|Mayor of the|
City and County of
|Style|| The Honorable |
|Term length||Four years, renewable once|
|Inaugural holder||John W. Geary|
|Website||Office of the Mayor|
The Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco is the head of the executive branch of the San Francisco city and county government. The officeholder has the duty to enforce city laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the legislative branch. The Mayor serves a four-year term and is limited to two successive terms.Because of San Francisco's status as a consolidated city-county, the mayor also serves as the head of government of the county; both entities have been governed together by a combined set of governing bodies since 1856.
The government of the City and County of San Francisco utilizes the "strong mayor" form of mayoral/council government, composed of the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, several elected officers, and numerous other entities. It is the only consolidated city-county in California, and one of only thirteen charter counties of California. The fiscal year 2017–18 city and county budget was approximately $10 billion.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is the legislative body within the government of the City and County of San Francisco, California, United States.
In United States local government, a consolidated city-county is a city and county that have been merged into one unified jurisdiction. As such it is simultaneously a city, which is a municipal corporation, and a county, which is an administrative division of a state. It has the powers and responsibilities of both types of entities.
There have been 45 individuals sworn into office. John W. Geary, elected in 1850, was the first mayor of the city. Charles James Brenham, who served as mayor during the 1850s, is the only person who has served two non-consecutive terms.
John White Geary was an American lawyer, politician, Freemason, and a Union general in the American Civil War. He was the final alcalde and first mayor of San Francisco, a governor of the Kansas Territory, and the 16th governor of Pennsylvania.
Charles James Brenham was the second and fourth mayor of San Francisco in 1851 and from 1852 to 1853.
The current mayor is former District 5 Supervisor and President of the Board of Supervisors London Breed, who won a special election following the death of Mayor Ed Lee on December 12, 2017. Breed will serve out the remainder of Lee's uncompleted term (until January 8, 2020), after which she is eligible to run for two full terms of her own.
London Nicole Breed is an American politician from California who is the 45th mayor of the City and County of San Francisco. She formerly served as supervisor for District 5, and was president of the Board of Supervisors from 2015 to 2018.
Edwin Mah Lee was an American politician and attorney who served as the 43rd Mayor of San Francisco, and was the first Asian American to hold the office.
The mayor of San Francisco is elected every four years; elections take place one year before United States presidential elections on election day in November. Candidates must live and be registered to vote in San Francisco at the time of the election. The mayor is usually sworn in on the January 8 following the election. The next election for a full mayoral term will be in 2019.
The election of president and vice president of the United States is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or in Washington, D.C. cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the U.S. Electoral College, known as electors. These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for president, and for vice president. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes is then elected to that office. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes for President, the House of Representatives chooses the winner; if no one receives an absolute majority of the votes for Vice President, then the Senate chooses the winner.
In the United States, Election Day is the day set by law for the general elections of federal public officials. It is statutorily set as "the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November" or "the first Tuesday after November 1". The earliest possible date is November 2, and the latest possible date is November 8.
Under the California constitution, all city elections in the state are conducted on a non-partisan basis. As a result, candidates' party affiliations are not listed on the ballot, and multiple candidates from a single party can run in the election since a primary election is not held.
A primary election is the process by which voters, either the general public or members of a political party, can indicate their preference for a candidate in an upcoming general election or by-election, thus narrowing the field of candidates.
Mayoral elections were originally run under a two-round system. If no candidate received a simple majority of votes in the general election, the two candidates who received the most votes competed in a second runoff election held several weeks later.In 2002, the election system for city officials was overhauled as a result of a citywide referendum. The new system, known as instant-runoff voting, allows voters to select and rank three candidates based on their preferences. If no one wins more than half of the first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and second-choice votes (and third-choice votes, if necessary) are counted until a candidate captures the majority. This eliminates the need to hold a separate runoff election and saves money. This was first implemented in the 2004 Board of Supervisors election after two years of preparation. In 2007, the new system was implemented in the mayoral election for the first time.
The two-round system is a voting method used to elect a single winner, where the voter casts a single vote for their chosen candidate. However, if no candidate receives the required number of votes, then those candidates having less than a certain proportion of the votes, or all but the two candidates receiving the most votes, are eliminated, and a second round of voting is held.
A majority is the greater part, or more than half, of the total. It is a subset of a set consisting of more than half of the set's elements.
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new law. In some countries, it is synonymous with a plebiscite or a vote on a ballot question.
As of 2017, the mayor is paid an annual salary of $297,386,the highest mayoral salary in the United States. Nine city public employees earned higher salaries than the mayor, including the chief investment officer and the managing director of the San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, who oversee the city's pension plan.
Unlike a few other American cities, the San Francisco mayor does not have an official residence; in the 1990s, Mayor Willie Brown unsuccessfully pushed to acquire the Yerba Buena Island mansion formerly held used by U.S. Navy admirals as a ceremonial residence for the mayor.
The mayor has the responsibility to enforce all city laws, administer and coordinate city departments and intergovernmental activities, set forth policies and agendas to the Board of Supervisors, and prepare and submit the city budget at the end of each fiscal year. The mayor has the powers to either approve or veto bills passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, participate in meetings of the Board of Supervisors and its committees, appoint a replacement to fill vacancies in all city elected offices until elections, appoint a member of the Board as acting mayor in his/her absence, and to direct personnel in the case of emergency.
If the mayor dies in office, resigns, or is unable to carry out his/her duties and he/she did not designate an acting mayor, the president of the Board of Supervisors becomes acting mayor until the full Board select a person to fill the vacancy and finish the previous mayoral term.(In the case that both the president of the Board of Supervisors and the mayor are incapacitated, the order of succession is followed. ) This has happened seven times: James Otis died in office and was succeeded by George Hewston, [a] Eugene Schmitz was removed and succeeded by Charles Boxton, [b] Charles Boxton resigned and was succeeded by Edward Robeson Taylor, [b] James Rolph resigned and was succeeded by Angelo Rossi, [c] George Moscone was assassinated and was succeeded by Dianne Feinstein, [d] Gavin Newsom resigned and was succeeded by Ed Lee, [e] and Lee died in office and was succeeded by Mark Farrell. [f]
To date, 44 individuals have served as San Francisco Mayor. There have been 45 mayoralties due to Charles James Brenham's serving two non-consecutive terms: he is counted chronologically as both the second and fourth mayor. The longest term was that of James Rolph, who served over 18 years until his resignation to become the California governor. The length of his tenure as mayor was largely due to his popularity. During his term, San Francisco saw the expansion of its transit system, the construction of the Civic Center and the hosting of the World's Fair.The shortest term was that of Charles Boxton, who served only eight days before resigning from office. Three mayors have died in office: Otis died from illness, Moscone was assassinated, and Lee suffered a cardiac arrest. Dianne Feinstein and London Breed are the only women, Willie Brown and London Breed are the only African Americans, and Ed Lee is the only Asian American to have been elected Mayor.
Thirteen mayors are native San Franciscans: Levi Richard Ellert, James D. Phelan, Eugene Schmitz, James Rolph, Elmer Robinson, John F. Shelley, Joseph Alioto, George Moscone, Dianne Feinstein, Frank Jordan, Gavin Newsom, Mark Farrell, and London Breed. Four mayors are foreign-born: Frank McCoppin and P. H. McCarthy (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, present-day Republic of Ireland), Adolph Sutro (Prussia, present-day Germany) and George Christopher (Greece).
This list does not include acting mayors, of which there have been many, as an acting mayor is typically appointed by the mayor whenever he or she will be out of the city.
|#||Mayor||Term start||Term end|
|1||John W. Geary||May 1, 1850||May 4, 1851||Independent|
|2||Charles James Brenham||May 5, 1851||December 31, 1851||Whig|
|3||Stephen Randall Harris||January 1, 1852||November 9, 1852||Democratic|
|4||Charles James Brenham||November 10, 1852||October 2, 1853||Whig|
|5||Cornelius Kingsland Garrison||October 3, 1853||October 1, 1854||Whig|
|6||Stephen Palfrey Webb||October 2, 1854||June 30, 1855||Know Nothing|
|7||James Van Ness||July 1, 1855||July 7, 1856||Democratic|
|8||George J. Whelan||July 8, 1856||November 14, 1856||American|
|9||Ephraim Willard Burr||November 15, 1856||October 2, 1859||American|
|10||Henry F. Teschemacher||October 3, 1859||June 30, 1863||Populist|
|11||Henry Perrin Coon||July 1, 1863||December 1, 1867||Populist|
|12||Frank McCoppin||December 2, 1867||December 5, 1869||Democratic|
|13||Thomas Henry Selby||December 6, 1869||December 3, 1871||Republican|
|14||William Alvord||December 4, 1871||November 30, 1873||Republican|
|15||James Otis [a]||December 1, 1873||October 30, 1875||Populist|
|16||George Hewston [a]||November 4, 1875||December 5, 1875||Democratic|
|17||Andrew Jackson Bryant||December 6, 1875||November 30, 1879||Populist|
|18||Isaac Smith Kalloch||December 1, 1879||December 4, 1881||Workingmen's|
|19||Maurice Carey Blake||December 5, 1881||January 7, 1883||Republican|
|20||Washington Bartlett||January 8, 1883||January 2, 1887||Democratic|
|21||Edward B. Pond||January 3, 1887||January 4, 1891||Democratic|
|22||George Henry Sanderson||January 5, 1891||January 3, 1893||Republican|
|23||Levi Richard Ellert||January 3, 1893||January 6, 1895||Republican|
|24||Adolph Sutro||January 7, 1895||January 3, 1897||Populist|
|25||James D. Phelan||January 4, 1897||January 7, 1902||Democratic|
|26||Eugene Schmitz [b]||January 8, 1902||July 8, 1907||Union Labor|
|27||Charles Boxton [b]||July 9, 1907||July 16, 1907||Union Labor|
|28||Edward Robeson Taylor [b]||July 16, 1907||January 7, 1910||Democratic|
|29||P. H. McCarthy||January 8, 1910||January 7, 1912||Union Labor|
|30||James Rolph [c]||January 8, 1912||January 6, 1931||Republican|
|31||Angelo Joseph Rossi [c]||January 7, 1931||January 7, 1944||Republican|
|32||Roger Lapham||January 8, 1944||January 7, 1948||Republican|
|33||Elmer Robinson||January 8, 1948||January 7, 1956||Republican|
|34||George Christopher||January 8, 1956||January 7, 1964||Republican|
|35||John F. Shelley||January 8, 1964||January 7, 1968||Democratic|
|36||Joseph Alioto||January 8, 1968||January 7, 1976||Democratic|
|37||George Moscone [d]||January 8, 1976||November 27, 1978||Democratic|
|38||Dianne Feinstein [d]||December 4, 1978||January 7, 1988||Democratic|
|39||Art Agnos||January 8, 1988||January 7, 1992||Democratic|
|40||Frank Jordan||January 8, 1992||January 7, 1996||Democratic|
|41||Willie Brown||January 8, 1996||January 7, 2004||Democratic|
|42||Gavin Newsom [e]||January 8, 2004||January 10, 2011||Democratic|
|43||Ed Lee [e] [f]||January 11, 2011||December 12, 2017||Democratic|
|44||Mark Farrell [f]||January 23, 2018||July 11, 2018||Democratic|
|45||London Breed||July 11, 2018||Incumbent||Democratic|
The following is a list of congressional, gubernatorial and other offices held by mayors, before or after their term(s).
|Mayor||Mayoral term||Other offices held||References|
|John W. Geary||1850–1851|| Territorial Governor of Kansas (1856–1857)|
Governor of Pennsylvania (1867–1873)
|Stephen Palfrey Webb||1854–1855||Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts (1842–1844, 1860–1862)|
|James Van Ness||1855–1856||California State Senator (1871)|
|Maurice Carey Blake||1881–1883||California State Assemblyman (1857–1858)|
|Washington Bartlett||1883–1887|| California State Senator (1873–1877)|
Governor of California (1887)
|James D. Phelan||1897–1902||U.S. Senator from California (1915–1921)|
|James Rolph||1912–1931||Governor of California* (1931–1934)|
|John F. Shelley||1964–1968|| California State Senator (1938–1946)|
U.S. Representative from California (1949–1964)
|George Moscone||1976–1978||California State Senator (1966–1975)|
|Dianne Feinstein||1978–1988||U.S. Senator from California (1992–present)|
|Art Agnos||1988–1992||California State Assemblyman (1976–1988)|
|Willie Brown||1996–2004||California State Assemblyman (1964–1995)|
|Gavin Newsom||2004–2011|| Lieutenant Governor of California* (2011-2019)|
Governor of California (2019-present)
As of July 2018, six former San Francisco mayors are alive, the oldest being Dianne Feinstein (1978–1988; born 1933). The most recent mayor to die is Ed Lee, on 12 December 2017 (while still in office).
|Mayor||Mayoral term||Date of birth|
|Dianne Feinstein||1978–1988||June 22, 1933 (age 85)|
|Art Agnos||1988–1992||September 1, 1938 (age 80)|
|Frank Jordan||1992–1996||February 20, 1935 (age 84)|
|Willie Brown||1996-2004||March 20, 1934 (age 85)|
|Gavin Newsom||2004–2011||October 10, 1967 (age 51)|
|Mark Farrell||2018||March 15, 1974 (age 45)|
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