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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ed Lee Says He Was Progressive Long Before The Progressive Faction was Established

Posted By on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 6:15 PM

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As far as Ed Lee is concerned, he invented progressive politics in San Francisco.

Lee, who was appointed interim mayor Tuesday afternoon, has been pegged as a moderate by the left-leaning members of the Board of Supervisors who had attempted to get their pick, Sheriff Michael Hennessey, appointed mayor.

On the contrary, Lee says.  Lee had the last word Tuesday afternoon, where he ticked off the list of contributions that he has made over the last two decades that have shaped his progressive politics.

"I was progressive before progressive was a political faction in this town," Lee said.

That's right. Lee referred to himself as progressive.

After graduating from Berkeley Law School, Lee went to work for the Asian Law Caucus, fighting for justice. He worked to integrate the San Francisco Fire Department; he fought to protect tenants, and worked to help protect marginalized residents in San Francisco as the director of the Human Rights Commission.

As a city employee, he worked to implement the first whistle-blower program and supported domestic partnership benefits for all city workers. Lee claims he helped establish new goals for the city's nationally recognized recycling program, and he has worked to ensure women and minority business owners are successful.

And now, he is San Francisco's first Asian-American mayor.

"Decades ago, I was as anti-establishment as one can be," Lee said. "Today, I am trying to make the establishment work for all San Franciscans."

If that isn't progressive, then what is?

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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