The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 7-4 on Jan. 8 to make Supervisor Norman Yee the board’s newest president.
“I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity to serve as president for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as I enter my seventh year of service and my 15th year of service as an elected public servant,” Yee said in a statement. “I’ve been doing this work for a long time and I feel an urgency to respond to the crises facing our city in a time of population growth and rising inequality and an urgency to make as much impact as I can in my last two years as supervisor.”
Yee, who represents District 7, including the Twin Peaks, West Portal and Parkmerced areas, was up against Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who represents District 9, which includes the Mission District and nearby neighborhoods.
In a statement, Ronen said she was disappointed by the loss but vowed to continue to fight to improve her district and the city.
“Woman don’t often advocate for ourselves because we don’t want to seem divisive or difficult — don’t fall for it ladies,” Ronen said.
“My district only ever wins resources from City Hall because me and my constituents aren’t afraid to stand up and be loud. And from day one of my campaign for president I was told by my colleagues that this is the quality they most dislike about me: too loud, too pushy, demanding too much. I couldn’t disagree more,” she said.
During the crowded afternoon meeting, hours of public comment saw members of the city’s Latino community, particularly women, show an overwhelming amount of support for Ronen, mentioning her work for immigrant rights and housing in her district.
Several of Yee’s supporters also spoke out, referencing his eight years of service on the school board and his work advocating for child care.
Mayor London Breed said, “I know Supervisor Yee has a tremendous excitement for this opportunity. He knows there are a lot of challenges in San Francisco and now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and begin the process of what San Franciscans allowed us to do.”
Breed was board president before being elected as mayor following the unexpected death of Mayor Ed Lee in December 2017.
“I know firsthand the responsibility that comes with serving in this role, which includes working collaboratively with all members of the board to improve the lives of everyone in San Francisco,” Breed added.
The city’s newest supervisors were also sworn in.
Supervisor Matt Haney will take over District 6, replacing Jane Kim, while Supervisor Shamann Walton will take over District 10 for former Board President Malia Cohen.
District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar, who is the brother of former Supervisor Eric Mar, will replace Katy Tang.
Incumbent Supervisors Catherine Stefani and Rafael Mandelman also took the oath of office.
Story originally published by Bay City News.