It is another first and claimed by another black woman: London Breed as she becomes the first African-American woman to be elected mayor of San Francisco.
London’s story is one of making a thing of yourself even though you had humble beginnings. Born into dire straits and poverty, London got to where she is inspite of the cards she was dealt early in life. To better appreciate this, she has a sister who is in jail while another died due to a drug overdose.
Raised in poverty in the Western Addition by her grandmother in Plaza East public housing, where violence was never far away. “And once a week, we took Grandma’s pushcart to the community room to collect government-issued groceries.”
Breed took the time to reflect on her humble beginnings during her news conference, expressing: “I’m a native San Franciscan — I grew up in some of the most challenging of circumstances. I think the message that this sends to the next generation of young people growing up in this city, that no matter where you come from… you can do anything you want to do.”
Breed worked in government after college. She was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2013 and elected its president in 2015.
Before Breed became president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, she served as the executive director of the African American Art and Culture Complex for over ten years. While there, she raised over $2.5 million to renovate the complex’s 34,000 square foot space, including an art gallery, theatre space, and a recording studio.
London’s victory was assured after former state Senator Mark Leno, conceded the mayoral race to her as she already had a healthy lead.
“It’s really amazing, and it’s really an honour… I know it means so much to so many people,” CNN reported Breed saying of her historic win.
The city’s special mayoral election followed the unexpected death of Ed Lee in December. Breed will now finish the term of the late mayor and serve in the role until 2020.
“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 honoured,” Breed said.