The replacement last month of interim San Francisco Mayor London Breed, an African-American woman, with Supervisor Mike Farrell, a white male venture capitalist, has raised questions about whether the Bay Area has a problem supporting black candidates.
“Breed’s removal is just one example of a broader ebbing in political power for the Bay Area’s African-American community over the last few decades,” writes the East Bay Times. The publication further notes:
Next year, it’s possible that the region that likes to think of itself as the most progressive place in the country will have zero black state legislators and zero black mayors of major cities.
That’s only happened in the Bay Area for five years in the last seven decades.
Last month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 6-3 to remove Breed, who stepped in after the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee, and replace her with Farrell, who is reportedly not running in this year’s election.
The board reportedly decided that Breed “was too close to wealthy tech industry donors, and that it was inappropriate for her to serve as both board president and acting mayor,” notes the East Bay Times.
The move led to black members of the community literally declaring, “This is war!”
“The so-called progressive liberal coalition postures themselves as being with the black community,” Rev. Amos C. Brown, the head of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP, said at the time. “They have shown their true colors.”
According to the Times, there’s a literal “drought in political power for African-American elected officials” that extends beyond Breed. The publication notes that only Pittsburg, in the East Bay, is the only one out of 101 cities and towns in the nine Bay Area counties that currently has a black mayor (Pete Longmire).
Longmire reportedly attributed this to a decline in the black population in the Bay Area from 9 percent in 1980 to 6.7 percent in 2010.
“Many of the African-Americans who used to be in San Francisco and Oakland are now living in Antioch or Tracy,” Elihu Harris, a former Oakland mayor and state legislator, told the East Bay Times.
Breitbart News previously reported:
San Francisco tech workers and companies are replacing traditionally black neighborhoods through known as gentrification. In 2015, Breitbart News reported, “San Francisco’s gentrification is slowly creeping into the Bay Area’s traditionally black neighborhoods, forcing out locals and slowly replacing them with Silicon Valley techies and professionals who are better able to afford higher prices.” One such place is the historically black Bayview-Hunters Point.
The Bay Area’s creeping gentrification has also made its way to places of worship. In January 2017, Breitbart News reported that Beth Eden Baptist Church, Oakland’s oldest African American Baptist church, has witnessed a “devastating” decline in attendance due to gentrification. The same dynamic has made its way to Southern California’s black communities.