Written by Staff Writer
14 Jun, 2018 | 8:18 pm
London Breed, a long time community activist will now lead San Francisco as the first black female in its history at a grappling time when the Afro-American residents are becoming increasingly scarce in the US city.
The ascent of a woman with African – American origin to mayoralty is all the more remarkable given she was raised in poverty by her grandmother in public housing. The 43-year-old said that she only felt humbled for winning with just over 50% of votes. Ms Breed currently stands out as the only female mayor out of the top 15 largest US cities.
San Francisco is currently facing a hard time with rampant homelessness, rubbish-littered streets that have been likened to be developed, world slums, and a property price inflation that is driving many working families out of the city.
She formerly acted as the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the city government’s legislative body.
Breed served as acting mayor for a brief time following the death of Mayor Ed Lee in December, before officially running for the post. The election that had ended on the 5th of June, produced a delayed result as the outcome was so tight that the city election officials had to count almost a hundred thousand provisional ballots.
Mark Leno who stood as her rival who if was elected would have been the city’s first gay mayor, resorted to concede the knife-edge race on Wednesday congratulated Breed saying “she is a remarkable young woman, she is going to do a very fine job and we all wish her the best because her success is San Francisco’s success.”
Ms Breed is indeed not the first female mayor of San Francisco there were others as Dianne Feinstein way back in 1978; she is now the Californian senator. But she certainly is the first female with black roots to run for mayor of San Fransisco, thus belonging to a small club of about 19 other black female US mayors emerged from all over the US.
Addressing a brief news conference, Breed thanked her supporters and took to add the fact that she would resort to being mayor to all San Franciscans whether or not they’ve voted for her thus acknowledging the competitive race.
“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 added.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, she leads a city where 5% of residents are Afro – American, and mostly living in public housing. Being a lifelong San Francisco resident, she took her degree from the University of California, Davis before completing her Master’s in Public Administration at the University of San Francisco way back in 2012.
She started her early career in the city government as an intern before finding her way on to the top of the rungs.
In a 2016 interview with the San Francisco Examiner, she recalled her childhood of urban deprivation saying that the five members in her family lived on a meagre income of only $900 per month.
“I’m a native San Franciscan — I grew up in some of the most challenging of circumstances, recycling meant drinking out of old mayonnaise jars and once a week, we had to take Grandma’s pushcart to the community room to collect government-issued groceries,” she said.
She had also added, “I think 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 … you can do anything you want to do.”
She certainly has come a long way off from where she started and the whole of San Francisco eagerly awaits the impact she could bring about during her time as Mayor.
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