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Jonathan Holtzman

Founding Partner, Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai LLP

Jonathan V. Holtzman is a founding partner of Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai LLP (Public Law Group®). From 2005 to the present, Mr. Holtzman has been named as a Northern California “Super Lawyer.” He frequently speaks and writes on matters pertaining to municipal bankruptcy, ballot initiatives, interest arbitration, bargaining, fact finding, comparability, fiscal analysis for bargaining, and pension and retirement medical programs.
Mr. Holtzman’s practice focuses on assisting government agencies maintain and expand public services through strategic consulting, negotiations, fact finding, arbitration and litigation. Mr. Holtzman specializes in addressing long-term structural issues relating to pensions, health benefits, retirement health benefits, civil service reform, and other means of attaining greater managerial discretion and effectiveness through collective bargaining and reorganization.
Mr. Holtzman has experience in virtually all aspects of employment law and labor relations. His labor expertise encompasses negotiations, fact finding, mediation, grievance and interest arbitration and litigation related to bargaining obligations. In addition, he practices government law, including drafting ballot and other legislative measures and initiatives, litigating issues of constitutional and statutory interpretation, and electoral matters.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Holtzman served as Director of Labor and Policy in the office of San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. His duties included serving as the chief labor negotiator for the Mayor. As a senior advisor to the Mayor, Mr. Holtzman oversaw the management of city employment and benefits issues. He also helped craft major policy initiatives including the city’s living wage law, civil service reforms, and criminal justice initiatives.
Mr. Holtzman has been extensively involved in efforts to improve government effectiveness. He negotiated and drafted a 1999 ballot measure reforming the governance of the City’s municipal transit system and making it a quasi-independent agency, and, more recently, Proposition G, which overhauled MUNI’s system of negotiation with unions. He also drafted a 2002 ballot measure enhancing the authority of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and a 2003 ballot measure requiring the City Controller to conduct “benchmarking” studies of City services, as well as performance audits to improve government effectiveness. Before joining the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, Mr. Holtzman was an associate at Morrison & Foerster for four years, focusing primarily on employment class actions.
Mr. Holtzman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Haverford College in Pennsylvania in 1978, with honors in political science. He attended Stanford Law School, graduating in 1981. During law school he was a clerk for the Washington, D.C. Center for Law and Social Policy and for the Washington D.C. firm founded by former Defense Secretary Clark Clifford and disarmament negotiator Paul Warnke. Upon graduation he clerked for California Supreme Court Associate Justice Otto Kaus for two years.