One of Mayor London Breed’s most pressing decisions now that she has assumed the most powerful elected office in San Francisco is to appoint her successor on the Board of Supervisors.
Breed told the San Francisco Examiner Thursday, a day after her inauguration, that she hadn’t yet decided who she would appoint to her former District 5 seat, which represents the Western Addition, Fillmore and Haight. When asked if she had narrowed down possible choices, she said, “yes,” but declined to say who and how many.
“I will let you know when I will make that appointment when I make the appointment,” Breed said. She also declined to give a timeframe for making the decision.
There is some precedent for mayors to make an appointment to ensure there is no seat left vacant at a Board of Supervisors meeting. The next board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.
“We are still working our way through the process,” Breed said Thursday. “This is my home. This is an amazing community of people who have come together and have been through a lot. I want to make sure that they have the best person possible to be the supervisor — someone who is not focused on politics but who is focused on the people of this district.”
She continued, “That’s going to be so important and someone of course that I can work with on the board for the purposes of continuing to do many of the things that we started here when I served as supervisor.”
Breed said she has gotten feedback from residents. “I’ve been talking to a lot of residents here in District 5,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot of emails. I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls.”
Sources at City Hall have named a number of possible contenders.
They include Shanell Williams, a City College of San Francisco Trustee, who was born in District 5. Williams said she had planned to run for the District 5 seat in 2020, when Breed was termed out, and would welcome the appointment.
Stevon Cook, a member of the San Francisco Unified School District’s Board of Education, grew up in District 5, and has also been suggested as a possibility.
Cook declined to discuss any conversations he might have had with Breed. “I want to respect her process,” Cook said, adding that “she was the only candidate I endorsed as mayor.” He noted he grew up in the district and is focused on his work on the Board of Education and as head of Mission Bit, a nonprofit helping students learn computer science.
Another possibility is Judson True, aide to Assemblymember David Chiu, and a 20-year resident of District 5. Breed’s former legislative aide, Vallie Brown, who now works in the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, has also been mentioned as a possibility.
Whoever Breed appoints would likely stand for election in June or November of next year against Dean Preston, executive director of Tenants Together, a statewide tenants rights organization, who previously ran against Breed and lost. Preston has already announced his intention to run.