San Francisco native becomes city's 1st black woman mayor
Los Angeles: San Francisco native London Breed became the city's acting mayor Tuesday following the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee, and is the first African-American woman to lead the city in the midst of a seemingly endless technology-driven economic boom.
Breed, 43, is a lifelong San Francisco resident who was raised by her grandmother in the city's predominantly black and lower-income Western Addition neighborhood, part of the same district she now represents as a city supervisor. She said she and Lee bonded over their shared experience of growing up in public housing.
"He was from the dawn of his career an advocate for the powerless," Breed told reporters and a crowd of several hundred city workers who gathered to honor Lee in City Hall. Breed, like Lee a Democrat, graduated from a San Francisco public high school and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis and a master's degree in public administration from the University of San Francisco.
She got her start in politics as an intern in the city's housing department during the tenure of Mayor Willie Brown that ended in 2004. Brown has not held public office since then but continues to exert considerable influence on city politics, and helped elect Lee. Nationally, Breed's political positions on issues like funding housing projects for the homeless and support for marijuana legalization are viewed as solidly liberal.
But within the insular politics of San Francisco, she has had to defend her credentials from attacks from the left that she is a moderate and beholden to Brown, Lee and other Democrats.