Experienced, strong, steady leadership

daly city council 2018             FPPC 1403724

About ray buenaventura


I was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States when I was 9 years old. My father was a banker and sought assignment in the United States in order to provide better opportunities for our family. My father was a hard worker and believed in the value of an education. He instilled in me from the very beginning the need to study hard, obtain a good education, and be responsible for providing for one’s family. My mother was a stay at home mom who enjoyed raising our family.  My wife (Cathy) is a court reporter who I met while working in the courthouse. Cathy used to run the North Peninsula Emergency Food Pantry in Daly City.  We have a 16 year old son named Max. He's also involved in the community as he often plays the piano for the seniors at the Doelger Senior Center.  My family is my life. I make it a point to spend every spare moment with them. I most especially enjoy seeing my son growing up and parenting him along the way.

With everything I do in life, I am guided by ethics, trust, morals, respect and kindness.
I believe in the importance of having a good reputation and am vigilant in making sure that my reputation is beyond reproach. If given my word or representation, I never falter. My integrity is something I won’t ever compromise.  I believe in the accuracy of my own moral compass. I think I have a good sense of what is right and wrong. Although not perfect, I try to live an honest and well-deserved life.  I am forthright in my dealings with people and don’t believe in playing games. I believe in the value of a handshake and building relationships.

I believe in giving people second chances. To some, a second chance can make all the difference.


I believe in humility and the need to remain humble regardless of ones accomplishments in life. I truly believe that I am no better than anyone else and that being humble is a virtue that is rooted inside me. I also do not believe in the need to take credit. I am moved by people who act unselfishly and do things without the need for taking credit.

I try to be kind, courteous and respectful to people. I am especially sensitive to the elderly and the disabled. There is nothing I won’t do for them. Similarly, my heart aches for children who are mistreated or suffer from poverty or abuse. Although I am not a rich man, I try as best as I can to give to people.

I am patient with people, especially in the most trying and difficult times. In today’s world where life can move fast, patience is a needed virtue. The rush to get things done often leads to mistakes, missed opportunities, and misunderstandings. I try to offer patience when it matters the most. I will slow a conversation or stop an action from continuing in order to reach a more clear understanding of the issues. I believe that people matter and that we need to slow down and engage each other in more meaningful ways.

Hard Worker
My father was a hard worker. He instilled in me the need to work just as hard and to have good work ethics. I try to live by his example. As an Attorney, Councilmember and former Mayor, Law Professor and former Director of a Peer Court Program, I had essentially 4 jobs at one point in my career. I see work as opportunities to make a difference.

Leadership Qualities
I have exhibited leadership qualities in my profession and community service. Success has come not because of any natural ability, but the result of hard work, building relationships and treating people fairly. Although I may be among the first to volunteer to take the lead on a project or issue, I am never one to insist on attaching any credit to my name. I am more interested in getting things done. Finally, I believe in the importance of giving everyone a full and fair opportunity to be heard. I try to be inclusive of everyone’s viewpoint.

Attorney in Private Practice
As an attorney, I offer my experience as a trial lawyer for over 20 years. I conducted numerous trials. The courtroom has been like a second home to me. It has been the place I go to nearly everyday of my professional life.

As a Law Professor, I offered my ability to teach and engage with people. I have extensive knowledge and experience with the Rules of Evidence, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure. I have demonstrated an ability to explain, discuss, and analyze the law. I teach my students in a manner that encourages them to comment and ask questions. I am at my best when I have enabled the most shy of students to participate. In addition to teaching students, I have taught seminars to attorneys on “Technology in the Courtroom” for the San Mateo County Bar Association and the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

As the founding Director of the Peer Court Program, I helped launch the first Peer Court Program in Santa Clara County, offering youth offenders a second chance. I worked
closely with various government agencies to make it a success, including the Santa Clara Bench, Probation Department and Board of Supervisors. In addition, I initiated a training program to help the Peer Court participants become advocates in Peer Court.

Former Mayor & Current Councilmember of Daly City
As the the former Mayor of the largest city in San Mateo County, I offer a broad range of experience in government. I offer a leadership style that is built on consensus building and trust. In addition to just plain hard work, I believe in the importance of relationships and the need to be vigilant in maintaining such relationships. More importantly, I believe in transparency in government and the need to lead by example.

As a Community Servant, I offer a unique perspective on the pulse of the community. By being intimately involved in the community, I am able to see, feel, and hear that which matters most to people. I believe that were it not for my involvement in the community, I would not have had a life filled with such meaning and purpose. Community is what sustains me.

I was educated at the University of California at Berkeley where I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies. I obtained my Juris Doctorate from Whittier College School of Law in Los Angeles.

I am friendly, easy going and wound rather loosely. I am an optimist who exhibits a positive and upbeat demeanor. I am humorous at times and believe in the value of having a sense of humor. I also try to be considerate and sensitive to others.  I like to engage with people. I try especially to seek out those who are shy and quiet. I make it a point to be inclusive of everyone and that no one is left out. I enjoy listening to people’s thoughts and ideas. I am known for being approachable and having an open mind. I am more of a listener than a talker. I don’t believe in grandstanding or the need to have the last word. I try to make my words count and will always speak up to prevent an injustice.

I am what most people would describe simply as a “nice guy.” I try to be respectful and kind to everyone, especially the elderly. I still believe in opening car doors, giving up my seat, and the need to always say “please” and “thank you.”

I am honest and forthright and believe in keeping my word. I am dependable, reliable, and trustworthy. I’m also known as a hard worker who will do more than what is asked.  I am result oriented and believe in getting things done. 

I believe in the importance of family. I have a wife and son who are my life. I believe I have found the right balance between service to the community, my work as a lawyer, and devotion to my family.