Hundreds of people crowded San Francisco City Hall’s Rotunda for the swearing-in ceremony of Mayor London Breed, the city’s first African-American female mayor.
Breed, who won re-election in November with more than 70 percent of the vote, will now begin serving her first full term as mayor. She previously completed serving the remainder of the late Mayor Ed Lee’s term.
Breed was sworn in by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Teri Jackson. Among the topics discussed during her inauguration speech were homelessness and housing affordability.
“Homelessness is a national epidemic, with too many American cities grappling with drug addiction, over-stretched resources, and insufficient housing,” she said.
“Homelessness isn’t just a problem, it’s a symptom. The symptom of unaffordable housing, of income inequality, of institutional racism, of addiction, untreated illness, and decades of dis-investment. These are the problems. And if we’re going to fight homelessness, we’ve got to fight them all,” Breed said.
With the city on track to deliver 1,000 new shelter beds for homeless people by the end of the year, Breed said she is also adding 200 new mental health beds and 300 units of supportive housing within the next six months.
She also said she would like to see 50,000 new homes built in San Francisco, with 17,000 of those being affordable.
“To get to 50,000, we have to push for solutions to build homes faster, and support policies like (Senate Bill 50) that will allow more multi-family housing all over the Bay Area,” she said. “We cannot say we need more housing, then reject policies that allow us to actually build that housing.”
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, recently reintroduced SB 50, which would mandate California cities to create more housing near transit-rich areas.
“We can be a city of vibrant and welcoming communities, a city of affordable and diverse homes, a city where we come together to meet our challenges with clarity and convictions, a city where we care for one another, where our streets are safe, and no one is left in the cold,” Breed said.