London Breed Sworn In as First Black Woman to Serve as San Francisco Mayor

San Francisco native and former acting mayor London Breed was sworn in as Mayor of San Francisco yesterday, making her the city’s first black woman to hold the position—and only the second woman overall. A champion of helping everyone, regardless of their circumstances, Breed is a great example of the importance of the voices and influence of women, especially women of color and women from underrepresented groups. Breed’s election also puts her in rare company: The mayors of most of the United States’ largest cities are men, and some large cities like New York or Los Angeles have never had a woman mayor. 

Click through to read an article from PBS NewsHour from the day of Breed's swearing in; with more the election, Breed, and what the milestone means for representation.

By Janie Har

SAN FRANCISCO — London Breed will make history Wednesday as the first black female mayor of San Francisco when she is sworn into office in the city that has come to embody extreme wealth and poverty in the modern age.

She will take the oath outdoors on the steps of City Hall in a public ceremony before at least 1,000 spectators. Afterward, she will meet well-wishers in her new office — an open house tradition that dates back a century.

The 43-year-old Breed succeeds Mayor Ed Lee, whose unexpected death in December prompted a special June election to serve the remainder of his term.

Breed, a San Francisco native, has pledged to address the city’s most pressing problems, including homeless tent camps, open drug use and unbearably high housing prices.

She also says she is committed to ensuring that impoverished African American and other minority children receive the opportunities they need to advance.

Breed grew up in public housing and frequently talks about the tough love and support she had growing up, especially from her grandmother who raised her.

She also learned from mentors and neighbors who early on spotted potential and encouraged her to study hard. Now she will earn an annual salary of $335,996.

Breed was most recently president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for more than three years,

On Tuesday, colleagues toasted her and outgoing Supervisor Jeff Sheehy at their final meeting.

Breed thanked her colleagues for their dedication and promised to work with them no matter their disagreements.

“You can’t please everyone. Not everyone is going to like you, not everyone is going to do what you want them to do,” she said.

“And what I noticed about this board, and what made me so proud to be a part of it is, we stand our ground, we do what we think is best and we try to fight for the people we represent.”

Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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