For a legislative body known for big personalities and high drama, the election of the new president of the Board of Supervisors was a remarkably cordial affair.
On Friday afternoon the board voted unanimously to elect District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton as president. Walton takes over the position from termed-out Supervisor Norman Yee. The vote was the first for incoming Supervisors Connie Chan and Myrna Melgar.
As president, Walton will preside over Board of Supervisors meetings, and will have the power to assign his colleagues to the board’s committees. He will also be the first in the chain of succession should Mayor London Breed need to be replaced. Walton is the first Black man to serve as President of the Board of Supervisors. (Three Black women have held the position, including, most recently, Breed herself.)
Walton, who represents the Bayview, Potrero Hill, and surrounding neighborhoods, usually votes alongside the board’s progressive wing. However, in the recent election, he deviated from the progressive consensus in endorsing Ahsha Safaí and Melgar. His legislative accomplishments include leading the charge to redirect police funds to the Black community, and closing juvenile hall. He also introduced the CAREN Act, which makes it a crime to make racially biased 911 calls.