San Francisco Mayor London Breed made the rare move of condemning the city’s Board of Supervisors after it passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. Over the weekend, Breed, a Democrat , said the board’s 8-3 vote in favor of the resolution last week does not represent the city’s beliefs or values, according to the San Francisco Chronicle .
Proposed by Supervisor Dean Preston, the resolution called for an immediate and lasting ceasefire, the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of all hostages. Preston, who is Jewish, was supported by hundreds of pro-Palestinian members of the public, who supported the effort to get the resolution over the finish line. In a statement on Saturday afternoon, Breed said: ‘Like my recent predecessors in this office, I almost never comment or take action on nonbinding resolutions from the Board of Supervisors.’
‘This one warrants an exception,’ she continued. ‘What happened at the Board of Supervisors during this last month did not reflect our values. While I support the need for community members to be heard, the process at the Board only inflamed division and hurt.’ Breed, who governs a famously progressive city, said she felt compelled to condemn the resolution after receiving a note from her counterpart in Haifa – San Francisco’s longtime sister city.
Haifa Mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem, with whom Breed met last year during a trip to Israel to celebrate 50 years of the city’s sister relationship, expressed ‘pain and confusion’ following the passage of the resolution. Breed said the letter illustrated ‘the impact that our actions have, and the consideration required when taking up complex matters over which we have absolutely no jurisdiction.’ The mayor said she now wants to meet with her counterpart over zoom to walk back the actions of the board and ‘explain that what happened at the hearing and with the resolution in no way reflects the official view of the entire city of San Francisco – but, again, that of eight members of the Board of Supervisors.’
‘My hope is that as we move forward, the public recognizes that the one body does not reflect an entire city,’ Breed said. Breed also took aim at the process surrounding the resolution’s passage. She said during the discussion and comments period, people were ‘verbally attacked and degraded.’ Three supervisors, Matt Dorsey, Rafael Mandelman and Catherine Stefani ultimately voted against the resolution, despite working to amend it. Preston, a Democratic socialist, said he was disappointed in the mayor’s condemnation of the resolution, which he says he introduced at the request of his constituents.
‘Whatever the Mayor’s position is on calling for a ceasefire, the release of hostages, and humanitarian aid into Gaza, it is disappointing that she would dismiss the voices of thousands of our constituents — mine and the mayor’s — many of whom came out to City Hall to support our resolution and are out marching for peace as we speak,’ Preston, whose family fled the Holocaust, said in a statement. Preston’s initial version of the resolution, which was supported by hundreds of pro-Palestinian protestors who crowded City Hall in December, was overhauled by Board President Aaron Peskin, who attempted to write a resolution with wider appeal.
The final version condemned anti-Semitism, as well as Islamophobia and other sorts of discrimination. Peskin also added a section that condemned Hamas terrorists’ killing of Israeli citizens, and the deaths of Palestinian civilians. Dorsey – who did not ultimately vote in favor of the resolution – also attempted to add a section that called for the surrender of Hamas and introduce an endorsement for a two-state solution. He also wanted to make reference to a New York Times investigation that detailed the rape and other forms of extreme physical brutality Palestinian terrorists used against women on October 7.
Breed’s sharp condemnation of the Board’s resolution comes just days after it was reported that the mayor would be backing away from San Francisco’s plans for a designated office of reparations – a concept the progressive city has long hoped to explore. Mayor London Breed quietly withdrew $4 million in funding to establish an Office of Reparations as she struggles to balance a massive budget deficit in the city. The decision sparked frustration among activists who are pursuing cash payments of up to $5 million for the city’s black residents.
In a letter to department heads, Breed wrote: ‘The reductions leave intact basic City services and priorities so we can continue making progress on hiring police officers, expanding shelter beds, advancing behavioral health initiatives, and cleaning up our streets.’ The decision came after the city’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee published a draft plan last March with recommendations including millions of dollars in cash payments. Other parts of the proposal include the creation of an Afrocentric K-12 School.
A spokesman for Breed also said ‘opening a separate office is not an efficient use of funds’ and told SFGate that ‘the Mayor does not believe we need a new bureaucracy to implement programs to benefit the African American community.’ Shamann Walton, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, said it was ‘disheartening’, adding: ‘I understand the importance of no cuts to existing programs, but the Black community will continue to pursue justice and equity through reparations here in San Francisco. ‘My hope is that the city’s deficit is eliminated quickly so that we can fund the Office of Reparations and fulfill the commitment made to address the historical injustices and inequities that have persisted for generations for Black San Franciscans.’ Read the full story: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12965883/SF-Mayor-London-Breed-Gaza-Israel-ceasefire-resoluiton.html?ito=msngallery
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