In this time of division, Sal Rosselli knows how to unite people in common cause to fight for common decency. From his 40 years of empowering healthcare workers to improve their jobs, their families’ lives and the care they provide their patients, Sal Rosselli knows that working together is the best way to make San Francisco work better for everyone.
That’s how he helped save Laguna Honda Hospital when it was in danger of closing, ensuring it could continue to care for San Francisco’s seniors. That’s how he helped win the battle to keep St. Luke’s Hospital open to serve the people of the Mission District, Bernal Heights, Glen Park, Noe Valley, the Portola, Hunters Point and all the southeast neighborhoods. That’s how he secured better wages and health benefits for the in-home healthcare workers who take care of our elderly and disabled family members and neighbors.
Sal will fight for a city where we can all find affordable housing, where our homeless neighbors can come indoors to safe and secure homes, where everyone can find a job that pays the bills, and every neighborhood is safe.
Whether as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer (the domestic Peace Corps) or on the Board of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Sal has devoted his life to uniting and strengthening Communities. Sal graduated from the City College of San Francisco, where he served as President of the Associated Students and was the first student to sit on the San Francisco City College Board of Trustees.
As president of SEIU Local 250, Sal pioneered a new model of democratic, member-led unionism, where workers controlled their destiny and had a voice in every important decision.
Under Sal’s leadership, Local 250 grew into the largest healthcare union on the West Coast and a force for social justice in California. During the height of the AIDS crisis, Local 250 published the first pamphlets educating workers about the virus and became a national leader in defining the mission of healthcare workers to ensure that everyone receives compassionate care. Under Sal’s leadership, the union also played a pivotal role in passing Healthy San Francisco, which guarantees affordable health care for all city residents. Sal served as a national Vice President of SEIU and as President of SEIU California.
As president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers since 2009, Sal has empowered workers to build a new union that is now a leader in the struggle to improve access to mental health care and substance use treatment, and to make California the first state to adopt a single-payer, Medicare-for-All healthcare system. In 2017, at the beginning of the Trump presidency, NUHW declared itself a sanctuary union and made a commitment to defend members who might face deportation, including helping to provide legal representation. Sal led NUHW as it recently joined the Working Families Party.
Under Sal’s leadership, NUHW fought for and won the nation’s strongest mental health parity and timely access to care laws, requiring health insurers to start providing people the care they need and have paid to receive. In October 2023, his fight for Kaiser patients resulted in the largest fine ever levied against a California health insurer and the largest commitment ever of vital new funding to provide timely access to appropriate behavioral health care.
Sal remains an active and engaged San Francisco resident. He is a member of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, as well as a member and former president of the Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club. Sal also serves on the board of Courage California, which helped lead both the fight to overturn Prop 8, legalizing same-sex marriage and the fight to pass Prop 30, establishing California’s progressive upper bracket income tax. He serves on the board of Healthy California. Now, the state’s largest coalition of single-payer healthcare advocates.