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J. Weekly: Jennifer Esteen, RN and Assembly candidate, wants to break barriers and fix what’s broken


As a nurse in San Francisco General Hospital’s psychiatric emergency room, Jennifer Esteen’s typical first task was to, as she put it, “take people out of handcuffs.”

Twelve years of treating mentally ill patients brought to the ER by law enforcement taught Esteen that the health care system, especially regarding mental health, was broken.

She decided to do something about it. Esteen became a nurse-activist, successfully lobbying San Francisco City Hall and the state Legislature in Sacramento in 2018 to pass legislation to ease homelessness and to secure more hospital beds for behavioral health patients.

After that taste of politics, she’s upping her game.

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