Edwin M. Lee, 63, was sworn in on January 8, 2012 as the 43rd Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco. Lee is the first Asian-American mayor in San Francisco history.
Lee was elected on November 8, 2011 by the people of San Francisco while he was serving as Interim Mayor, appointed unanimously as successor mayor by the Board of Supervisors on January 11, 2011 to fill the remaining year of former Mayor Gavin Newsom’s term who was sworn in as California’s Lieutenant Governor.
While serving as Interim Mayor, Lee championed balancing the budget to keep San Francisco safe, solvent and successful. He reformed City pensions, created thousands of jobs for our City’s residents and spurred economic development in the City’s Central Market neighborhood, a neighborhood long known for high vacancy rates. Mayor Lee worked hard to keep the economy and economic recovery on track to support improved public parks, streets, transit and quality of life in every neighborhoods.
In his first term, Mayor Lee focused on economic development and job creation, raised the minimum wage for San Francisco’s lowest wage workers, revived the manufacturing industry and created a global hub for innovation and new economy industries. He focused on making City government more responsive, efficient and accountable through innovation and technology. He made record investments in San Francisco public schools, public transit and health and homeless services for the most in need.
Through his affordability and shared prosperity agenda, he championed the Housing Trust Fund bond in order to build more low and middle income housing and teacher housing, and with federal partners completely reenvisioned public housing for the City’s lowest income families. He set an aggressive goal to complete 30,000 new and rehabilitated homes by 2020, with at least half affordable to low and middle income families. In November 2015, the voters of San Francisco passed the largest affordable housing bond in the history of San Francisco, which Lee introduced to help stabilize the City’s diverse neighborhoods, keep long term residents in their homes and build more affordable housing.
In 2015, Mayor Lee set an ambitious plan to help 8,000 more people out of homelessness forever by committing at least $1 billion over four years to expand national recognized homeless programs like the Navigation Center, Homeward Bound and long-term care for the seriously mentally ill. He committed to create one department with one mission – to end homelessness for one veteran, one family, one person – everyday.
In his next term, he will continue to invest in building more affordable housing than at any other time in our City’s history, creating true exits from homelessness for people, and improving the City’s infrastructure to improve streets, parks, open spaces, libraries and public transit.
In 2010, Mayor Lee was appointed to a second term as City Administrator by Mayor Newsom and his appointment was confirmed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors. As City Administrator, Mayor Lee spearheaded government efficiency measures and reforms that reduced the size and cost of government, from reducing the vehicle fleet to consolidating departments and back office functions to save tax dollars. He implemented the City’s move to cleaner vehicles and an infrastructure to support electric vehicles and green City government. Mayor Lee also developed and oversaw implementation of the City’s first ever Ten Year Capital Plan to guide our capital priorities and infrastructure investment.
Working with the Department of Emergency Management, Mayor Lee has overseen the City’s disaster recovery and response planning efforts, bringing every department together to coordinate response and recovery for the next major earthquake or emergency. With the Fire Chief, Mayor Lee led efforts to work with PG&E to assess the City’s gas and electric infrastructure and ensure its safety and reliability. For the 2010 U.S. Census, Mayor Lee organized the outreach efforts to ensure our City continues to make progress on inclusion and cultural competency.
Mayor Lee first began working for the City and County of San Francisco in 1989 as the Investigator for the City’s first Whistle Blower Ordinance and has since served as the Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission, Director of City Purchasing, and Director of the Department of Public Works before he was first appointed as City Administrator in 2005.
Prior to his employment with the City and County of San Francisco, Mayor Lee was the Managing Attorney for the San Francisco Asian Law Caucus, for which he worked from 1979 to 1989. Mayor Lee was born in Seattle, Washington. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bowdoin College in 1974 and from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, in 1978. Mayor Lee is married to his wife Anita and is the father of two daughters Brianna and Tania.
Public Service History
- 2010 - Present Mayor of San Francisco
- 2005 – 2010 City Administrator
- 2000 – 2005 Director, Department of Public Works
- 1996 – 2000 Director, City Purchasing Department
- 1991 – 1996 Director, Human Rights Commission
- 1989 – 1991 Whistleblower Ordinance Investigator & Deputy Director of Employment Relations