Mayor Edwin Lee
Mayor Ed Lee has been fighting for San Francisco families his entire life.
The son of Chinese immigrants who taught him the values of hard work and community service, Lee’s father worked as a cook, and his mom was a seamstress. After his father passed away when Lee was just fifteen, Lee washed dishes to help make ends meet and earned a scholarship to become the first in his family to attend college.
Upon graduating from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Lee took a position as Managing Attorney for the San Francisco Asian Law Caucus, where he spent 10 years as a leading advocate for affordable housing, and tenant and immigrant rights. In 1989, Lee became Investigator for the city’s first Whistle Blower Ordinance. He later served San Francisco in a variety of roles -- as the Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission, Director of City Purchasing, Director of the Department of Public Works, and most recently, as City Administrator.
In November 2011, just ten months after the Board of Supervisors unanimously selected Lee as Interim Mayor, the people elected Lee the 43rd Mayor of San Francisco. He is the first Asian-American mayor in City history.
Taking office in the aftermath of the Great Recession, Lee worked tirelessly to create local jobs and support conditions for a thriving economy – good parks, transit, affordable housing, and quality of life in neighborhoods. Under Lee’s leadership, San Francisco’s unemployment rate has been cut in half and the City now ranks number one in the nation for job growth. Among Lee’s signature job-creation achievements was the passage of Proposition E, which spurred growth across the local economy by bringing fairness to San Francisco’s business tax.
Mayor Lee understands it is not enough to just create jobs – those jobs must support all San Franciscans. That’s why last year, he led passage of the highest living wage initiative in the country, raising San Francisco’s minimum wage to $15 per hour and guaranteeing cost-of-living increases in years to come. Lee is aggressively tackling the City’s affordability crisis on a number of fronts, creating 30,000 new housing units, growing the local manufacturing industry, expanding after-school programs for kids, and providing universal pre-school so more families can afford to stay in San Francisco.
Mayor Lee is married to his wife Anita and is the father of two daughters - Brianna and Tania. He lives in Glen Park.
Public Service History
2011 – 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