After almost two years of being the Interim Mayor and being elected temporarily as Mayor in a special election following the death of former San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee in 2017, London Breed was formally elected for a four-year term as Mayor of San Francisco Tuesday night.
Mayor Breed, a Democrat, cruised to an easy victory, winning with 68% of the entire vote. The nearest candidate, Republican social worker Ellen Lee Zhou, only had close to 15%.
“Thank you for honoring me with four more years as mayor,” said Breed after her victory. “I grew up in this city and in poverty and I never thought that in my life that I would have the opportunity to serve in this capacity.”
“I want to thank the voters for their confidence and their trust, and I’m excited to continue building on the progress we’ve made.”
Mayor Breed’s win comes at a time when affordable housing in San Francisco is largely non-existent, and when the homeless rate in the city is as bad as it was during the Great Depression and in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Drug, environmental, and transportation issues also pervade the city, with important matters ranging from drugs being abused in plain sight in some parts of the city to the local debate over buses being used to send tech employees to and from their offices in Silicon Valley.
“San Francisco is facing a lot of crises,” noted San Francisco pollster Mark McDonald. “They’ve faced sudden changes before, like in 1978 when their congressman, Leo Ryan, was killed in Guyana by Jim Jones right around the time when Mayor (George) Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were killed in the City Hall Building. A lot of shuffling goes around and a lot of problems go unnoticed. Same thing happened here partially.”
“An influx of wealthier people also forced many poorer residents out, some all the way to Stockton to commute in. So we have a cit that’s getting wealthier, with few cheap places to live, with poorer residents getting less and less say, with broke residents and those with health and mental issues becoming homeless, with drug use to cope with it. It’s been snowballing for years, and now Breed has that to work with for at least the next four years.”
Breed, both as Mayor and as a candidate for Mayor, has made it clear that she intends to work on those problems, with large focus on affordable housing and expansion of city services.
Breed’s main competitor, Zhou, has made it clear that she will continue to work for a better city, with another possible run for mayor in four years.
“I will continue to stand up against insanity in SF,” said Zhou in a Tweet. “SF mayor makes $350,000 a year while homeless are dying on the streets! Insane! May God save SF!”
Following her victory, Breed has stated that she will continue her current policies and work with the city supervisors as San Francisco heads into the next decade.