Who Is London Breed? San Francisco Just Elected Its First Black Woman Mayor
For the first time in its history, San Francisco has elected a black woman as mayor. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, London Breed won the San Francisco mayoral race, beating Mark Leno, a former Democratic state senator.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Breed thanked those who helped get her elected. "I want to acknowledge and thank just everyone who really came together to accomplish this incredible goal, making sure that San Francisco is led by someone who cares about bringing people together and making hard decisions," she said. "I am so hopeful about the future of our city and I am looking forward to serving as your mayor. I am so humbled and I am truly honored. Thank you all so much for being here."
Leno conceded the race, announcing at a news conference that he called Breed that morning to "congratulate her on her victory." Leno also went on to say that Breed "is a remarkable young woman and she is going to do a very fine job and we wish her all the best, because her success is San Francisco’s success." He told the press that he did not intend to check the results from the additional ballots as Breed was ahead of him.
Many others also congratulated Breed on her historic win. Former mayoral candidate and San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim said she was "proud to live in the largest city in America with a woman as mayor." And former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile cheered Breed's success, tweeting, "Hope is on the way!"
So, what can San Franciscan locals expect from their new mayor? For Breed, San Francisco's homelessness problem is an issue that cannot be ignored. In a Medium post, the then-mayoral hopeful cited a 2017 study by the research firm Applied Survey Research and said, "On any given night, 7,500 people are experiencing homelessness in the City, about half in shelters, jails, or hospitals, and the other half sleeping outside."
To tackle the city's issue, Breed wrote, "My goal is to keep people in their home if they already have one, get people housed if they are currently homeless, provide people with the mental health and addiction services they need, and ultimately create a San Francisco where no one is forced, relegated, or allowed to sleep on the streets, and where no one endures addiction or mental illness on the streets."
Expanding on her goal, Breed wrote that she would campaign for more and durable housing plans for people experiencing homelessness and pass the Right to Counsel Law measure so people vulnerable to eviction can get legal help. Breed also added that she would advocate for funding rental policies to help low-income San Franciscans, fund housing stocks, regulating Airbnb's presence and effect on local housing, and more.
It's no surprise that Breed is passionate about affordable living. She once wrote in the San Francisco Examiner that, while growing up in public housing, she and her family got by on $900 only per month.
Apart from addressing San Francisco's housing crisis, Breed wrote that she would be tough on "dangerous street behavior," opioid use in the city, and, public drug intake through injections. It's an issue of immediate concern to Breed, who lost her own sister in 2006 after she died due to overdosing.
The newly elected mayor also wrote that she would work on keeping city shelters open beyond the normal night hours so people can stay there and making sure the local portable bathroom program, Pit Stop, is functioning.
At the moment, it would be premature to predict Breed's future record as a mayor, but it's safe to say that she seems excited for her new role. According to San Francisco Chronicle, she told residents on Wednesday, “Whether you voted for me or not, as mayor I’ll be your mayor, too."