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The election of London Breed as mayor of San Francisco, which was all but made official Wednesday when Mark Leno, the runner-up in the election, conceded defeat, was a remarkable victory.
Ms. Breed is the first African-American woman to hold the post in San Francisco. And San Francisco is now the largest American city with a female mayor.
For many black people in the city, Ms. Breed’s election has a special resonance, one that rekindles the hope that the long and steady decline of San Francisco’s African-American population might be stanched or even reversed.
“We were fast becoming an invisible people in this city,” said the Rev. Amos Brown, the pastor of Third Baptist Church, where Ms. Breed is a congregant. “Maybe we can now stop this hemorrhaging.”
John William Templeton, a historian of black culture and business in San Francisco, said he hoped Ms. Breed could serve as a beacon and a magnet for black entrepreneurs across the country.
“The campaign got a lot of people around the country interested in San Francisco who wouldn’t have thought about it before,” he said.
Mr. Templeton contrasts the many individual successes of black people in San Francisco with the collective poverty of African-Americans over all in the city. Black people have a median income that is a fraction of that for whites or Asians.
“Blacks have succeeded individually but not as a group,” he said.
In a city where black people make up less than five percent of the population, the chief of police, the city administrator, the superintendent of schools and the head of the public works department are all African-Americans.
Mr. Templeton points to both the racist policies toward blacks and Chinese people of decades past and the city’s current evangelizing spirit of tolerance.
Ms. Breed’s election, he said, “reflects the best of San Francisco as a western sanctuary where people who didn’t have opportunities in other places could come.”
(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)
• London Breed on her victory: “Whether you voted for me or not, as mayor I’ll be your mayor, too.” [San Francisco Chronicle]
• Antonio Villaraigosa on his defeat in last week’s primary: “My message resonated in areas where people are struggling — it didn’t resonate where people are doing well.” And this: “We had to do Facebook Live. Facebook Live! Nobody came to the press conferences.” [The New York Times]
• Victims of the Golden State Killer could get restitution from the state. [San Francisco Examiner]
• Tucked away in the state’s 2018-19 budget is a $ 1.2 billion plan to replace lawmakers’ offices in Sacramento. [San Francisco Chronicle]
• Caltrans hopes to reopen next month the stretch of Highway 1 in the Big Sur area that was blocked last year by a massive landslide. [Associated Press]
• California voters’ decision to reduce penalties for drug and property crimes in 2014 contributed to a jump in car burglaries, shoplifting and other theft, researchers reported. [Los Angeles Times]
• President Trump won’t be meeting with the Golden State Warriors, but the N.B.A. champions received a backup offer from Representative Nancy Pelosi and Representative Barbara Lee: Drop by Congress instead. [San Francisco Chronicle]
• Some of the 2026 World Cup matches could be in California: In San Francisco, games would be played at Levi’s Stadium, and in Los Angeles, games would take place at either the Rose Bowl or the N.F.L. stadium under construction in Inglewood or potentially the Coliseum. [KQED]
• Our reporter chronicles the Dipsea, the masochistic trail race from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. “It is like unloading a zoo’s worth of animals in reverse order of mobility and releasing the cheetahs at the end.” [The New York Times]
And Finally …
A postscript to last week’s primaries: Josh Harder, a 31-year-old Democrat and former Silicon Valley venture capitalist, has already started campaigning against the Republican incumbent Jeff Denham in the Central Valley’s Congressional District 10, which includes Modesto, Turlock, Tracy, Manteca and Oakdale. The urban-rural hybrid district is looking to be one of California’s most hard fought.
Reached by phone on Wednesday, Mr. Harder, who beat out four other Democrats and a Republican, said he was emboldened by last week’s turnout. In Stanislaus County, which makes up a good share of the district, turnout was 36 percent or 10 points higher than the last midterm primary, in 2014.
Turnout was especially big among Democrats.
“If you are looking for the center of the blue wave it’s right here in Modesto,” Mr. Harder said.
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California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.