After dating death
Any appointment of an interim mayor would require six votes, which could be a difficult equation, especially because no supervisors will be allowed to vote for themselves.The board is generally viewed as divided between six moderate members, including Breed, and five progressives.
Lee, San Francisco’s first Asian-American mayor and the man who helped transform the City by the Bay into a tech capital, died early Tuesday morning. The second-term mayor suffered a heart attack while shopping at Safeway Monday night, according to former Mayor Willie Brown, and was rushed to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. “Ed Lee lived a life of service, cut short far too soon,” Breed told hundreds of well-wishers who crowded around the balconies of City Hall’s rotunda.“He truly loved the city, the nuts and bolts of how cities work, even though he never loved the politics,” said Tony Winnicker, a senior adviser in Lee’s office for six years.“He was happiest with the people who cleaned the streets or tended to the parks…Ballard met him 20 years ago when he was a bureaucrat in the public works department.“I never in a million years would have thought he would become mayor,” Ballard said.Both are also historic firsts: Breed will be the first African-American woman to be mayor of San Francisco.
The 11-member Board of Supervisors can let Breed continue as acting mayor or vote to appoint her or anyone else as mayor.
He shepherded the city out of the Great Recession, and passed a landmark minimum wage law.
But even as Lee championed funding for affordable housing, he faced criticism from activists for not doing enough to halt skyrocketing home prices.
He was originally reluctant to take the mayor’s job and run for election, but decided to do so after urging from former mayor Brown, who called him “the best qualified person to ever hold the job.” Supervisor Hillary Ronen, a political progressive who bashed Lee during her 2016 campaign, said she was struck by his graciousness after she was elected.
She remembered watching the conversations he had with homeless people in a shelter he opened in her district.
The June election is expected to be a hotly contested referendum on San Francisco’s path during the years of the tech boom.