José Cisneros was appointed San Francisco Treasurer by Mayor Gavin Newsom in September 2004. He has been twice elected by San Francisco voters in 2005 and 2009, both times by wide margins.
As Treasurer, José has brought the professionalism and experience of his years in the tech and banking industry to enhance taxpayer systems by going online, successfully managed the City’s portfoilo through a major recession, and helped create the field of municipal financial empowerment.
Enhancing Taxpayer Systems
José oversees the collection of billions of dollars in taxes annually through millions of transactions. Since taking office he has constantly worked to bring tax forms and tax collection into the 21st century. Taxpayers may now file and pay most of their taxes and fees online, which saves time while reducing City costs and overhead. Virtually every step of the taxpayer experience of filing and paying taxes and fees has been re-thought and revolutionized over the past nine years.
Successful Portfolio Management
As the City’s banker, José is charged with managing the City’s $6 billion pooled fund portfolio for the everyday needs of City government. The entire world experienced the shock of the 2008 recession, with some municipalities experiencing heavy losses.
José has protected taxpayer money with an active investment strategy focused on fund security, while ensuring liquidity for the City’s needs and achieving some of the strongest returns for similar funds in the state. He has also overseen the enhancement of social responsibility requirements in the City’s investment policy, and in how it purchases banking services, proving funds can focus on how a bank does business in conjunction with the bottom line.
Municipal Financial Empowerment
José has interpreted his charter mandate to keep City funds safe broadly to include assisting all San Franciscans with their financial success. He has proven one can use City Hall’s strength and influence to help more of the City’s lower-income residents enter the financial mainstream. His Office of Financial Empowerment is home to many award-winning programs focused on giving people opportunities: to learn more about money, open a checking account, take advantage of tax credits, save for a child’s college education, overcome setbacks and gain independence. José Cisneros received his Bachelor of Science from Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and studied at the Graduate School of Management at Boston University. He previously worked for the SFMTA implementing capital projects, as a Senior Product Manager in the technology sector with IBM and Lotus Development Corporation, and as a portfolio manager at the Bank of Boston. He lives with his partner in San Francisco.