During Mayor Ed Lee’s tenure as mayor, housing, police and homelessness were overriding issues in the Mission. For many Mission voters, he was not always on the right side of those issues and in the 2011 election, they favored his opponent John Avalos. Nevertheless, Lee occasionally courted the Mission and he had his supporters here. Perhaps the biggest decision affecting the Mission came in December 2016 when Lee chose to ignore the wishes of the Police Officers Association, the union for the SFPD, and select Bill Scott, from the LAPD, as police chief.
Here are some photos from his visits to the Mission.
→ November 8, 2011. Lee won election to serve a full term as the first Asian American Mayor of San Francisco. John Avalos, his opponent, ended up polling strongest in the Mission District, but there was some love for Lee on 24th Street.
→ November, 2011 Homeless parents from the Mission visit City Hall to ask for services.
→ December 2011 – Lee honors the Mission High Bears for their first San Francisco Academic Athletic Association championship in 57 years.
Incidentally, the Mission Bears made history again this year by taking a state championship, and they went to watch a Warriors game with Mayor Lee.
→ March, 2011 – Lee speaks at the annual Cesar Chavez Day breakfast in the Mission.
→ January 30, 2013 – Mayor Ed Lee and former police chief Greg Suhr visit the Mission to reassure merchants that they have the city under control for the upcoming Super Bowl.
→ August 2014 – Evict Ed Lee on a sidewalk. In the Mission, Lee was often viewed as the mayor who owed his election to tech. And, tech in the Mission is often associated with residents being pushed out of their apartments to make room for those able to pay higher rents. Evict Ed Lee stencils began to appear in the Mission and elsewhere.
→ In January 2015 Lee helped spearhead the first Navigation Center at 1950 Mission Street. At the beginning of this year he announced a center for the homeless with a different focus – mental health and drug abuse – Hummingbird Place at SF General Hospital
→ August, 2015 – The sweeps of homeless on Division Street in advance of the Super Bowl in 2015 have been largely blamed for increasing the number of homeless encampments in the Mission. Lee tried to counter the encampments by opening two Navigation Centers here and the mayor planned a third one to open sometime next year.
→ May 2, 2016 – Lee visits the hunger strikers at Mission Station who are demanding the resignation of Police Chief Greg Suhr. Lee arrived unannounced and entered through the back door.
→ May 5, 2016. Lee doesn’t make a second visit the hunger strikers…but telephones them. Calls for Suhr’s resignation are increasing, but the mayor continues to stand by him.
→ May 20, 2016. After police shoot and kill a woman in the Bayview, Lee asks for Police Chief Suhr’s resignation.
→June 25, 2016. Lee and others are booed off the stage at the Trans March event in Dolores Park where marchers are protesting the level of security and police presence.
→ December 2016, Lee goes against the wishes of the Police Officers Association and appoints an outsider, Bill Scott, from the LAPD as the new chief. So far in his tenure, Scott has worked on police reform to increase community engagement, adding foot patrols in the Mission as well as in other districts.
→ July 2016 Lee meets with Mission nonprofit leaders who asked him for $7 million to reach funding parity for Latinos in the city. “I don’t sit on money. I have to work in concert with the Board” Lee told them. “This is not my spending playground.” He promised, however, to keep the dialogue going.