Published: Fri, December 15, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee collapsed while shopping at Safeway

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee collapsed while shopping at Safeway

I don't need to be a progressive, a moderate, a this or a that - I'm a black woman in San Francisco who has lost a tremendous amount of people in District 5 and everyone else who is moving into District 5 claims to be the savior of the black folks there, the families who are there, or the folks who are disenfranchised - where were they when someone got shot and killed at Ella Hill Hutch (community center) in front of a bunch of kids? The mayor who liked to talk about collaboration and "the San Francisco family" was setting a tone of, well, collaboration and consensus. Lee was 65 years old.

As an intern with Asian Law Caucus, he represented residents of the Ping Yuen public housing complex in San Francisco and helped organize the first rent strike against the San Francisco Housing Authority.

Supporters praised Lee for helping San Francisco rebound from the recession, while detractors said his administration was too kind to the tech industry, pointing to a tax break that brought Twitter and other companies to a stretch of downtown. "He started his career fighting the city, then ended up serving it". "I think it gave people hope that there was someone who looked like him, came from modest beginnings, who could rise to become mayor". "That commitment to others defined the mayor's three decades of public service", she said.

Lee, city administrator at the time, said he had no interest in taking on the role permanently.

The former mayor also praised Lee as the man who "stepped up and made it possible for Silicon Valley to nearly relocate to our city", a change not cheered by San Francisco's more politically progressive faction.

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He died at a San Francisco hospital surrounded by relatives, friends and colleagues, his office said.

"In the months ahead", Breed concluded, "let's carry on in Mayor Lee's honor".

Dr Susan Ehrlich of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital said Lee arrived by ambulance in critical condition at about 10pm.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera spoke about "next steps", in practical terms.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed is now the acting mayor, effectively immediately, according to the city charter.

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The next Mayor of San Francisco will be elected June 5, 2018. The elected mayor will finish out Lee's unexpired term and serve until January 8, 2020.

San Francisco interim Mayor Ed Lee (L) walks with his wife Anita as he prepares to file paperwork to officially run for mayor on August 8, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Likely candidates include Supervisor Jane Kim, former California State Senator Mark Leno, and California State Assemblymembers Phil Ting and David Chiu. "What happens will be determined by what actions, if any, the board decides to take", he said.

On Tuesday morning, Supervisor Malia Cohen said, "I am utterly and totally grief stricken..."

Lee said his family's background as immigrants from China inspired his desire to fight Trump's anti-immigration stance.

The Warriors will hold a moment of silence for Lee before their game Thursday against Dallas at Oracle Arena. Scott Wiener held a press conference at Ted's Market and Delicatessen on Monday to announce a recycling program to help small businesses responsible for redeeming items from the public. She would be the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of San Francisco, not the first African-American to hold the office.

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