Circulate San Diego logo

In keeping with our tradition of interviewing new team members, we asked our new Policy Counsel, Jesse O'Sullivan, a few questions so that you all can get to know him him!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I am a policy wonk, an arts lover, and a father. As a San Diego native, I enjoy biking, surfing, seeing local theatre, and spending time with my kids.

Prior to working at Circulate, I practiced law for over a year as a litigator on a variety of matters. I also externed for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and for the Honorable Gonzalo P. Curiel for the Southern District of California. I graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor's degree in sociology, and earned my Juris Doctor the University of San Diego School of Law. During law school, I was a member of the San Diego Law Review and my comment, Increasing the Effectiveness of California's Density Bonus Law, was published in The Real Estate Law Journal.

How did you become interested in Circulate San Diego?

I learned about Circulate San Diego when Colin spoke at a meeting for the University of San Diego chapter of the American Constitution Society. I wanted to work in policy, and he mentioned that Circulate was hiring interns to work on transit and affordable housing policy. I applied and got the internship.

As an intern at Circulate San Diego, I discovered that transit and affordable housing are intertwined with so many of the issues that I care about: income inequality, racial justice, and the environment.

What’s your most memorable face palm moment? Or what is your biggest achievement to date? Choose one.

My biggest achievement is graduating in the top 5 percent of my law school class as a single father of two.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

The team at the PBS NewsHour when I was in middle school and high school - particularly Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff and Jim Lehrer. In a sensationalized TV news environment, they consistently brought thought-provoking and deep analysis with a dedication to truth and honesty. Watching the NewsHour at that age inspired a global awareness and a passion for politics and social justice.