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Statement on the Passing of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

December 12, 2017 -- San Francisco -- Today, San Francisco awoke to the sad news of the unexpected passing of Mayor Ed Lee. The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) and the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) mourn the loss of a member of our legal community and a strong advocate for the values we share in our sanctuary city of San Francisco. As an attorney and as city leader, Lee was a friend and stalwart supporter of LGBT, immigrant and tenants' rights.  “We cannot count the number of ways in which Mayor Lee’s office collaborated with BASF and JDC on life-changing issues and initiatives in San Francisco,” said Yolanda Jackson, Executive Director of BASF and JDC.  “We are really proud to have had Mayor Lee as the first Asian American mayor of San Francisco.  He was always open-minded and willing to work toward solutions to many of the City’s largest challenges.  I personally enjoyed working with Mayor Lee and his office. We will truly miss his leadership.”

We share and applaud his commitment to diversity and tolerance and mourn his loss. “Mayor Lee was a friend to BASF and JDC by supporting us in much of our critical work, including providing legal services to some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Merri A. Baldwin, BASF/JDC President. “As a former civil rights lawyer, he understood the challenges our clients face. We are very sad to learn of his passing and mourn with the rest of San Francisco.”

Lee dedicated his life to helping others and lived his values of tolerance and diversity throughout his career. As managing attorney for the San Francisco Asian Law Caucus, he fought for immigrant rights and affordable housing. Later, as Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Lee was responsible for the Minority/Women-Owned Business program. As mayor, he continued to push for affordable housing, investing $1.5 billion until 2042 through the Housing Trust Fund. Lee also advocated for increases in minimum wage in both San Francisco and Oakland.

Our deepest condolences to his wife Anita, his daughters, family and all of the residents of San Francisco who lost a fierce advocate and friend this morning.


The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of attorneys, law students, and legal professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF enjoys the support of more than 7,500 individuals, law firms, corporate legal departments, and law schools. Through its board of directors, its committees, and its volunteer legal services programs and other community efforts, BASF has worked actively to promote and achieve equal justice for all and oppose discrimination in all its forms, including, but not limited to, discrimination based on race, sex, disability, and sexual orientation. BASF provides a collective voice for public advocacy, advances professional growth and education, and attempts to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and respect in the practice of law.