Samuel P. Tepperman-GelfantDeputy Managing Attorney
Issues:  Gentrification & Displacement, Affordable Housing, Fair Housing, Climate Justice, Transportation Justice

Sam Tepperman-Gelfant advocates for equitable development, affordable housing without displacement, and community benefits at the local, regional, and statewide levels. He has been with Public Advocates since 2007 when he joined as Equal Justice Works Fellow (sponsored by Baker & McKenzie). In 2017, he became a deputy managing attorney.

Working to stabilize and sustain low-income urban neighborhoods, Sam convenes the Bay Area Investment Without Displacement Working Group, part of the 6 Big Wins for Social Equity campaign. At the local level, he has worked on affordable housing and equitable development campaigns in Oakland and Richmond, and advised community advocates around the Bay on affordable housing issues. Sam is also engaged in statewide regulatory and legislative advocacy on affordable housing, displacement, climate justice and the environment.

Sam led Public Advocates’ work with the Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord, which won a redevelopment plan for a massive decommissioned Navy base that includes 25% affordable housing, a recreation area three times the size of Golden Gate Park, local hire and apprenticeship commitments, and compact transit-served neighborhoods.  He also led work in the City of Alameda that resulted in an end to a 39-year ban on new apartment buildings in the city, and has contributed to breakthrough litigation such as Urban Habitat v. City of Pleasanton, Peninsula Interfaith Action v. City of Menlo Park, and Williams v. City of Antioch.

Before joining Public Advocates, Sam clerked for the Hon. John P. Fullam of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and in the Staff Attorney’s Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. An Oakland native, Sam plays cello in a community orchestra and is an avid bread baker.


Sam graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 2000 and received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2005. As a law student, he represented indigent tenants in housing disputes and helped lead a coalition challenging discrimination against LGBTQ students in on-campus military recruiting. His student note, “Constitutional Conscience, Constitutional Capacity: The Role of Local Governments in Protecting Individual Rights,” was published in the Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review in 2006 and reprinted in translation in the Soochow Law Journal in 2009.


  • 2013 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) in Land Use
  • 2013 The Recorder Lawyers on the Fast Track
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Sumi Paik