SAN FRANCISCO—The city of San Francisco is mourning the loss of Mayor Edwin M. Lee who died on Tuesday, December 12. According to reports, Lee died after suffering a heart attack. He was surrounded by family, friends and colleagues at the time of his passing. He was transported to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital before 10 p.m. Monday, Chief Executive Dr. Susan Elrich revealed during a news conference on Tuesday. A statement released by the Mayor’s Office, revealed that Lee passed away at 1:11 a.m. on Tuesday.
“It is with profound sadness and terrible grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away,” the mayor’s office indicated in a statement released Tuesday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anita, his two daughters, Brianna and Tania, and his family.”
Lee made history when he was elected the 43rd Mayor of San Francisco, becoming the city’s first Asian-American Mayor. He was appointed as mayor of the San Francisco in January 2011 to complete the remaining term of former SF Mayor Gavin Newsom. He was elected by voters in 2011, and re-elected to the position in 2015. During his tenure, Mayor Lee added more homes to the housing market than any other Mayor in San Francisco history. He managed to grow the economy of San Francisco and add homes, while maintaining San Francisco’s historic environmental commitments. Under his leadership, greenhouse gas emissions dropped 28 percent.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti released the following statement in response to Mayor Lee’s passing:
“Ed Lee’s unfaltering belief in justice, fairness, and equality for all not only served San Francisco; it touched people throughout California and the world. His life and leadership were rooted in a powerful sense of human decency that inspired me. He was a true progressive, a fighter, and believed in the ability of government to help people. While I grieve today with Mayor Lee’s loved ones and all San Franciscans, I will always be grateful for the honor of calling him a brother, friend, and colleague.”
Mayor Lee made historic investment commitments to infrastructure, parks and schools, funding them at record levels while successfully championing bond measures to improve San Francisco’s seismic standards. He led the call for major transportation projects such as the Central Subway and the Transbay Transit Center, both of which will be completed during his tenure. Mayor Lee vowed to end chronic veterans’ homelessness by the end of 2017, while reducing overall chronic homelessness by 50 percent within the next five years.
U.S House of Representative Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “He was a true champion for the people.”
“Mayor Ed Lee cared deeply about our City, the safety of its people and the well-being of the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department. Our City has lost a great leader and we are shocked and saddened by his passing. During this time of sorrow, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anita, his daughters and his family.”
“On behalf of all Californians, Anne and I extend our deepest condolences to Mayor Lee’s family, his many friends and the entire City of San Francisco. Ed was a true champion for working people and epitomized the California spirit. He’ll truly be missed,” said California Governor Edmund G. Brown in a statement.
A native of Seattle, Washington, Mayor Lee graduated from Bowdoin College in 1974, and from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1978. He worked as a housing activist and civil right attorney. He leaves behind his wife Anita, and is the father of two daughters, Brianna and Tania. San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed has assumed the position of acting mayor for the city of San Francisco. The next mayoral election is set for June 5, 2018, and the winning candidate will complete Lee’s term, which expires on January 8, 2020.