Everything You Need To Know About London Breed, Who Could Be The First Black Woman Elected Mayor Of San Francisco
Breed briefly served as interim mayor following the death of the last mayor.
May 29, 2018 at 7:10 pm
London Breed has already made history as San Francisco’s first black woman mayor. However, she wasn’t elected to the position and only served for about a month before being replaced.
Now, she hopes her fellow citizens will choose her to lead them. Here’s what you need to know about this politician who hopes to bring some #BlackGirlMagic to San Francisco’s city hall:
1. She comes from humble beginnings.
“I’m hood,” Breed told Politico.
A San Francisco native, Breed grew up in the 1970s and '80s before tech giants like Google and Facebook transformed the area into the city it is today. She grew up in the city’s Western Addition projects and was raised by her grandmother.
She told the San Francisco Examiner the five people in her household lived “on $900 per month,” and that “violence was never far away.”
The struggles experienced by so many in her neighborhood growing up affected her family directly: her sister died of a drug overdose, and her brother was put in jail.
2. When it comes to politics, she knows what she’s doing.
Senator Kamala Harris, who was once San Francisco’s district attorney, served as an inspiration for Breed.
“I was watching people like Kamala Harris, and I thought, ‘Whoa, you can be in politics and stay true to who you are as a person,’” Breed said.
Breed started her political career as an intern in former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services shortly after graduating college in 1997.
From there, she served on the San Francisco Fire Commission and worked for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency before being elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2012.
By 2017, Breed was president of that board, and that’s when she stepped into the spotlight.
Her city’s mayor died suddenly, and as president of the board, Breed became San Francisco’s first black female mayor.
However, about a month into her tenure, her fellow supervisors decided a “caretaker” mayor was the better way to go and removed Breed from duty. Now, she wants the people to put her back in the top spot.
3. She’s popular, but her rivals aren't happy about it.
Elections are incredibly expensive, and Breed has been fundraising like her last name’s Obama, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
From April 22 to May 19, she raised $258,853, twice as much as her closest rival, Jane Kim.
An influential firefighter’s union has leveraged its resources to support Breed, and several tech titans such as Twitter’s Evan Williams are in her corner, as well.
Breed also has powerful super PACs on her side. Political action committees supporting her candidacy have spent about $1 million already, more than the super PACs supporting her rivals combined.
This has led Kim and fellow mayoral candidate Mark Leno to unite in accusing Breed of being the beneficiary of “wealthy special interests [who] are trying to buy this election.”
Breed’s spokesperson, Tara Moriarty, claims this is all much ado about nothing, however, and said Leno and Kim are merely trying to distract voters from “focusing on the critical issues.”
4. Like most of the mayoral candidates, she lives on the left.
San Francisco’s housing, income inequality and homelessness problems have become international news. Breed has said she has plans to solve all of these issues, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
As mayor, Breed said she’ll build 5,000 affordable housing units a year and will support legislation creating a housing lottery that gives current residents “local preference” to keep them from being pushed out of gentrifying areas.
Breed, who has been criticized as soft on business, holds a tech position that is one of inclusion.
Rather than vilifying the companies headquartered in the city, Breed said she wants to create a program that will bring San Francisco’s high school students in for paid internships at tech companies. She hopes this will bring locals into the tech economy.
San Francisco is believed to have around 7,500 permanently homeless people, according to SFist. Many of these people live in camps and have become a concern for the city.
Breed says there will be no need for the camps under her plan, which calls for moving all of the city’s homeless people into low-cost and supportive housing within a year’s time. She also argues that placing mentally ill homeless people into court-ordered conservatorship will help them get the care they need.
5. We'll soon find out if she will be mayor.
San Francisco's mayoral election is on June 5. You can count on us to let you know if San Francisco's next mayor will be black.