Myrna Melgar is an urban planner, economic development and housing policy expert, and dedicated public servant running for Supervisor in District 7. Myrna has worked to expand access to homeownership opportunities for San Franciscans, improve rent control protections for tenants, provide technical assistance and access to capital for small businesses, support the rights of workers and expand education opportunities for disadvantaged San Francisco youth and families.
Myrna and her husband Sean Donahue have made their family home in Ingleside Terraces for the past decade. Sean is a public interest lawyer focused on climate change and Clean Air Act litigation. Myrna and Sean’s youngest daughter attends Commodore Sloat Elementary School, sings with the SF Girls Chorus, and is a member of the scout troop 88 based at the Forest Hill clubhouse. Their two older daughters attended Lick-Wilmerding High School and Lowell and Mission High Schools before attending UC Santa Barbara.
Myrna is fluent in English, Spanish and French, and speaks Swedish proficiently. She attended SF State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in housing development from Columbia University, receiving the school’s Leadership Award upon graduation.
Myrna’s family immigrated to San Francisco when she was a child during the 1980s from El Salvador, fleeing that country’s civil war. The Melgars came to join extended family members who had lived in San Francisco for generations. As for so many others before and after, San Francisco provided Myrna’s family with refuge and economic opportunity. Like so many immigrants to our City, Myrna’s family eventually integrated into the workforce and school - Myrna and her sisters all went to college and graduate school.
After attending Excelsior College and Columbia University, where she obtained a Master’s degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in housing development, Myrna dedicated herself to public service, working in and out of government for the past thirty years to improve the lives of San Franciscans:
- As Director of Homeownership Programs for then Mayor Gavin Newsom, Myrna created and managed innovative housing programs that expanded homeownership opportunities for low-income and middle class San Franciscans, including teachers, nurses and firefighters.
- As Executive Director of the Jamestown Community Center, Myrna managed critical afterschool programming for San Francisco kids, to support them academically and socially, encourage their success and keep them safe.
- As Deputy Director for the Mission Economic Development Agency, Myrna helped create jobs and revitalize neighborhoods by providing technical and financial assistance to hundreds of local small businesses.
- As President of the San Francisco Planning Commission, Myrna created and protected much-needed housing for San Franciscans at all income levels, while preserving our neighborhood character.
Myrna has served on the Board of Directors of many San Francisco nonprofit organizations. She is a member of Congregation Beth Israel Judea in Lake Merced. She was one of the co-founders of HomeownershipSF, a nonprofit agency supporting homeownership access and opportunities for low- and moderate-income San Franciscans. For her service on the Planning Commission, she received the Local Government Award from the San Francisco Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2018.
When not working on community issues, Myrna enjoys gardening and cooking. She is a lover and supporter of the performing arts, plays the flute and renaissance recorders, loves classical and folk music and is a dedicated Samba dancer.
Myrna is ready to work hard for our neighborhoods, help our community recover and get real results on the challenges we are facing. As our supervisor, she will use her skills and experience to tackle homelessness, create more housing, support local small businesses and keep our parks well maintained, and make sure our neighborhoods are vibrant and resilient.