London Breed brings home historic victory


San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed celebrated her mayoral victory over former state Sen. Mark Leno inside a crowded auditorium at Rosa Parks Elementary, full of supporters, city officials and community leaders.

It was the perfect setting for Breed’s victory speech. She grew up in the Western Edition in the Plaza East Public Housing while being taken care of by her grandmother. Rosa Parks Elementary was also where she went to school.

Breed said to her supporters and dozens of kids from The Village Project lined up in front of the auditorium stage:

“Today we show the next young generation of young people that anything is possible.”

Breed thanked her supporters and those who voted for her:

“I am so honored and I am so humble and I am so grateful to the voters of the City and County of San Francisco for entrusting in me such as important responsibility to lead one of the best cities in the world.”

Many challenges await the next mayor. The issues are not new to anyone living in The City: homelessness, a housing crisis, filthy streets, drug use, auto break-ins.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed smiles at her supporters in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

Breed plans on taking these challenges head on as mayor, including her efforts to get The City’s first safe injection site:

“It’s not just about making it easy for people to use drugs. It’s about treatment on demand.”

On homelessness, Breed said she plans end tent encampments within a year and moving the people living in tents into supportive housing.

Breed said she wants to assign a guardian to take care of those who are severely disabled or mentally ill through the court system.

Her campaign also focused on housing which she promised to build 5,000 more housing units each year and expanding subsidy programs for low-income tenants who live in The City.

She also envisions building modular homes for the homeless and reforming The City’s process for new housing projects. Breed said:

“We have to make changes to our bureaucratic process that gets in the way of building more housing in San Francisco.”

Breed, 43, was elected to the Board of Supervisors in November 2012 representing District 5, and was reelected in November in 2016.

Her colleagues on the board elected to her President of the Board of Supervisors in January 2015 and again in January 2017.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay

San Francisco Supervisor Katy Tang and city accessor Carmen Chu applaud Board of Supervisors London Breed in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

Prior to election to the board, Breed was the executive director of the African American Culture Complex and served five years as a commissioner on the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

In 2010, former mayor Gavin Newsom appointed to Breed as a fire commissioner.

Breed ascended to the role as Acting Mayor on Dec. 12, 2017, when Mayor Ed Lee died suddenly.

Lee’s death triggered a mayor’s race for the June election to fulfill his remaining term.

Breed’s stint as Acting Mayor lasted a little more than a month, when the progressive block of the Board of Supervisors said they wanted a “caretaker” mayor who not run in the June election.

Breed would have been seen as a incumbent on the June ballot, and some supervisors said they wanted to make the election a fair race.

The board voted at its Jan. 23 meeting to put Supervisor Mark Farrell as the mayor until the June election, which drew an uproar from some from the public at the meeting.

Breed said yesterday in front of the City Hall that it was time to move on from the drama that ensued over the election:

“I am prepared to make sure I do everything I can to work together, to bring the Board of Supervisors together, to bring everyone together for the purposes to solving our most challenging problems.”

As mayor, Breed will make the decision on her replacement to represent District 5.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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