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Breed fires back over Conway support: ‘I am nobody’s slave’

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Board of Supervisors President London Breed, pictured here at the El Centro Bayview Family Resource Center on Jan. 10, delivered a fiery speech on Friday at the kickoff event for Black History Month at City Hall. (Emma Marie Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A week after her colleagues voted her out as mayor, Board of Supervisors President and mayoral candidate London Breed is still firing back over the decision.

During Friday’s kickoff event of Black History Month at City Hall, Breed suggested her fellow supervisors were fearful of black leadership and blasted them for using tech investor Ron Conway’s support of her as an excuse to oust her from the Mayor’s Office.

“And no, I am nobody’s slave — no white man millionaire slave,” Breed said at the end of her speech, in an apparent reference to Conway. “So let’s set the record straight: Slavery is over. Slavery is over. It’s time for a new day in the city and county of San Francisco. Do not fear black leadership. Do not fear black leadership. We are not about dividing people. We are about bringing people together, and, as mayor, I will continue to do all I can to make sure that my door is open for rich people, for poor people, for black people, for white people — that’s what a real leader is.”

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Supervisor Malia Cohen, who nominated Breed as interim mayor last week and called Mayor Mark Farrell a “sell-out” for accepting the post, was the next to speak after Breed at the event.

“Well, ladies and gentlemen, if that is not mayoral, I don’t know what is,” she said.

Breed is among eight candidates running for mayor on June 5. Others include former state Sen. Mark Leno, Supervisor Jane Kim, former Supervisor Angela Alioto and past 2015 mayoral candidate Amy Farah Weiss.

The progressives cited Conway’s support of Breed as a factor in removing her as acting mayor and naming then-District 2 supervisor Mark Farrell as the interim mayor. The more moderate Farrell secured the post with the support of five progressive supervisors and Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who was considered of the moderate bloc, like Farrell.

Those who supported removing Breed from the post denied racism or sexism was a factor. Instead, they argued it was about Breed’s politics and creating a mayoral race in June without the power of an incumbent. Farrell is not a candidate for mayor.

Farrell was the first politician to speak at Friday’s Black History month kick-off event, which was presided over by Al Williams, president of the board of directors of the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society.

Farrell’s speech was similar to a statement released by his office, but there were a few differences. The statement seemed to acknowledge those allegations of racism and sexism that erupted from the board’s decision last week, while his speech at the event did not.

“I understand that recent political events and years of an unfinished agenda have caused pain and anguish within the city’s African American community,” Farrell’s statement read.

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