James is South San Francisco's youngest Mayor and the first out LGBTQ+ person to serve as Mayor!
James Coleman currently serves as South San Francisco’s youngest ever and first openly LGBTQ+ Mayor in city history. He was elected to the city council of South San Francisco in 2020 and became the city’s youngest ever and first openly LGBTQ+ member of the city council. James was born and raised in South San Francisco. His father was a FedEx worker. And his mother is a Taiwanese immigrant who works as a lab assistant at Kaiser. At a young age James experienced what it was like to fall through the cracks. When James was 5, his father suffered a traumatic injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down, and his mother had to work two jobs in order to make ends meet. He wanted to study biology to learn how people could heal from chronic injuries; and he wanted to work to make sure that our government and medical system worked for everyone. In the middle of James’ junior year of college at Harvard University, he was evacuated from campus and returned back to his hometown of South San Francisco. James saw how COVID disproportionately affected the working families in his community, in housing, healthcare, childcare, and our education system. And, James successfully ran for city council to bring the change and justice that he wanted to see in his community, becoming the city’s youngest ever and first openly LGBTQ+ identifying council member in the city’s history. James is passionate about improving early childhood education, addressing climate change, and making South City a safe, affordable, and enjoyable place to live. Over the past three years on the council, he was instrumental in passing the county’s first Hazard Pay ordinance for essential workers during the pandemic, creating a commission on equity and public safety for public safety oversight, passing a universal basic income pilot program, and is currently leading the charge to provide universal childcare and raise teacher wages on the city’s newly formed childcare subcommittee. In addition to his role as a city councilmember, James currently sits on the Board of Fixin’ San Mateo County, the San Mateo County REACH Coalition, the San Mateo County AAPI Alliance, and Peninsula Clean Energy. He graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology and Government in 2021.