KPIX-TV, October 21, 2019
San Francisco’s mayoral campaign took an ugly turn over the weekend that left several community leaders outraged and the incumbent London Breed “shocked” by a personal attack displayed on a billboard on Howard and Dore Street, in the city’s South of Market neighborhood.
The billboard depicts a crude caricature of Mayor London Breed in a red dress and heels with her feet up, holding a cigar in one hand and a stack of money in the other. The message “Stop slavery and human trafficing [sic] in SF” is visible.
It was sponsored by the Ellen Lee Zhou For Mayor campaign. Monday, she was doubling down on her message.
“No matter what — you look at my face — I am not a racist. I am Chinese-American. I am running for mayor. I care about San Francisco,” said Ellen Lee Zhou. “We’re not talking about racism here. Whoever brought up that it’s racist is because they’re brainwashed.”
“I was pretty shocked that something like that was up in San Francisco,” Breed said. “I got contacted by a lot of people who were really upset and hurt and outraged that we would have something like that hanging in San Francisco.”
“We are all standing united to say, we denounce this,” said California Assemblyman David Chiu at the Monday morning news conference. “We (the politicians and community leaders surrounding Chiu) don’t always agree on everything, but we do agree that this type of political discourse has no place in San Francisco. No place in America. Unfortunately, the current occupant of the White House, President Trump, has engaged in this type of statements and this mayoral candidate is an avowed Trump supporter.”
Zhou is one of a handful of people opposing Breed in her re-election bid and is the only Republican in the race. She drives around the city in a pickup truck plastered in campaign posters, blaring “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“I believe London Breed is racist,” Zhou told KPIX 5. “Racist against three Caucasian men who is running for mayor because there’s no debate. She refused to have any debate. I am Asian American and there is another Asian American running for mayor. There’s six candidates for the mayor’s position. I believe that London Breed is the most racist in the entire San Francisco.”
“Well, if you look at the picture, London Breed is counting the money — that’s her paycheck,” Zhou said. “The mayor makes $350,000 a year while people are dying on the streets — they have to pick their dead bodies up. A mayor getting a big fat raise while people are dying.”
Supervisor Matt Haney represents the district of San Francisco where the billboard has been erected.
“[The billboard] should have no place in this neighborhood,” he said. “Residents of SoMa, children, families having to walk by this and see these depictions is absolutely unacceptable. What we are seeing is trickle-down hatred coming from the White House and it should never have a place here in San Francisco. Not any time. Not in the year 2019.”