The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed a white man to serve as interim mayor over the Black woman who already had the role — -and people are not happy.
The board appointed Mark Farrell to the position after voting to remove acting Mayor London Breed, who is also the current board president. She had become acting mayor last month following the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee.
The political move came as hundreds of Breed’s supporters voiced their disapproval of the board’s choice. Many who showed up for public comment before the vote jeered at Farrell’s appointment, calling the ouster of Breed racist.
Critics, including Farrell, have said that Breed had too much power as board president and acting Mayor in the lead up to the June 5 election. Breed plans to run for the mayoral seat then.
“To me that is too much power in one person’s hand. There needs to be checks and balances,” Farrell told CBS San Francisco.
But according to The Root, there is a direct precedent of the current situation:
“In 1978, then-San Francisco Supervisor Dianne Feinstein was voted in as acting mayor by her fellow board members mere days after then-Mayor George Moscone was gunned down in his City Hall office by a deranged former supervisor, Dan White. (Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California history, was also killed in the shooting.)
In ’78, there was no dramatic coup from fellow board members: Feinstein fulfilled the interim role, then went on to win a full mayoral term months later during the regularly scheduled election.”
As for Reed, she kept it classy following her removal:
“It’s been an honor to serve the City during this difficult time," she wrote on Twitter. "I have a vision for an inclusive & fair San Francisco, and will keep working every day on the important issues we face: homelessness, housing, & public safety.”