London Breed was just elected San Francisco’s first African American mayor in a historic California election. Breed narrowly defeated a rival who was seeking to become the first openly gay man in the position.
According to NBC News, it took eight days of counting after Election Day for Breed to pull ahead in the polls, but she inevitably pulled ahead to snag the city’s top job. “With about 250,000 ballots tallied, she led former state Sen. Mark Leno by 2,177 votes with only about 6,700 left to count,” NBC reports.
Breed, who will take office next month, is the second woman to be elected mayor in San Francisco history. The other was U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Breed will serve until 2020, finishing the term of the late Mayor Ed Lee, who died in December at age 65, according to CNN.
Here’s what you need to know about Breed:
1. Breed Has Spent Her Adult Life Trying to Improve Public Safety, Environmental Issues & City Housing
Breed had already been serving as acting mayor after Lee passed in December, and was serving as President of the Board of Supervisors before she was elected mayor.
“London first won election to the Board of Supervisors in November 2012. In January of 2015, her colleagues elected her President of the Board. She was re-elected as District 5 Supervisor in November 2016 and unanimously re-elected as Board President two months later,” her campaign site reads.
Before she was elected as District 5 Supervisor, Breed served as the Executive Director of the African American Art & Culture Complex for over a decade. She helped transform the “struggling center” into a “vital, financially-stable community resource that provides after school arts and cultural programs for youth and seniors.”
Adding to her long history of public services, Breed also served as a San Francisco Redevelopment Agency Commissioner for five years and in 2010 was appointed by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom to be a San Francisco Fire Commissioner, where she served until her election to the Board of Supervisors.
“London has dedicated her entire adult life to serving our communities and improving the City’s housing, environment, public safety, transportation, and quality of life,” her campaign site reads.
2. Growing Up in Poverty, Breed Watched Her Sister Die of a Drug Overdose & Drank Water Out of Old Mayonnaise Jars
Breed is a proud, native San Franciscan who was raised by her grandmother in public housing, according to her campaign site. She graduated from Galileo High School with honors, and attended classes at the University of California, Davis. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science/Public Service with a minor in African American Studies. She continued her schooling to receive a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Breed didn’t have it easy growing up. She once told Politico: “From where I came … if you only knew what I had to go through to get here.”
Politico describes Breed as a “product of the tough Plaza East public housing project in the city’s Western Addition.” …read more