David ZisserSenior Staff Attorney

Issue(s): Affordable Housing, Fair Housing, Community Benefits, Investment Without Displacement, Regional Planning, Funding Local Transit Service, Affordable Transit


“Children and families should have access to good schools, good jobs, healthy food and clean air, no matter where they live. I am excited to work with Public Advocates and our partners to ensure that development and transit projects truly serve and create opportunity for low income communities of color, and that these communities are included in the decision-making processes.”

– David Zisser


David Zisser advocates for planning and development that puts low-income people first through community benefits, affordable housing and transit, and anti-displacement strategies at the local, regional and state levels. David leads Public Advocates’ work with the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network on Plan Bay Area and regional equity and with grassroots partners on several campaigns for equitable development, affordable housing, and tenant protections in Oakland.

Prior to joining Public Advocates in March 2014, David worked for four years at the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, DC, as a staff attorney in the Fair Housing & Community Development Project. David spearheaded the Lawyers’ Committee’s Gulf Coast work, leading campaigns for inclusionary zoning, affirmatively furthering fair housing, disability rights, tenants’ rights and housing code enforcement, primarily in New Orleans. He also worked with organizations and coalitions in Virginia, Maryland, Mississippi and Louisiana to advocate for affordable housing for people with disabilities, community benefits and environmental justice. From 2007 to 2009, David was a Housing Fellow at New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

While at the Lawyers’ Committee, David co-authored a chapter of a book by the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing & Community Development entitled Building Community Resilience Post-Disaster (the chapter is “Innovative Post-Disaster Community-Based Housing Strategies”) and an article in the Shriver Center on Poverty Law’s April 2014 edition of the Clearinghouse Review on the intersection of education and housing.

David co-taught a Public Interest Practice Seminar at American University’s Washington College of Law with his twin brother Aaron. He was also an instructor for the Shriver Center’s Community Lawyering Training in New Orleans and Cleveland.

David grew up in the South Bay (Campbell) and is excited to be back in the Bay Area and back at Public Advocates, where he interned during law school in 2004.


David received his law degree from UC Hastings and a Masters in City Planning, with a focus on housing and community development, from UC Berkeley in 2007, after completing his undergraduate work at UCLA in 2003.

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Madelyn Wargowski