African American London Breed has made San Francisco history as she was elected mayor, the second woman to occupy the position in the city.
“I’m so hopeful about the future of our city. I’m looking forward to serving as your mayor, and I’m truly humbled and truly honored,” Breed said in a brief appearance on the City Hall steps after the only candidate with a chance of catching her, former state Sen. Mark Leno, conceded the race.
“Whether you voted for me or not,” Breed said, “as mayor I’ll be your mayor, too.”
Breed’s victory sweeps aside a stubborn political barrier for women of color in San Francisco, and it will make the city the biggest in the U.S. to have a female mayor.
It also marks a crowning achievement in a remarkable life story.
Raised in poverty by her grandmother, with a sister dead from a drug overdose and a brother in prison, Breed held up her accomplishments as a beacon for anyone struggling to break free from challenging circumstances.
“The message that this sends to the next generation of young people growing up in this city is that no matter where you come from, no matter what you decide to do in life, you can do anything you want to do,” Breed said,
Politically, her election is a victory for the city’s more moderate political faction.
Although there were few major policy disagreements among the main candidates, progressives had lined up behind Leno and Supervisor Jane Kim. Each told their voters to list the other as their second pick in the ranked-choice balloting in an effort to elect the city’s first progressive mayor since Art Agnos was voted out of office in 1991.
Breed, 43, will become mayor at a pivotal moment for San Francisco, one in which the city is confronting an epidemic of homelessness, trash-strewn streets and a housing shortage that threatens to squeeze middle- and low-income residents out of the city.