Commentary: Paper Reports That Jenkins Was Paid Six Figures during the Recall by Non-Profit Tied to Recall Organization

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

San Francisco, CA – The narrative told to the voters was that Brooke Jenkins resigned from her job with the San Francisco DA’s Office to volunteer and work for the recall against Chesa Boudin.  But in a bombshell story reported first by the San Francisco Standard, Jenkins was a paid consultant and earned more than six figures as a consultant for Neighbors for a Better San Francisco.

That nonprofit “shares an address and virtually the same name as the organization behind the district attorney’s recall but is legally a separate entity. A board member for both groups was also one of the biggest funders supporting the recall,” the Standard reported.

“This marks the first time Jenkins publicly disclosed the earnings from Neighbors for a Better San Francisco,” the article added.

On Monday, Jenkins filed her papers to run for election in November to fill out Chesa Boudin’s term that expires at the end of 2023.

The release explains, “Jenkins resigned from the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office in October of 2021 because she felt public safety was not being prioritized.”

The release claims, “Brooke is dedicated to advancing real restorative justice and criminal-justice reform while ensuring San Francisco’s diverse voices are heard by restoring accountability and faith in our criminal justice system.”

As assistant district attorney, “Jenkins has witnessed firsthand the disproportionate effect of our criminal justice system on people of color, low-income individuals, and those experiencing homelessness. She understands the need for progressive reforms to improve our imperfect criminal justice system and the urgency to bring back accountability and consequences to help restore safety.”

The problem for DA Jenkins is now she is tied in with, among others, billionaire William Oberndorf.

In an interview with the New York Times during the recall, Chesa Boudin noted, “I had a meeting in 2019 with one of the major donors to the recall. His name was William Oberndorf.  At that meeting — I was running for district attorney — he said he would support me if I would oppose San Francisco’s sanctuary-city policy. I said I couldn’t do that. He got very angry, and when someone has the kind of money that he has, he can express his anger in a recall context, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

The Times noted, “When reached for comment, Oberndorf strongly disputed Boudin’s recounting of their meeting and said that he never suggested any sort of quid pro quo regarding sanctuary-city policy and his support of Boudin.”

But what we do know for certain is that over the past two years, according to the SFGATE, “Oberndorf has been the biggest donor to the Neighbors for a Better San Francisco super PAC, which has spent just over $1.8 million on pushing the Boudin recall, of which over $900,000 came from Oberndorf.”

SFGATE notes that “Oberndorf has given millions to national Republicans,” though he has given some to Democrats who support charter schools, one of his big causes.

The funding appears now to directly tie Jenkins to the recall effort.

The Standard notes, “The nonprofit that paid Jenkins, Neighbors for a Better San Francisco, is not allowed to participate in campaigns for or against political candidates because of its status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

“The organization appears to be the nonpartisan counterpart of the group behind the recall, Neighbors for a Better San Francisco Advocacy, which as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit can legally get involved in political campaigns and causes.”

They add, “Though legally separate, the nonprofits are both registered at the same address belonging to a law firm in San Rafael, according to IRS records.”

Moreover, “The Neighbors advocacy nonprofit is listed as the sponsor for the big spending political action committee by the same name that raised some $4.8 million of the $7.1 million contributed to oust Boudin from office.”

The DA has put an emphasis on cleaning up the Tenderloin and its open air drug markets.

Former DA George Gascón is skeptical of the effort.

He explained, “What people who have been in San Francisco for a long time forget is that this has been this way for generations and we have tried to arrest our way out of that—with complete failure.”

“The new DA says they will start arresting people there, she will end up in the same place,” Gascón said.  “You know the reason why, because until you attend to the social issues and the lack of housing and the lack of treatment, you can arrest people today and they will be cycling in and out.  You can arrest drug dealers and there will be another group of young kids who will come in the next day to sell drugs because the demand is high and the amount of drugs is very high.”

He argued, “It’s foolish to think that you can clear out the Tenderloin by arresting your way out of there.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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11 Comments

  1. Keith Olson

     But in a bombshell story reported first by theSan Francisco Standard, Jenkins was a paid consultant and earned more than six figures as a consultant for Neighbors for a Better San Francisco.

    So?  Hardly a “bombshell”.

    The problem for DA Jenkins is now she is tied in with among others, billionaire William Oberndorf.

    And tell us again how many progressive DA’s are tied in with billionaire George Soros?

     

     

  2. Don Shor

    earned more than six figures as a consultant for Neighbors for a Better San Francisco.

    This does not appear to be phrased accurately. She earned more than six figures as a consultant for “several nonprofits” per the linked news story.

    Neighbors for a Better San Francisco is among several nonprofits Jenkins disclosed working for in the 12 months preceding her appointment. She also reported earning between $10,000 and $100,000 from the nonprofit GlobalSF and also from Sister’s Circle Women Support Network.

    While the exact dollar amounts are unclear because the form only asked for a range, a spokesperson for Jenkins said she took home about $115,000 from all the nonprofits after taxes between December 2021 and this July.

    It doesn’t appear that the exact amounts from each organization are available in the disclosures.

    So it would more accurately read “earned more than six figures as a consultant for organizations including Neighbors for a Better San Francisco.”

     

    Did she say that she wasn’t working for them? Was she literally lying, or was this more of an omission that led to a possibly misleading narrative?

  3. David Greenwald

    Jenkins told KPIX 5 she did not receive compensation from the recall campaign itself, releasing a statement that said in part: “My work for the non-profit organization focused on public safety…and other legal work supporting communities ranging from formerly incarcerated women to helping advise the business community on public safety concerns and issues.”

    FWIW – no one really buys this explanation from her, but it’s her claim. She was paid over six figures for less than half a year of work.

    1. Ron Oertel

      FWIW

      “For what it’s worth”, this means is that your (earlier) allegation above (and entire reason this article) is WRONG! (Your 7:24 a.m. comment in particular.)

      In fact, she never claimed the following regarding her work outside of the campaign:

      Jenkins claimed she was a volunteer, when she was getting paid six figures.

      How about at least trying to be more careful in your reporting? (Though I realize you picked up on this non-issue from other equally-biased sources.)

      As always, it’s a reflection of the Vanguard, itself.

      Don: Was she literally lying, or was this more of an omission that led to a possibly misleading narrative?

      One might ask “who” made this purposefully-misleading in the first place.

    2. David Greenwald

      Mission Local: “So it deeply strains credulity for Jenkins to claim — as she continues to do — that she was paid so handsomely not to serve as the figurehead and attack dog of the recall but to instead do some manner of undisclosed legal consulting for the recall’s adjunct nonprofit.”

  4. Walter Shwe

    Gascón is definitely correct regarding the Tenderloin. The War on Drugs has been a complete failure. You can’t simply arrest your way out. You must address the root causes, including the lack of safe, affordable housing and the lack of treatment.

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