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Recently returned from China, London Breed takes mayoral campaign to San Francisco streets

London Breed takes her mayoral campaign to San Francisco streets
London Breed takes her mayoral campaign to San Francisco streets 03:27

Mayor London Breed returned from her trip to China last weekend and is now making a visible push to fight for her job as she faces a tough re-election fight with several high-profile challengers.

Each candidate is campaigning on promises of change, touting their own solutions to the city's problems ranging from crime to the housing crisis. San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin became the latest figure to enter the race earlier this month.

Candidates have made it a strategy of getting out into the city's neighborhoods to hear from voters directly. On Thursday, Mayor Breed paid a visit to the Portola District.  

In a blustery afternoon wind, Breed hit San Bruno Avenue, going door-to-door along a business corridor with a large Chinese population, a sure sign that the campaign -- and hand-to-hand politics -- are well underway.

"Oh my gosh, Leon, you got my grandmother out here in the cold!" Breed said. "We got a whole crew. Come on."

Accompanied by the woman she calls her "Asian grandmother," Breed led a team of supporters up and down the street for some voter outreach. 

"The ability to just come out to different neighborhoods and talk to people about it, just whatever it is," explained Breed. "Whether it is parking. Whether it's bus stop. Whether it's safety. Whatever their concerns are."

"I was asking The Mayor if she's going to be fixing the potholes on Mission Street here in San Francisco. We do a lot of riding there and our cars are getting messed up," said San Francisco resident  Laura Lepe. 

"My hope is that being out here, I can answer questions," Breed said. "I can deal with peoples issues and concerns. Even if it's just a speed bump that hasn't happened."

Beyond the job of being mayor, Breed must also convince residents that things are getting better in San Francisco, something that gets discussed in the city quite.

When asked if she feels enough people feel that way and if they will decide to give her credit for that in November, Breed replied, "Well, my hope is to get credit for it. And, like today, out here on San Bruno, I am talking to people about the various programs that we provide from the city. People are realizing that it is attributed to the work that I am doing as mayor."

Campaign posters went up on San Bruno Avenue during the mayor's visit, in some cases right alongside those of an opponent. It is a reminder that this is a complicated race for the mayor, and San Francisco voters have options. 

When asked if it was hard to have a conversation about the mayor's race with anyone in the city who doesn't mention ranked choice voting, she said, "Well, my thoughts are it's important for me to run my race. And to talk about all the things that I have done and the facts and just to talk about safety. Crime is down lower than it's been in 10 years, not including the pandemic. Even in 2024, it's continuing to trend down. 

The mayor continued: "We are seeing the difference, but we also have to make sure people feel the difference. So when you hear people say it's getting better, they're starting to feel it. But we want them to feel it more consistently. I think that's gonna be a determining factor when folks go to the polls, you know, whether or not they see the consistency. And we have plenty of time to get there."

The mayor made one previous neighborhood walk since her return from China, and that was in Chinatown. That tells you something about how her campaign sees the race shaping up with just over 190 days left until election day.

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