London Breed (B.A., political science, ’97) won the race to take over as mayor of San Francisco, declaring victory June 13, eight days after the election that was too close to call before then. Her term runs until January 2020.
The win makes her the first woman of color to be elected to the city’s top job. She’s just the second woman to have the position — the first was Dianne Feinstein, now a U.S. senator — and the only female mayor among those holding the office in the country’s 15 largest cities.
Breed’s victory came in a special election held in conjunction with the June 5 primary, to fill the unexpired term of Ed Lee, who died in December. Breed, as president of the Board of Supervisors, had served five weeks as acting mayor, only to be replaced when she declared her candidacy for the office.
Breed, 43, was raised by her grandmother in a public housing project in San Francisco. She majored in political science at UC Davis and later earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of San Francisco. She has held many positions within the city of San Francisco and joined the Board of Supervisors in 2013, becoming president in 2015.
A Democrat, she ran for mayor on a platform promoting affordable transportation and housing, public safety, school improvement and a renewed focus on homelessness.
“I grew up in some of the most challenging of circumstances and the reason why I feel so incredible about this (win) is because I think the message this sends to the next generation of young people growing up in this city that no matter where you come from, no matter what you decide to do in life, you can do anything you want to do,” she said on the steps of City Hall on June 13, the day she declared victory.
- UC Davis Dateline staff