On Wednesday night, London Breed, 43, won a historical election becoming San Francisco’s first Black female mayor.
She defeated a bevy of candidates in a tight, closely watched race that began on June 5.
Her main opponent, former state senator Mark Leno, conceded on Wednesday night after a ballot count that was too close to call. She will finish the term of late Mayor Ed Lee who died in December at 65.
“I am so hopeful about the future of our city, and I am looking forward to serving as your mayor. I am truly humbled and I am truly honored,” she said at a press conference after her win.
She was the city’s president of the Board of Supervisors and began her political career working as an intern in Mayor Willie Brown’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services.
But her rise to power was not without adversity. In December after Lee’s death, she was appointed as acting mayor, making her the city’s first black female chief executive. But in January, a group on the Board of Supervisors voted to remove Breed from the temporary position, one that angered members of the city’s African-American community.
Board member Mark Farrell was moved into the position until last week’s race where Breed secured the victory.
Breed is a native San Franciscan who grew up in the city’s projects with her late grandmother. She attended public school and graduated from the University of California, Davis with a bachelor of arts in political science-public service and a minor in African-American studies. Breed completed her masters in public administration from the University of San Francisco.
Opponents of Breed say that she was the candidate highly favored by executives in the city’s booming tech industry, but Breed denounces that and says that she understands the struggles of everyday citizens because it was to her story.
“With my grandma, growing up in public housing in the Western Addition I have seen generations of my family, friends, and classmates leave San Francisco, she wrote in an op-ed for Medium. “Today, my housing situation is like many living in San Francisco. My home is a rent-controlled apartment in the Lower Haight. Until two months ago, I still had a roommate.
“I’m still paying off my student loans. I drive a 16-year-old car and bring coupons to the store. San Francisco is experiencing an affordability crisis, and I’m right there with you.”
Breed will no doubt need to remain vigilant in uniting the city under her leadership to provide a platform for all who love and breathe “The City by the Bay.”