Spencer, right, with his husband, Paolo and their dog, Ben.
Early on, Spencer was introduced to families less fortunate than his own, who lacked shelter and basic support. While he was in middle school, his mother led the Hillsborough County Homeless Coalition for public school students. He spent summers and his free time helping his mom pack hundreds of backpacks with school supplies for children without a home. Spencer learned first hand what it meant to give back to his community.
Spencer continued to use his early childhood experiences as a foundation for his life. While in college at the University of Florida, he worked on the board of the Pride Student Union, an LGBTQ organization. There, he helped ensure that every student, no matter their background, orientation or gender had a voice in their community.
After college, Spencer and his now-husband, Paolo, moved from Florida to California. He had always known he wanted to live in the Bay Area, especially San Francisco, because it was a place where everyone was welcomed and everyone belonged. He also wasn’t a complete stranger to the area; his maternal grandparents had called San Francisco home after leaving NYC’s Chinatown in the 70s, so he was warmly welcomed.
After first working at LinkedIn in the South Bay, Spencer and Paolo moved up to San Francisco in 2016 so he could work with a company called LendUp. While there, Spencer learned the value of providing services to people long excluded from them. At LendUp, Spencer worked as lead engineer to help millions of individuals cover day-to-day and emergency expenses, providing alternatives to payday lenders and check cashing.
Spencer then founded his own company, LegalWin, born from himself having to sue his bad landlord in small claims court. He believed that the justice system should work for everyone and not just the wealthy, and he saw a lack of access to justice for low-income individuals. LegalWin helped guide over a hundred individuals through the justice system and gave Spencer the opportunity to work with several Bay Area legal aid non-profits.
Today he is head of the delivery services division at GoGo Technologies. They help provide access to transportation, meal delivery and other services for seniors so they can maintain their independence without relying on new technology.
Spencer’s background as a gay, 3rd generation, mixed Chinese-American with parents coming from public housing gives him a valuable perspective into city policy. His experiences creating services and products that solve day-to-day problems for millions of underrepresented and disadvantaged people makes Spencer uniquely qualified to bring compassionate, practical, and results-driven solutions to San Francisco. He believes that by building housing, supporting local businesses and helping those less fortunate, we can create a San Francisco where everybody belongs.