San Francisco Rising




Tax-Exempt Status:


Project of:

Chinese Progressive Association

Executive Director:

Emily Ja-Ming Lee



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San Francisco Rising (SFR) is a project of the left-wing Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) that operates under the umbrella of Bay Rising (BR). BR is fiscally sponsored by the left-wing Movement Strategy Center (MSC). 1 2

Co-founded by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, SFR works within working-class Latino, Filipino, Chinese and African American communities to shape a left-of-center political force capable of influencing politics in San Francisco and the state of California. 3

SFR builds campaign strategies, trains campaign leaders, organizes its members in support of left-of-center initiatives, and mobilizes voters to influence local government bodies to adopt SFR’s policies. 4

SFR works alongside its sister advocacy organization, San Francisco Rising Action (SFRA), to endorse left-of-center candidates, mobilize voters, and lead public education campaigns in support of its initiatives. 5


Founded in 2009 by N’Tanya Lee and self-proclaimed Marxist Black Lives Matter co-creator Alicia Garza, San Francisco Rising aims to create a left-of-center bloc of political power in communities of color in San Francisco by unifying them behind a common agenda and expanding voter participation. 6 7

SFR promotes a left-of-center political agenda, including taxing businesses to redistribute wealth, involving low-income people of color in economic planning, expanding publicly-funded housing, growing San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants, allowing criminal behavior in schools to go unpunished, expanding voting privileges to felons and illegal immigrants, and improving public transit. 8 9

SFR is an alliance of organizations that includes Causa Justa Just Cause, a left wing community organizer of Hispanics; the Chinese Progressive Association, a left-wing organizing group in the Chinese-American community; Coleman Advocates, a left-of-center group focused on San Francisco schools; Dolores Street Community Services, a left-of-center group advocating for the homeless and immigrants; the Filipino Community Center, a group focused on immigrant women; Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), an advocacy group that consists of immigrant women; iPoder, a group designed to stop the deportation of illegal immigrants; and South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN), a group focused on expanding public housing subsidies. 10 11 12 13 14 15

It also claims to work with a coalition that includes California Calls, a left-of-center advocacy organization that supports higher taxes and more social programs; Power California, a left-of-center voter registration group; the Bay Resistance Network, a group that promoted resistance to Trump administration policies, and People’s Action Institute, an aggressive left-wing advocacy organization. 16

SFR focuses on increasing voter turnout, educating voters, running electoral campaigns, and developing left-of-center leaders. To support this agenda, SFR organizes voter registration drives, canvasses in communities, publishes voter guides, and conducts town halls. San Francisco Rising Action Fund (SFRAF), SFR’s sister advocacy organization, lobbies and endorses candidates as well. 17


SFR claims credit for increasing the minimum wage in San Francisco to $15, closing the Juvenile Hall detention center and transferring its $44 million in funding to housing projects and tenant eviction defense, and passing a “mansion tax” that taxes wealthy residents to provide free tuition at City College of San Francisco. SFR also successfully worked to establish San Francisco as a sanctuary city that does not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. 18

During the 2020 United States Census, SFR worked with 30 other organizations and the city of San Francisco to ensure that the homeless and other hard to reach people, including illegal immigrants, were counted. 19

SFR also worked with the left-of-center Center for Empowerment Politics to form Bay Resistance, an organization which supported left-of-center racial, economic, and environmentalist policies while “resisting” the Trump administration. 20

SFR supports government-funded tuition for all public colleges and universities that provide priority admissions to low-income students of color, increasing taxes on corporations to fund the project. 21 22

SFR has endorsed legalizing affirmative action in California, increasing property taxes on corporations, allowing ballot harvesting, permitting felons to vote, and forcing ride sharing companies to convert independent contractors to employees. 23 24 25


Emily Ja-Ming Lee, director and co-founder of SFR, also helped to start Bay Resistance. Jill Shenker, the strategic advisor of SFR, has worked with a number of left-of-center organizations, including the San Francisco Day Labor Program and the Women’s Collective. Shenker also co-founded the National Domestic Workers Alliance and is the North America coordinator for the International Domestic Workers Federation. David Shor, SFR field director, worked with the Working Families Party, a left-wing political party centered around labor unions and labor union interests. 26


SFR has reported receiving funding from the San Francisco Foundation, the Victor and Lorraine Honig Fund of the Common Counsel Foundation, and California Calls. 27


The San Francisco Rising Action Fund is the only entity related to SFRAF that has reported financials to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). SFRAF has claimed less than $50,000 in revenue. 28


  1. “Our Members and Partners.” Bay Rising, November 2, 2020.
  2. “San Francisco Rising.” Chinese Progressive Association. Accessed November 2, 2020.
  3. “Our Story.” Bay Rising, June 5, 2018.
  4. “About.” San Francisco Rising. Accessed November 7, 2020.
  5. “Unity Is Power.” SF Rising Action Fund. Accessed November 7, 2020.
  6. “Our Story.” Bay Rising, June 5, 2018.
  7. Richardson, Valerie. “’We Are Trained Marxists’: Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Featured in GOP Ad.” The Washington Times. The Washington Times, June 25, 2020.
  8. “San Francisco Rising.” Idealist. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  9. “San Francisco Rising.” MUA. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  10. “Services.” MUA. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  11. “A Grassroots, Environmental Justice Organization Based in San Francisco’s Mission District.” PODER. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  12. Filipino Community Center. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  13. Dolores Street Community Services. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  14. “Coleman Advocates |.” Coleman Advocates. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  15. “Mission.” MUA. Accessed November 7, 2020.
  16. “About.” Bay Resistance, October 13, 2020.
  17. “San Francisco Rising Action Fund.” San Francisco Rising Action Fund in San Francisco, California. Accessed November 2, 2020.
  18. “‘San Francisco Rising.’” LinkedIn. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  19. Mojadad, Ida. “San Francisco Represents Huge Challenge for 2020 Census.” SF Weekly, July 31, 2019.
  20. “About.” Bay Resistance, November 3, 2020.
  21. “Just Another WordPress Site.” Center for Empowered Politics. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  22. “About.” San Francisco Rising. Accessed November 2, 2020.
  23. “San Francisco Rising Alliance.” Facebook. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  24. Twitter. Twitter. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  25. Movement for Black Lives. Accessed November 7, 2020.
  26. “About.” San Francisco Rising. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  27. “Our Funders.” San Francisco Rising. Accessed October 31, 2020.
  28. “ Applications.” 403. Accessed October 31, 2020.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Alex Tom
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San Francisco Rising

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94133-5025