London Breed is Replaced as San Francisco Mayor and Black Activists are...

London Breed is Replaced as San Francisco Mayor and Black Activists are Furious


London Breed is Replaced as San Francisco Mayor and Black Activists are Furious

“It’s been an honor to serve the City during this difficult time. I have a vision for an inclusive and fair San Francisco, and will keep working every day on the important issues we face: homelessness, housing, & public safety,” tweeted former San Francisco Mayor London Breed on January 23. 

That was the day Breed was replaced as Mayor of San Francisco. Breed became “acting” Mayor after the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee at age 65 on December 12, 2017. Mayor Lee died of a heart attack. As President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Breed became Mayor.

She was the first Black woman to serve as San Francisco’s mayor and only the second African-American mayor in the city’s history.  Willie Brown became the first in 1996.   

But Breed’s time in office would last less than two months. Another member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Mark Ferrell was voted in as Mayor on January 23.   

“What happened? LondonBreed was Acting Mayor until this vote.  What is happening?” tweeted former DNC Chair and powerhouse political operative Donna Brazile on the same day Ferrell was voted in. 

Many viewed the decision to replace Breed with Ferrell as an example the conflicts within the Democratic Party between progressives and the party’s most loyal base voters, African Americans. Black voters support the Democratic Party over 90 percent. Many saw no reason

as to why the change was made.

“I’ve been pastor for 42 years now, and I’ve witnessed how so-called progressive white liberals have played the black community and have never been honest, straightforward participants in the welfare of black people,” said Rev. Amos Brown to a local San Francisco paper. Brown is president of the San Francisco NAACP.

The vote angered Breed supporters and many attended the Board meeting where the vote took place and yelled “shame.”

Social media reaction on the matter was also quite pointed on the day of the vote.

“LondonBreed, a black woman who grew up in public housing, has been overthrown as interim Mayor of San Francisco by men who are worried an interim mayorship would give Breed an incumbency advantage when she runs in June. Outrageous,” wrote Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action.

“And that is what just happened. London Breed, an African American woman who grew up in public housing and is running in June, got booted in favor of Mark FarrellS, for interim Mayor, by a block of progressive supervisors so as not to give her an incumbency advantage,” said Kim-Mai Cutler on twitter on January 23.

“’Progressive’ SF supervisors voted for a conservative as interim mayor (who they wholly disagree with) to block a potential incumbent advantage for London Breed in June. Politics over policy,” wrote Andrew Brackin on January 23 after the change was made.

“It goes without saying that if progressives nominate an SI-educated, Marina-dwelling white guy for mayor at the expense of London Breed — who has had huge support tonight from the black community — the optics would be abysmal. But it also goes without saying everyone knows this,” Joe Eskenazi on twitter on January 23. 

“Days after the Women’s March, San Francisco voted to remove London Breed as their interim mayor. Many who gave public comment argued that they needed someone who wasn’t running for office in June and had no interest in running the city. God forbid a woman have political ambition,” wrote Denea Randeen on January 23.

The Mayor’s race will take place in June.

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer, comms strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42, a blog focused on African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke also writes for NBC BLK, The Root, NNPA and is the Managing Editor of Politic365. As part of a diverse career in politics and media, she has served as a congressional staffer for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and Director of Communications for Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor of Virginia. From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Burke appeared each Monday on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne. Ms. Burke holds a B.A. in History from The American University. She was born and raised in New York. Email: Twitter: @LVBurke. IG: @laurenvburke. Periscope: @LVBurke