Keynote Address: José Cisneros

GRCA is Pleased to Welcome José Cisneros

José Cisneros was elected Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco in November 2005, following his appointment by Mayor Gavin Newsom in September, 2004. As Treasurer, José serves as the City's banker and chief investment officer, managing tax and revenue collection for San Francisco.

Identifying new sources of revenue and helping fund the City’s budget are Treasurer Cisneros’ top priorities. Since taking office, he has added tax collectors and closed loopholes to ensure that everyone pays their fair share. These new initiatives have brought the City millions of dollars in increased revenues – far exceeding targeted projections. This means more services for the people of San Francisco and less pressure to increase taxes.

Treasurer Cisneros believes that the Treasurer’s Office has a large role in promoting financial literacy. In January 2005, he led the implementation of the Working Families Credit Program and over 9,500 families received the credit. These families have already received approximately $20 million in federal money through this innovative public/private partnership. Treasurer Cisneros has also pioneered a financial empowerment initiative because studies have shown that 50,000 San Franciscans do not have bank accounts. The Treasurer continued to expand his role as a financial educator and advocate for low-income San Franciscans through creating innovative programs aiming to give all city residents access to a bank account and lessen the need for check cashers and payday lenders. The Bank on San Francisco initiative brings together community organizations, city agencies and fifteen banks and credit unions to help unbanked San Franciscans transition into the financial mainstream. Treasurer Cisneros launched the initiative in January 2007 in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Prior to his appointment, Treasurer Cisneros served as Deputy General Manager for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. In this capacity, he managed MUNI’s $7 billion capital program designed to repair, replace and enhance system assets – including the 3rd Street Rail extension serving Chinatown, Mission Bay and the residents of Bay View and Hunters Point. Prior to working at MUNI, Treasurer Cisneros served as a member of the MTA Board of Directors and was instrumental in creating Proposition E, the Muni Reform Charter Amendment.

Treasurer Cisneros has a strong business background in the private sector, previously working for IBM Corporation and Lotus Development Corporation as a Senior International Product Manager. At Lotus, he was a pioneering member of its diversity committee – an effort that resulted in the first domestic partnership benefits program at a major American corporation. Prior to this, he was an Assistant Vice President at Bank of Boston where he managed financial product portfolios valued at over $100 million.

A San Francisco resident for over ten years, Treasurer Cisneros has been active in the community, including serving on the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club board. José Cisneros received his Bachelor of Science from Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and studied for his MBA at Boston University. He also is a graduate of an intensive International Business Program at Stichting Nijenrode University in the Netherlands. José M. Cisneros has made San Francisco his home since 1992. He is Mexican-American and is originally from Muskegon, Michigan.

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