Mayor Ed Lee takes victory lap in San Francisco

November 10, 2011 6:58:52 PM PST
Newly-elected San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee took something of a victory lap Thursday, celebrating by meeting with people in different neighborhoods.

In Asian neighborhoods like Chinatown, Lee was congratulated by many overjoyed by his rise to the top.

"A lot of people know him, his character. So, that's why we all support him. We're really, really happy about it," said supporter Peter Ng.

Lee says one of his priorities as mayor-elect will be programs and policies to help small and medium-sized businesses like the ones he visited Thursday, but also at the top of his agenda, is the pressing question of how to handle the Occupy San Francisco movement and avoid what has happened elsewhere.

"I kind of saw, with a little bit of horror, also even what happened in Berkeley last night and I need to make sure everybody's communicated with very clearly before we make a move here," he said Thursday.

Police arrested two men at the camp this week including one they say was carrying a concealed handgun. Lee met with Police Chief Greg Suhr Wednesday and has also held two sessions with representatives of Occupy SF.

"I'm going to be very sparingly thrusting anything to do with our police on them, but I think everybody needs to know what direction we're heading in," Lee said.

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has passed a non-binding resolution supporting the demonstrators. Supervisor Carmen Chu did not sign on, believing there needs to be a balance.

"I do think that we have to be careful about the use of our public spaces and how it is that we're going to make sure that we are maintaining public safety and we are also maintaining public health," she said.

The mayor may not have long to savor his victory. Time and space are running out on Occupy.

"There's a limited capacity at Justin Herman. There is more limiting tolerance by both the residents and businesses in the neighborhood," Chu admitted.

Some of the protesters at Occupy San Francisco have been worried about a potential police crackdown now that the election is over, but based on what Lee said Thursday, he is willing to keep talking at least for now.


Load Comments