San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Friday afternoon appointed Ivy Lee to the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees to replace Rafael Mandelman who was sworn in as a member of the Board Supervisors earlier this month.
Lee, 46, a civil rights attorney and now the former chief of staff to Supervisor Jane Kim for the last five years, has led efforts to pass many pieces of legislation, including preventing employers and housing providers from asking perspective employees about past criminal history, increasing the minimum wage, and providing free City College for San Francisco residents.
Breed said at the swearing in ceremony at the City College Ocean Campus that Lee represented all the educational values that she envisions for The City, and noted Kim and Lee’s efforts in providing a free college education for residents:
“They made it possible for the next generation of San Franciscans to have access to free City College.”
“Not only has she led the efforts around free City College with Supervisor Kim, but she has pushed for a number of equity programs and things that matter in bridging the gap between many of our communities of color, and education plays a critical role in getting young people to a better place.”
Kim said she has known Lee for two decades and said she has played a critical role in making the office one of the most productive, as stated in San Francisco Magazine in 2014:
“Ivy has been my chief advisor and shield. And while she will state her utmost loyalty to me, it has always been clear she answers to nobody but to the community.”
Lee was also credited for her work in the passing on Proposition C in June which created an additional tax for commercial property landlords to help fund early childcare and education programs.
After taking the oath of office, Lee said she was honored that Breed chose her for the job and said that education and teachers have made a difference in her life.
One of those teachers Lee said was her grandmother, who raised her and taught her the importance of a having an education:
“My grandmother instilled the belief that getting an education is the key to so much.”
“She told me she had been the top student in her village, but as a girl, she was never given the opportunity to quench her thirst for knowledge but she read every single day.”
She also a recalled a time during her college days when she was failing college courses and decided to take a step back and attend a community college:
“Because of that experience and others, I have no regrets about dedicating my life to trying to create opportunities and break down the barriers for other people, especially folks that have no safety net.”
Lee said one of many tasks she looks forward to is to keep the free City College program going year-round for city residents.
She will have to run in November of 2019 in order to continue to serve on the Board of Trustees.