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    San Francisco Board of Supervisors Appoints Mark Farrell Interim Mayor

    On Tuesday night, January 23, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted in favor of appointing Mark Farrell interim mayor. He is the third mayor of San Francisco in six weeks, as Farrell’s appointment unseats London Breed as Acting Mayor following Mayor Edwin Lee’s passing on December 12, 2017. Prior to the appointment, Farrell was a Supervisor for nearly two terms representing District 2. He is now charged with appointing a replacement—for himself in the Supervisor role. In earlier years, he practiced law as a corporate and securities attorney in Silicon Valley and also worked as an investment banker before co-founding the venture capital firm Quest Hospitality Ventures.

    The Board of Supervisors meeting was at times emotional and confusing. The vote to appoint Farrell actually occurred twice, as Supervisor Katy Tang withdrew her initial vote of support for Farrell. When the voting finished, supporters of Breed shouted, “Racist!” “Shame on you!” and more in front of a line of police separating them from the supervisors. Reporter Alyana Gomez of KTVU posted a short clip on Twitter capturing just some of the statements (https://twitter.com/AlyanaGomezKTVU). Many Breed supporters had already left by that time, however, given the very long meeting.

    Supervisor Hillary Ronen gave a tearful speech ahead of her vote for Farrell. She accused “rich white men” of steering the “policies that have created the mess we are in today… .” She said they “are the same people who are firmly behind the candidacy of London Breed. They have been bullying anyone they can to force people to support President Breed, including threatening people’s careers if they don’t support her. This concerns me a lot.” You can read her entire speech online (https://www.facebook.com/hillary.ronen/posts/10156581176387565).

    Breed spoke after the meeting. She said, in part, “It’s not about a progressive or a moderate. All of the people who live in this city are San Franciscans and deserve the right to be treated with respect and deserve to have a mayor who represents them. If you don’t belong to one of the cliques that they (supervisors) are talking about, then I’ll be your mayor too.” Video of her speaking was captured by Joe Fitz Rodriquez and posted to Twitter (https://twitter.com/FitzTheReporter/status/956010152456437760).

    Supervisor Aaron Peskin had called for the hearing and vote, saying that he was concerned that Breed’s position as both Acting Mayor and President of the Board of Supervisors was a “mixing of the two branches of government.” The city’s Charter, however, led to that situation following Mayor Lee’s death.

    On June 5, a special election will be held for mayor of the City and County of San Francisco. The winner of the election will serve until 2020, filling Lee’s unexpired term. The following eight candidates qualified for the ballot by filing all nomination documents and paying the filing fee. They include Breed, as well as former supervisor Angela Alioto; massage therapist Michelle Bravo; business consultant Richie Greenberg; Supervisor Jane Kim; former supervisor, former state assemblyman and former state senator Mark Leno, homelessness activist Amy Farah Weiss and volunteer social worker Ellen Lee Zhou.