London Breed Is San Francisco's First Black Woman Mayor

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For the first time in history, an African-American woman has become mayor of the city of San Francisco. 43-year-old London Breed, San Francisco Supervisor, came out victorious a week after Election Day to become the city’s elected mayor.


Breed will serve until 2020, finishing the term of the late Mayor Ed Lee

She narrowly defeated her rival, Mark Leno, who was seeking to become the first openly gay man in this position. Leno, former state senator, congratulated Breed on her victory. Breed will serve till 2020, finishing the term of the late Mayor Ed Lee, who died in December last year, at age 65. The voting turnout exceeded 50 per cent. This is a high number compared to recent mayoral elections.

Leno and Breed, both Democrats, faced off in a primary election held on June 5. In the end, with more ballots tallied, Breed took the lead. She raised the most money with the help of contributions from big backers.

Earlier in the day, Leno praised Breed, telling reporters that “she is going to do a very fine job. Her success is San Francisco’s success.”

Leno, 66, thanked voters for exceeding low turnout expectations. He said this particular campaign was one about change. It was about the betterment of the great city of San Francisco.

“Never let your circumstances determine your outcome in life.” - London Breed

Breed graduated from the University of California with a bachelor's degree of arts in political science-public service and a minor in African American studies. Following this, she pursued masters in public administration from the University of San Francisco.

In November 2012, she was first elected to the Board of Supervisors -- the legislative branch for the county and city of San Francisco. She got re-elected to the board in November 2016. After Mayor Ed Lee's death, she was the acting mayor, making her the city's first Black female chief executive. However, a few weeks later, the majority of the Board of Supervisors voted to remove her from the temporary position.

In all her messages, she vowed to lead and change the city. Though economically thriving, there is homelessness, congestion and unaffordable homes. She also pledged to rid the sidewalks of homeless tent camps within a year of being in office.

Most importantly, she encouraged San Francisco’s youth, especially the ones like her who grew up poor. She said, “No matter where you come from, no matter what you decide to do in life, you can do anything you want to do.”

Breed, who was raised by her grandmother in public housing, has lived through worse conditions. At City Hall, she paid homage to her late grandmother. “She took care of the community, she took care of me even on days when I didn’t deserve it, and so being here in her honor means so much,” Breed said.

Picture Credit: Hoodline

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Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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