San Francisco Elects London Breed as New Mayor

June 16, 2018
By Reese Isbell

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed has declared victory in June’s special election to fill the remainder of Mayor Ed Lee’s term following his passing late last year. Mayor-elect Breed now enters a regularly-scheduled November 2019 mayoral race as the incumbent seeking a full term. If re-elected in 2019 and again in 2023, she could be in the mayor’s office for the next decade. The election will not be certified until early July at which time she is expected to be sworn-in. Click here to view CLSA’s statement congratulating Breed on her election.

While Breed came in first by a 12-point margin, the City’s unique ranked choice system encourages voters to make second and third choices. This led to a full week of counting secondary votes by the Department of Elections keeping the outcome unclear initially. Her two main opponents, former state Senator Mark Leno and Supervisor Jane Kim, campaigned together on a platform that labeled Breed as cozy to business, tech, and industry concerns. Breed was the choice of many business interests who heavily pushed for her win.

Despite this strong support from business generally, she has had a relatively complex relationship with the life sciences industry over the years:

  • Breed has previously expressed support for changes to the gross receipts tax in meetings with CLSA and Mission Bay leaders.
  • Breed spearheaded San Francisco’s drug take back ordinance in 2015, although she did grant CLSA’s predecessor organization, BayBio, numerous meetings to provide input and express concerns.
  • CLSA worked closely with Breed on her expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) legislative ban where she was instrumental in getting the Department of the Environment to provide a waiver on cold storage medical shipping.
  • Breed created a Safe Injection Services Task Force to establish safe injection sites, opening in 2018, which would be set up to offer intravenous drug users a clean space to inject drugs and to support the City’s needle collection and sharps disposal efforts.
  • Breed has generally supported efforts for the economic development and infrastructure needs of life sciences companies in Mission Bay.

As the trade association representing the statewide life sciences sector, CLSA congratulates London Breed on her election as the new Mayor of San Francisco. The Bay Area is the birthplace of biotechnology, and according to our 2018 California Life Sciences Industry Report, the San Francisco region employs 73,000 people working to develop innovative new medicines, technologies and therapies needed to treat and cure patients.

We are proud that hundreds of our innovative member companies call the Bay Area home, and we look forward to continue working with Mayor-elect London Breed and her Administration to advance thoughtful policies that will grow and ensure the vibrancy of San Francisco’s treasured life sciences ecosystem. Full statement here.

For more information on the subject or questions, please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Director of Local Government and Community Relations (