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The next chapter for one of America’s most vibrant cities - improving public safety and extending affordable housing
London N. Breed is the Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco. The untimely death of her predecessor Ed Lee in December 2017 saw Breed appointed acting mayor, and the following year she won a special election and gained a mandate in her own right – becoming the first-ever Black woman elected to the role. Since taking the reins of the city, Mayor Breed has spearheaded its Covid recovery programme, making public safety and affordable housing her priorities in office. San Francisco has a proud history of encouraging female political leadership – with many of its luminaries going on to hold national office; including Vice-President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
In this in-depth interview, Mayor Breed reflects on how growing up in an underprivileged part of the city gave her the determination to fight injustice and speak up for the most vulnerable; shares how she is tackling the huge disparity between the most and least fortunate in her community – and how she is addressing the city’s “complicated” history with law enforcement – balancing the need to support the police, who put their safety at risk to keep everybody safe, with protecting marginalised groups from excessive use of police force; and discusses with pride how the city’s subsided medical care programme boosted its response to Covid – and her hopes that universal healthcare will ultimately be extended to the whole of the United States.