Steve Phillips is a national political leader, civil rights lawyer, and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Active in political and social change for 30 years, he became the youngest person ever elected to San Francisco public office in 1992 and went on to serve as president of the San Francisco Board of Education, where he authored path-breaking legislation making it the first school district in the country to incorporate books by writers of color into the required reading in the literature curriculum. He is the co-founder of PowerPAC.org, a social justice and advocacy organization that conducted the largest independent voter mobilization efforts, backing President Barack Obama, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and California Attorney General Kamala Harris. In 2014, he co-authored the first-ever audit of Democratic Party spending, which revealed that 97 percent of contracts were awarded to white consulting firms. In recognition of the audit, Campaigns and Elections magazine named Phillips one of “America’s Top 50 Influencers.”
He has appeared on multiple national radio and television networks, including NBC, CNN, Fox News, and TV One. His appearances on national radio and television programs include the “Today” show, “Hannity & Colmes,” and the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” He was the featured speaker at the distinguished City Club of Cleveland, where his address, “Steve Phillips on Race and Politics,” was nationally broadcast on C-SPAN as part of its core programming during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in 2014. Phillips has written extensively, with his work appearing in national and regional publications such as Campaigns and Elections magazine, The Huffington Post, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
A civil rights attorney and trial lawyer, Phillips has successfully challenged racial discrimination by cities and large corporations in California. He holds a juris doctor degree from Hastings College of the Law and a bachelor of arts degree from Stanford University.
He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two cats, Jasper and Sylvester.