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Supes elevate Malia Cohen to board president

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District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the redevelopment of the Dogpatch waterfront at Pier 70 in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, May 10, 2018.

San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen will become the next president of the Board of Supervisors after the board voted unanimously to elect her to the position on Tuesday.

Current board President London Breed is leaving her position after Tuesday’s meeting to begin her transition into The Mayor’s Office after winning the June election.

Breed notified the clerk of the board about her departure last week and wanted to fill the position as soon as possible so that there would no gaps in meetings without a president.

Some have questioned Breed’s intention to step down early before she is sworn into office and before Rafael Mandelman is sworn into office, who beat incumbent Supervisor Jeff Sheehy in the June election.

Mandelman is considered a progressive and would have given the progressive block on the board to possibly elect a progressive board president.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who made no nomination, said while this was perfectly legal for Breed to step down early and vote in choosing the next board president, he said it undermined the legislative and executive branch of government:

“It seems a little inappropriate for the outgoing mayor-elect to vote for the next chief of the legislative branch.”

Breed said it was time to move on from the arguments and said Cohen would only serve a short time.

Cohen will serve as board president until January of next year.

Some supervisors said they had not planned on saying anything during the nomination and voting process but praised Cohen for her work as a supervisor working with both the moderates and progressives on the board.

Supervisor Ahsha Safai praised Cohen for her work in taking on multi-billion corporations such as the beverage and tobacco industries.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen said she appreciated Cohen working on police reforms in The City and for taking on the San Francisco Police Officers Association.

Cohen was first elected as supervisor in District 10 in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 representing the Bayview-Hunters Point, Potrero Hill and Dogpatch neighborhoods. Her term ends as supervisor next year in January.

Cohen is running for a seat on the Board of Equalization in November after she won the June primary election.

Breed will continue sit on the board as a supervisor until she is sworn into office on July 11.

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