San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee passed away early this morning after suffering an apparent heart attack while grocery shopping late Monday night. He was 65, and is survived by his wife, Anita, and two daughters, Brianna and Tania.
Lee was in his second term in office as the city’s 43rd mayor, a role he was initially reluctant to take on when appointed to the job after Mayor Gavin Newsom became the state’s lieutenant governor. Lee took the job after a campaign by Chinese-American civic leaders who were eager to see the first Chinese American hold the position. During his tenure, Lee helped oversee San Francisco’s continued role as a center of tech and innovation.
Now, Board of Supervisors President London Breed is serving as acting mayor. According to the SF Gate, the Board of Supervisors will either vote to keep Breed as the temporary mayor, or they could choose another candidate. If a majority of supervisors cannot agree on a candidate, Breed would remain in the office until the June 2018 election. Per the Gate, though, it is likely that Breed will keep the post.
Here are four things to know about San Francisco’s current acting mayor:
- She is the first black woman to hold the post.
- She is a lifelong resident of the city. She grew up with her grandmother in the city’s housing projects and public housing has been an important part and particular focus of her political career. She got her start in politics working as an intern for the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services under former Mayor Willie Brown.
- She is known to be very frank, which has ruffled feathers and cost her key endorsements in the past. While running for the Board of Supervisors in 2012, she lost the endorsement of Sen. Dianne Feinstein after what the San Francisco Chronicle described as “an expletive-laden post” went public.
- Breed may have been preparing for the position, as it’s widely believed she was planning a mayoral run when Lee’s second term expired in two years. She is well qualified for the job. She earned a bachelor’s degree at UC Davis and received her master’s degree in public administration at the University of San Francisco. Breed was elected as city supervisor in 2012 and became board president in 2015.