It was a “Oh Happy Day” about to happen when I arrived at City Hall in San Francisco in great anticipation of the historic inauguration services of the first African American woman to be elected as Mayor of San Francisco - LONDON BREED. I had no idea that my arrival at 6:30 am, for a program that began at 11 am, would be noticed by the KRON4 news crew. I was asked to do a live interview about the inauguration that would air in 15 minutes. I was thrilled for the opportunity. I shared in the KRON 4 interview that as a native of San Francisco, growing up in the Bayview-Hunter’s Point neighborhood, I’ve watched London’s trajectory since she was around 19 years old, and given the journey this historic new chapter in her life was destined. It was a tremendous honor for me to start the day giving my thoughts and accolades to the first African American woman to be elected as Mayor of San Francisco.
As a millennial thinker and 21st-century innovator, Breed understood the value of the arts and how it impacts the lives of inner-city children as she chose to lead the African American Art & Culture Complex as the Executive Director. The journey continued in 2012 when Breed was first elected to the Board of Supervisors and was re-elected in 2016. She was elected by supervisors in 2015 to serve as the board’s president. This next monumental step in leading one of the finest cities in the nation, San Francisco,the city is fortunate to have her leadership.
There were 3,000 chairs set up in preparation of Breed’s swearing-in by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and there was standing room only by the time the program began. In her inauguration speech, Breed, 43, vowed to stand by immigrants during this very stressful and uncertain time in their lives. She addressed the need to care for the mentally ill population, and she gave hope to the housing situation that the city has been facing for some time. I am very excited about Breed’s leadership and I was very happy to hear her intentional attention to the mental illness community. A much-forgotten population who need our attention and more importantly who deserved it. For those who have served our country in the military and now they face this illness, they have earned our help.
London grew up in public housing in San Francisco and gives continued honor and respect to her grandmother who raised her. We know the challenges ahead for Breed are monumental, but when the people of San Francisco voted for her as their new leader, there was assurance that she could get the job done.
San Francisco has embraced Breed’s innovative millennial thinking, and the supportive voters are standing by her side to help in any way they can. We will begin to see a city in action like no other, and it’s going to be leadership at its best by far.
Breed is set to serve the remainder of former Mayor Ed Lee’s term, which ends in January 2020.