Now that it appears Sup. Ross Mirkarimi will be the next sheriff — and Ed Lee will be mayor for the next four years — the speculation is starting over who Lee will name to replace Mirkarimi as District Five supervisor. There are an abundance of qualified candidates, but my sources tell me the Mayor’s Office is looking right now primarily at two people — London Breed, director of the African American Art and Culture Complex and a former redevelopment commissioner, and Malcolm Yeung, an attorney who is president of the Asian American Bar Association and longtime policy person at the Chinatown Comminity Development Center.
Both, of course, were Lee supporters.They have a history of working on progressive causes (Yeung, at CCDC) and strong ties to the community (Breed at AAACC). Breed has spent more time as an activist in D5 (and was appointed to her job by former mayor Willie Brown), but Yeung is reportedly popular with Rose Pak, who clearly has the mayor’s ear.
I don’t know who Lee will be taking to about the appointment, but you can be sure both Brown and Pak will be giving their advice. And so far — although it’s still early — nobody has been talking to the current supervisor.
I called Mirkarimi and asked him who he would suggest, and he told me there were plenty of people — although neither Breed nor Yeung would be on his short list. He didn’t want to name names, but I can: queer/labor activist Gabriel Halland and Community College Board Member John Rizzo are both eminently qualified for the job, and Julian Davis would also be on a lot of short lists. So would Christina Olague, a planning commissioner (and Lee supporter) — but one City Hall insider told me that “Willie would never let that happen.”
Mirkarimi did suggest that he ought to be consulted. “I would think after all the work I’ve done in the district over seven years and two administration that Mayor Lee would at least want my input,” he said. We’ll see.