Our community notes with sorrow the untimely death of Edwin Lee, the first Asian American mayor of San Francisco.
We will remember him as a champion of the rights of those whose voices often go unheard.
Mayor Lee spoke to the city’s values immediately following the President’s executive order to eliminate sanctuary cities, announcing that San Francisco would be “a sanctuary now, tomorrow, forever.”
Mayor Lee was also a founding member of “Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination,” a bipartisan coalition of municipal leaders dedicated to securing inclusive nondiscrimination protections for all.
Our thoughts are with his family and the many people whose lives he touched. Our philanthropic community mourns his loss:
“I am devastated by the sudden passing of Mayor Ed Lee. Mayor Lee was a humble public servant who was effective, reliable, and committed. He was also a partner and friend of The San Francisco Foundation. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family. We at The San Francisco Foundation will work harder than ever in pursuit of our mutual vision for equity and inclusion.”- Fred Blackwell, CEO, The San Francisco Foundation
"Mayor Ed Lee was a wonderful human being and dedicated public servant. Over the nearly 30 years I’ve known Ed, I was always struck by his sincerity, his humility and the respect with which he treated everyone, even his harshest critics. I will always be grateful for his leadership and commitment to HOPE SF, the transformation of public housing being done with, not to, the current residents. Ed also understood the importance of figuring out how to more effectively work with our city's robust philanthropic sector. While difficult, he knew this was vital to the issues he cared about, including homelessness. His own personal history and commitment to service grounded Ed throughout his years of service. I am saddened, and San Francisco is diminished by his death."- Pamela H. David, Executive Director, Walter & Elise Haas Fund
"We have lost a humble, dedicated champion of the people who call San Francisco home, and a great partner in collaborative public-private approaches to tackling the challenges we face in our communities. We will do our best to honor his legacy in deed and in spirit. Our hearts go out to all who loved him."- Ellen LaPointe, President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
"The Zellerbach Family Foundation is deeply saddened by the passing of Mayor Ed Lee. Mayor Lee never lost his voice as an advocate, dedicating his career to protecting the rights of all San Franciscans. He was a thoughtful partner and authentic leader, and will truly be missed."- Allison Magee, Executive Director, Zellerbach Family Foundation
"It’s never easy to lose a beloved leader. But now, more than ever, we will deeply feel the loss of Mayor Lee’s compassionate and inclusive leadership. Our warmest thoughts to his family, friends, and all those that he touched during his lifetime."- Jeffrey Malloy, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer, Heising-Simons Foundation