- London Breed emerged victorious in San Francisco’s narrow mayoral race, becoming the city’s first African-American female mayor. Breed’s opponent, former state Sen. Mark Leno, conceded Wednesday, even though ballots were still being counted a week after the election.
- Breed, D, replaces former Mayor Ed Lee, who passed away in December. She will finish the remainder of his term, through 2020, when she will have to run for reelection.
- "The message that this sends to the next generation of young people growing up in this city is that no matter where you come from, no matter what you decide to do in life, you can do anything you want to do," Breed told supporters, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "Never let your circumstances determine your outcome in life."
Breed, who led the city’s Board of Supervisors and served as interim mayor for a brief spell after Lee’s death, has talked about San Francisco’s "complex, if not ironic relationship" with the technology industry. As residents both take advantage of the industry’s economic boom and complain about the potential chaos it has wrought, Breed hinted that she’d be firm on tech companies. For example, Breed had introduced legislation capping rental times through Airbnb, although it was vetoed by Lee.
She especially talked up inclusion, saying companies needed to offer jobs to young residents. Breed endorsed a paid internship program for high school students, a bid to increase diversity in the industry. And she will have the San Francisco Fiber Project to build on from interim Mayor Mark Farrell, who has served as caretaker in the months before this election. The project looks to close the digital divide by providing a publicly-owned open access model for broadband internet with subsidies for low-income residents.
Housing and homelessness emerged as a key issue in the race, as real estate prices continued to soar — Breed promised to build 5,000 units of transit-accessible housing per year, with affordable housing for public employees. Breed repeatedly talked up the importance of accessibility in housing construction, in order to reduce commutes and make the city more transit dependent. In addressing homelessness, Breed also placed a burden on the tech industry, telling a conference that the "must confront the tragic dichotomy of homeless people suffering right at the feet of multi-billion dollar companies."
As San Francisco eyes the future of transportation and mobility, Breed touted her track record of introducing nuts and bolts transit legislation. Breed promised an expansion of bike lanes and train service, but also took a more skeptical eye towards ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. In a post on Medium, Breed noted that transportation network companies were "worsening our congestion" and said she would study their impact with an eye towards a possible congestion tax. She also backed a business tax on the companies, a controversial proposal.