Who I am...
I'm Stephen Martin-Pinto, and I'm running for supervisor of District 7. Let me tell you about myself.
I was born in San Francisco into a single parent household. My mother was 18 years old without a high school diploma and lived at home with my grandparents in the Diamond Heights neighborhood. When I was 4 years old, my mother completed her GED, finished her nursing degree at City College, and became a nurse at SF General Hospital. After she began at SFGH, we moved to the Mission District, and then to the Sunnyside neighborhood. While growing up, I attended Saint Phillip's Elementary School and Lowell High School.
In 1996, I went to University of California at Davis and majored in Environmental Engineering. While there, I was on the Men's Crew Team for four years. I also worked in college radio. I even had my own show on KDVS 90.3 FM in 1999-2000 from 2-4 AM! During college, I worked as a janitor, a recycling truck driver, and a wildland firefighter in the summer to help pay down my tuition until I graduated in December 2000.
After college, I moved to Oroville and attended the Butte Glenn Community College fire academy. I worked as a seasonal firefighter in Tulare and San Diego counties, and lived in southern California for the next several years. During the off-season, I worked as a union ironworker and welder.
For most Americans, the events of 9/11 were profound. When military action began in the Middle East, I felt obligated to serve my country. I enlisted in the Marine Corps, had basic training at Camp Pendleton CA and San Angelo TX, and was meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal. I was assigned to Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego as an Aircraft Firefighter and Crash Rescue Specialist (Military Occupational Specialty, or MOS, of 7051). I deployed to the Al Anbar province in Iraq in 2007-2008 as a HMMWV driver on patrols and base firefighter.
In April 2009, I finished my enlisted contract as a Sergeant with the Marine Corps. I moved from southern California to Fairbanks AK, where I worked as a wildland firefighter on a Type I handcrew for the summer.
In September of 2009, I left Alaska and returned to active duty. I reported to Quantico, VA for Marine Corps Officer Candidates School. I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and acquired a new MOS of 0602, Communications Officer. In 2011, I reported to Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mount Clemens, MI and deployed to Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan the next year. I returned to Camp Pendleton and again deployed in 2013-2014 to Georgia (the country) as a foreign military advisor to the Georgian Army. While in Georgia, I promoted to Captain and received an offer of employment from the San Francisco Fire Department. This coincided with the end of my contract, and in 2014, I left active duty and transferred to reserve duty, moved back to San Francisco, and started working for the fire department.
When I came back to San Francisco in 2014, I was shocked at what I saw. I made it up in my mind that I had to do something. The homelessness and the property crime was out of control. It was not the city I grew up in anymore. I began to attend meetings in my neighborhood of Sunnyside to see how I could get involved. In 2016 I was elected to president of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association. We worked with our Supervisor Norman Yee and nearly every city agency to improve the quality of life in our neighborhood. In 2017, I sat on the District 7 Participatory Budget Committee. In 2019, I was invited to sit on the West of Twin Peaks Central Council and the Veteran Affairs Commission.
With Erica Maybaum and Sup. Norman Yee at Circular Ribbon Garden Cleanup, May 2019
I'm now a Major in the US Marine Corps reserves and a firefighter with San Francisco Fire Department. I've been assigned to Pacific Heights, Mid-Richmond, Inner Sunset, Bernal Heights, Civic Center, and Chinatown fire stations. I serve on the Vision Zero Committee and the Tactical EMS committee. I'm a Hazardous Materials Specialist, a Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) instructor, a California State Registered Firefighter Instructor, and a volunteer public safety diver with Alameda County Sheriff's Office. I'm also a member of Pile Drivers Local 34 and have worked as a welder on the Central Subway project. I'm fluent in Spanish and have working proficiency in Russian and Georgian (the language).
I've had many influences and heroes in my life. My grandfather, Pedro M. Pinto, was a doctor in the Mission District, one of the first Spanish speaking doctors in the city. He and my grandmother, Alicia Perez Alomia, immigrated from Ecuador in 1952, with very little money and speaking no English. They came to San Francisco because this city provided immigrants like my grandparents with the best opportunity. My grandmother worked in sweat shops in the daytime and took English classes at Mission High School at night, even after my father was born in 1954. My grandfather, in addition to studying for his residency, studied English at night. Over the next several decades, they built their life here, until my grandfather died in 2008.
My maternal grandfather Douglas Martin was a third generation San Franciscan, whose mother was a survivor of the 1906 earthquake. He grew up in Ingleside Terrace, and married my grandmother, Dolores Peter, from Red Bluff. My grandfather was a World War II veteran and engineer for the city for many years. He was an expert in San Francisco history and was involved in many significant projects such as the Market Street Subway. He died in 2017. I owe my passion for the city and dedication to public service to him.
My father inspired my passion for politics. He at once respected my opinions and challenged them in debate, even as a young teenager. He wanted me to learn that it is not sufficient to merely have an opinion, but to learn to be able to defend it as well. He currently lives in the east bay.
My mother is one of the hardest working people I know. Despite her beginnings, she went on to thrive in the nursing industry for nearly 40 years. She made huge sacrifices to ensure we survived, never going hungry or homeless, although we probably did come close several times. Today she has her bachelor's degree and is approaching retirement. She currently lives in the north bay.