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California Assemblymember David Chiu endorses London Breed for mayor

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Former Chinatown supervisor David Chiu, second from right, announced his support for London Breed’s, far left, mayoral campaign at a Saturday news conference in the Sunset. (Laura Waxmann/ S.F. Examiner)

California Assemblymember David Chiu officially backed London Breed, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, for mayor.

The former Chinatown supervisor announced his endorsement on Saturday at Breed’s Sunset campaign office at 2039 Irving St., where dozens of members of The City’s Asian community gathered for the sidewalk news conference wielding signs declaring support for Breed.

“I have seen her leadership up close,” said Chiu. “When we served on [the board], when she succeeded me as president of [the board], when she stepped up as acting mayor of San Francisco.”

Chiu was a potential candidate for mayor but announced in January that he would not run in the June 5 elections following Mayor Ed Lee’s sudden death as a result of a heart attack in December. Chiu stated then that he planned to prioritize his family and re-election campaign in Sacramento, as was previously reported by the San Francisco Examiner.

Breed was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2012 and served as acting mayor after Lee’s death. She was ousted from that position in January by a 6-3 board vote that replaced her with former District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell, and effectively removed her advantage as the incumbent.

Chiu also served as acting mayor, though only for one day, when then-Mayor Gavin Newsom was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of California on Jan. 10, 2011 before Ed Lee was appointed interim mayor.

“[Breed] is someone I worked with in making sure all tenants have the right to civil counsel. Together [we] took on pharmaceutical companies to make sure that expired medications are not poisoning our water ways,” said Chiu. “She’s someone who is fighting the fight.”

Chiu also pointed to Breed’s experience of growing up in public housing in San Francisco’s Western Addition as evidence that she would represent the interest of The City’s aging and immigrant communities, if elected as mayor.

“In Chinatown, we have thousands of first generation Chinese immigrant families who are living in [Single Room Occupancy hotels] and hundreds of Chinese seniors living on fixed incomes in public housing,” said Chiu. “She knows what that experience is like. She grew up in public housing. She knew what it meant to grow up with nothing and have an opportunity.”

“When she is mayor, I know she will make sure we have opportunity for everyone in this city,” he added.

Chiu’s support for Breed was echoed by her moderate colleagues on the board  — District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai, District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang and District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, who attended the event.

“[Breed] will fight for fair, transparent policies,” Cohen said, adding that the “momentum and the force is with London Breed. This is our time.”

On Saturday, Breed promised she would tackle homelessness, build more housing, improve public safety and focus on mental health reform.

“We leave no one behind,” Breed said, adding, “that’s what this campaign is about.”

“When you grow up in poverty and feel neglected … nothing is more important to you than changing the lives of everyone who needs The City to make better decisions,” she said.

Among Breed’s recent endorsers are former Arizona Representative and gun control advocate Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Captain Mark Kelly, as well as rapper and reality television star Snoop Dogg.

The rapper lives in Southern California and cannot vote in San Francisco. On Thursday, he took to Twitter to back Breed with a video and the hashtags “It’s our time” and “London 4 mayor.”

A spokesperson for Breed said that the mayoral candidate has not met her celebrity supporter.

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