Graduate Student Directory

David Joseph Amaral
  • Title
    • Ph.D. Candidate
  • Division Graduate Studies Division, Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Politics Department
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Merrill College Academic Building, 9
  • Mail Stop Merrill College

Research Interests

Urban politics; poverty, homelessness, and inequality; American political development; public policy; neighborhoods and contextual effects; community-engaged scholarship.

Biography, Education and Training

Beyond the Politics Department, David has worked extensively with the Blum Center for Poverty, Social Enterprise, and Participatory Governance to measure and track food insecurity in Santa Cruz County. In 2020, he joined the Board of Trustees of Second Harvest Food Bank, Santa Cruz. For a decade before graduate school, he wrote and directed plays in Chicago and managed educational programing for a regional theater company.


M.A., Political Science, University of Illinois, Chicago

B.A., Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin, Madison



Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Reserch (ICPSR), Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research, 2018

Intern with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chicago, 2015

Participant in the Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy, 2015

Honors, Awards and Grants

Chancellor's Dissertation Fellowship, 2021

Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy Grant, 2019

Fellowship, UCSC Blum Center for Poverty, Social Enterprise, and Participatory Governance, 2019


Selected Publications

“Who Banishes? City Power and Anti-Homeless Policy in San Francisco.” Urban Affairs Review, (May 2020). doi:10.1177/1078087420925909.


"Tracking the Meal Gap in Santa Cruz County: An Index of Food Insecurity. 2014-18." UC Santa Cruz Blum Center, (November 2019). with Heather Bullock.


"The space between us: Social geography and politics, by Ryan D. Enos." Journal of Urban Affairs, (March 2018).  doi:10.1080/07352166.2018.1446603

Selected Presentations

“Homeless policy and urban power: evidence from San Francisco and L.A.” Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Virtual, 2021.

“Violence and Voting in Urban Neighborhoods: evidence from Chicago.” Paper presented at the Urban Affairs Association Conference, Los Angeles, 2019.

“Threatening Contexts: Voting and Violent Crime in Urban Neighborhoods.” Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, 2019.

“What anti-homeless policies in San Francisco can teach us about city power.” Paper presented at the fourth Southwest Workshop on Mixed Method Research, Santa Cruz, CA, 2018.

“Who Banishes? City power through the lens of anti-homeless policy.” Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago 2018.