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Jewish philanthropist and Levi Strauss heir running for San Francisco mayor

J. Jewish News of Northern California via JTA — Daniel Lurie, an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune who is a philanthropist and nonprofit founder, is running for mayor of San Francisco.

Lurie is seeking to lead the California city at a time of great challenge. San Francisco experienced a steep population decline during the pandemic; the tech economy on which much of its tax base rests is shaky; and high rates of property crime, homelessness and drug abuse have troubled locals and undercut perceptions nationally.

Lurie will challenge Mayor London Breed, who will be running for a second full term next year. This is Lurie’s first campaign for public office, and in a video announcing his campaign, he highlighted public safety, affordable housing and combating “the era of open-air drug dealing.”

“When I say I’m going to do something, I get it done and I bring everyone along with me,” Lurie, 46, said in the video, posted on Tuesday. “I love this city, but what we are seeing on the streets of San Francisco is not progressive.”

Though Lurie is not widely known by San Franciscans, his family’s roots are deep and their wealth has made them prominent in the Jewish community locally and beyond.

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His mother, Mimi Haas, is a billionaire, according to Forbes, who owns 16 percent of Levi Strauss & Co. and for years sat on its board. Her second husband, from 1981 until his death in 2005, was Peter E. Haas, the great-grandnephew of Levi Strauss.

Mimi is also president of the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, a grant-making organization focused on early childhood education. The Haas family has donated massive sums to institutions across the Bay Area, much of it anonymously.

Lurie’s father, Rabbi Brian Lurie, was director of the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation from 1974 to 1991. In the late 1990s, he was president of the San Francisco Jewish Museum for five years as it transitioned from a small operation into the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Later, he served as president of the New Israel Fund, which funds progressive causes in Israel.

Daniel Lurie’s own resume includes chairing the host committee for Super Bowl 50 in 2016. The committee raised millions for charity.

He earned his master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005, and that same year, he founded Tipping Point Community, which has given more than $350 million to Bay Area organizations involved in combating poverty through housing, early childhood education and employment opportunities.

In addition to Breed and Lurie, the 2024 San Francisco mayor’s race will include Supervisor Ahsha Safaí.

A version of this story originally appeared in J. Jewish News of Northern California and is reprinted with permission.