San Francisco Board of Supervisors president London Breed (D), who spent half her life in what was considered “the worst public housing in the city,” became the city’s first black female mayor after her chief rival in last week’s election conceded defeat Wednesday.
Tuesday’s election was the first time that the city’s voters elected a new mayor using the ranked-choice voting system.
Her second-place rival, former state Sen. Mark Leno (D), said at a press conference Wednesday that he had been beaten by “a remarkable young woman.”
The Hill added:
Breed is only the second woman to run the city, after Dianne Feinstein (D), and the second African-American, after Willie Brown (D).
Breed is a native of San Francisco who was raised by her grandmother in the city’s housing projects. Her family relied on government handouts, and she has written that her community experienced endemic violence when she was a child. One of her sisters died of a drug overdose.
“I am from the ‘hood,” she told a San Francisco Chronicle columnist in 2012. “I spent more than half my life in what was considered the worst public housing in the city. Taxis wouldn’t come there. People wouldn’t come to my house. I saw my first homicide when I was 12.”
“I just think that my perspective is different than some of the other people who have tried to change it from the outside. I’m coming from an insider’s perspective of someone who spent more than half their life in arguably the worst public housing developments during that time,” Breed told a neighborhood newspaper after she won her seat on the county board of supervisors.
Breed’s victory comes after an unprecedented run of black women who have won elections in recent years to run some of the nation’s largest cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, New Orleans and Washington, D.C.