*You may have heard about San Francisco’s recent mayorl election where ther winner is a black woman named London Breed. Well, after the hard-fought victory, the new mayor took in a four-day vacation in Cabo San Lucas.
This could be a clue. You see, Breed, who was raised by her grandmother in public housing, said homelessness and affordable housing will be among her top priorities. (The interview was edited and condensed for clarity.)
LAT: Your campaign was sort of defined by the adversity you faced as a kid growing up in the city. How do you reconnect people who are natives of a city that in recent years has become a very different place?
I think so many people are not in the city anymore that I grew up with. I think what’s important is to make sure that people who are either natives of San Francisco, or live there now, especially those who are struggling, feel like they are part of our city — feel like it’s their city too and also feel like there are opportunities that exist in this city for them. Especially the future generations and kids who are growing up now in poverty. I also want to make sure we make better decisions and incorporate everyone into the prosperity that exists in our city.
LAT: A thing I notice in L.A., and I see this in San Francisco too. There’s this influx of young people and wealth, and it’s disconnected from the civic energy of the place. Do you see that as a problem? What can a mayor do to fix that?
I do see that as a problem that there’s a disconnect. I think part of it is really trying to hold people accountable differently than we’re doing now. I don’t want San Francisco to be just a place where people just move for opportunities. I want to create the future of San Francisco with the young people here. One of the programs that I am proposing is paid internship opportunities for high school students. What that does is provide a way for young people — especially those in our public school system — to work and be a part of these companies at an early age. For the individuals in the tech world, this is how the door can be opened to mentorship opportunities, relationship building and to a real connection to people who are growing up now in San Francisco.
LAT: The campaign became quite nasty and defined by race in a somewhat surprising way. Now that it’s over, what did you think of the tone and tenor of the race as it occurred?
I wasn’t happy with the negativity — the divisiveness, just some of the things that came out. But I can’t control that. I can only control what I did throughout the campaign and I tried to stay focused on the issues. I was hoping and I believe this occurred — that voters saw through all the noise and made what they thought was the right decision.
Get the rest of this London Breed Q&A at Los Angeles Times.