A New Breed: San Francisco Elects London Breed as 1st Black Woman Mayor

London Breed made history Wednesday, June 3 by becoming the first black woman to be elected mayor of San Francisco. Her term will last until 2020 as Breed’s election comes after the city’s previous mayor, Ed Lee, died in December from cardiac arrest.

The race was a close one, but eventually Breed’s fellow Democrat and top opponent, former state senator Mark Leno, conceded. Even after the election, though, Leno praised Breed for her capacity for leadership.

“She is a remarkable young woman… She is going to do a very fine job and we all wish her the best because her success is San Francisco’s success,” said Leno

Breed, a former member of the San Francisco City and County  Board of Supervisors, was enthusiastic about the win. In a small press conference following the concession, Breed praised the work of Ed Lee, thanked her supporters as well as competitors and expressed her excitement.

“I am so hopeful about the future of our city, and I am looking forward to serving as your mayor. I am truly humbled and I am truly honored.”Mayor Elect London Breed

Breed served as interim mayor of San Francisco from the time of Lee’s death until a few weeks later in January when it was voted by the Board of Supervisors that Breed had too much power. She was then replaced by fellow Board member, Mark Farrell.

Despite this, and Breed’s difficult childhood, which she discussed during her press conference, she was able to triumph in the midst of challenges – a message she hopes inspires future generations.

“I’m a native San Franciscan – I grew up in some of the most challenging of circumstances,” said the mayor-elect.

“I think the message that this sends to the next generation of young people growing up in this city, that no matter where you come from … you can do anything you want to do.”

Chantè Russell

Chanté Russell is a Howard University print journalism major from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her entire life has been shaped by her passion for writing, fashion and activism. Those passions have led her to create a blog entitled Be The Zeitgeist and serve as a staff writer for Howard’s student newspaper, The Hilltop. She has also written for Lady With Attitude and worked as a freelance journalist. Some of her biggest role models include Anna Wintour, Maya Angelou and her cousin, Dr. Jennifer Edwards, who inspired Chanté to attend Howard. After completing college, Chanté hopes to work as a fashion journalist and use her platform to combat cultural insensitivity within the fashion industry and improve the public perception of the industry.

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