Zac Unger was raised in Oakland and has lived on the same city block in District 1 for 46 years (his father still lives in Zac’s childhood home just down the street).

A firefighter and paramedic since 1998, Zac is proud to be the President of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 55 - our local association of firefighters.

When he’s not busy putting out literal fires, Zac has focused on figurative ones too. He has served on the steering committees for Measures Y and Z (public safety improvements), Measures KK and U (infrastructure improvements), and Measure T (progressive gross revenue taxes for business), all of which were approved by Oakland voters. His work has directly contributed to improvements throughout our community, in ways large and small.

As a Member of the Peralta College District Bond and Parcel Tax Oversight Committee, Zac sounded the alarm that an excess amount of money from the parcel tax was going to administrative costs and secured a shift in spending to better help students.

As the leader of IAFF Local 55, he worked hard to ensure that the Fire Department was not downsized or hindered in its ability to respond to violence, pandemics, encampment fires, and what has become a year-round wildfire season.

Zac earned his BA from Brown University and he earned a Master’s of Science in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, with a focus on fire in the urban/wildland interface, at UC Berkeley.

Married to his wife Shona for nearly 25 years, they are proud parents of three children who attend(ed) Oakland public schools.

In his spare time, Zac serves as a whitewater river guide, connecting residents throughout the Bay Area and around the world with natural wonders in the West. 

Zac is also the published author of two books released by Penguin Press and Perseus, “Working Fire: The Making of an Accidental Fireman,” and “Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye: A Family Field Trip to the Arctic's Edge in Search of Adventure, Truth, and Mini-Marshmallows.” 

Additional Affiliations:

  • Treasurer, Friends of the Rockridge Library, 2018-Present
  • Member, Rockridge Community Planning Council, 2020-Present
  • Delegate, California Democratic Party, 2019-Present
  • Financial Secretary, Claremont PTA, 2015-2019
  • Member, Peralta College District Bond and Parcel Tax Oversight Committee, 2014-2021