Chesa Boudin grew up visiting both of his biological parents in prison, where his mother served 22 years and his father served 40 years. Boudin went on to attend Yale College and Yale Law School and to earn two master’s degrees from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Boudin served as a law clerk to the Honorable Margaret McKeown of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 2011-2012 and the Honorable Charles Breyer on the federal district court for the Northern District of California from 2013-2014.
As a public defender in San Francisco, he tried dozens of cases to jury verdict and handled hundreds of felony matters. In 2019, Boudin was elected district attorney of San Francisco on a decarceral platform centered on protecting crime survivors and addressing the root causes of crime. In office, Boudin worked to expand the office’s Victim Services’ Division, including promoting language access for victims of crime; eliminating cash bail; holding police officers who break the law accountable; starting a worker protection unit; suing the manufacturers of ghost guns; and expanding diversion opportunities to address the underlying causes of crime and prevent recidivism. During his time in office both violent and non-violent crime fell by double digits.
Three days after Boudin was sworn in, opponents began efforts to recall him. While running the district attorney’s office, Boudin was subject to a $9 million campaign funded by right-wing billionaires, and in June 2022—though Boudin received more votes in the recall than he had received in the general election—the recall was ultimately approved by 55% of San Francisco voters. Boudin remains steadfast in his commitment to creating a more just and equitable criminal legal system and ensuring equal enforcement of the law.