking on the stove: pork adobo, minestrone soup, jerk chicken, enchiladas, pupusas. As a result, I was exposed to so many different cultures at a young age.

Now, after more than six decades investing in my beloved community, I’m eager to take on a new leadership role as District 9 Supervisor.

RH Handout - Page 2 Photo 1_edited.jpg

My own family’s immigration story began with my grandmother, who moved to San Francisco from Nicaragua in 1955. My mother was six months pregnant with me when she came to the United States on a one-way ticket. My whole family lived together on the corner of 24th and Florida Street in the Mission; at first, more than a dozen of us shared one apartment, including my siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Eventually, my grandmother saved up enough money to buy us two big flats on York Street. Her vision was to find stable housing for all of us, and I came of age witnessing her achieve her dream.

As a teenager, I learned how to channel my community values into organizing, and I saw firsthand what was possible when we all came together in service of a common goal. My father sent me to Delano, California, to volunteer with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, the leaders of the labor movement, during the summer of 1970. They brought us out into the fields to work alongside the farmers, and my perspective transformed when I experienced their working conditions. Cesar and Dolores taught us how to organize ourselves to fight for basic human rights, like decent wages and functioning toilets and clean water.

Robert Hernandez D9 WHYSF-54_edited.jpg
Robert Hernandez D9 WHYSF-22.jpg

I brought that spirit back home with me to the Mission, where I spent the rest of my life dedicated to organizing movements on behalf of my community. My experiences as a youth leader for the Real Alternatives Program—a role that eventually grew to Executive Director—allowed me to help young people from the neighborhood divert from troubled pasts into life paths that brought them college degrees, lucrative careers, and home ownership. I’ve fought for many successful affordable housing initiatives across the district, resulting in the creation of thousands of new homes, and I secured funding from the city to build Raza Park and the Mission Recreation Center. I also helped establish the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center and served as its first director, providing services to seniors, children, and youth. 

I’ve helped produce the neighborhood’s Carnaval celebration, an annual opportunity for residents to connect to their roots and share ancestral traditions with the wider community, since its inception nearly 50 years ago, and I’m now the organization’s CEO. I’ve served on several local boards and committees, including the Mission Neighborhood Health Center, the Mission Merchants Association, and Roadmap to Peace. During the pandemic, I founded and spearheaded the creation of the Mission Food Hub, which provides resources including culturally appropriate groceries, vaccinations, and rental assistance to tens of thousands of our district’s residents in need.

Now, after more than six decades investing in my beloved community, I’m eager to take on a new leadership role as District 9 Supervisor. Over the years, I’ve formed deep relationships with officials across every city department, with folks of every political alliance. I know how to get people into the same room and, no matter their beliefs, effectively work together to achieve meaningful outcomes instead of engaging in partisan bickering. I hope to channel my half-century of experience as an organizer and an advocate into creating change at the citywide level, representing the district I’ve lived in for my entire life. 

RH truck 2.jpg
I’m grateful to have received endorsements from other leaders I admire, including Supervisor Myrna Melgar, Supervisor Shamann Walton, State Senator Scott Wiener, State Treasurer Fiona Ma, and former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos. And I love District 9: the colorful murals in the Mission, the beautiful hills of Bernal Heights, and Portola’s thriving food scene. I’m committed to serving this incredible, multifaceted community and continuing to make change so we can peacefully coexist together for years to come. 


Join Team Roberto D9

We’re looking for volunteers of all backgrounds. Please fill out this form if you’d like to get involved with Roberto’s campaign.

bottom of page