Politics

KCBS In Depth: SF Mayor Ed Lee Pledges To Keep Focus On Job Creation

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor David Chiu (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor David Chiu (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(KCBS) – He could perhaps best be described as a career public servant who has held many jobs within the City of San Francisco, as far back as 1989.

Ed Lee was first appointed Mayor of San Francisco two years ago, when Gavin Newsom left office to become California’s Lieutenant Governor. A year later, he was elected to a full four-year term. Previously, Lee was San Francisco’s City Administrator, and before that, the Director of the City’s massive Public Works Department.

Now, in 2013, he has big plans for himself and for San Francisco.

What is on the top of his mayoral to-do list in 2013?

“Get more done,” he said emphatically during his recent interview on KCBS’ In Depth program.

“Transportation, housing, certainly our Housing Authority, education, and then jobs, jobs, jobs, I’m never going to get off of that because I know that’s a common denominator for everybody,” he offered some specifics about his goal of getting more done.

Some people have suggested that all Lee has talked about since becoming mayor is job creation, and considering the turnaround San Francisco has enjoyed in that capacity, critics say they want to hear something else from Lee.

“Everybody’s been telling me, though, this is a bubble and that concerns me because whether it’s tech or health care or construction, I don’t want this to be a one-time thing, I want people to have long-lasting jobs, good paying jobs and that means I’ve got to concentrate on it and I don’t get tired of it because everybody who comes up to me is patting me on the shoulder, ‘saying keep it going, don’t let it deflate.’ And if it’s not the health care industry, it’s the tourism industry. And if it’s not tourism, it’s the tech industry. If it’s not the tech industry, it’s the financial industries that have been here for many years,” clarified Lee. “So I’ve got a lot of work still ahead of us but I do think when I talk to youth and as well as people who are out of work, I want to be able to take care of the other people who are still looking for work.”

Clearly, jobs is a focus for Lee, but that’s not necessarily the case for the Board of Supervisors. Does that mean acrimony in City Hall?

“I’m cognizant of that,” Lee acknowledged that some supervisors have different goals. “I never talk about jobs without talking about trying to link to what I know the supervisors are serious about.”

“I know the supervisors well enough, having talked with them for hours about what they’re interested in and when I think about jobs, it’s never in isolation and linkage to what they want to get done. If I can make that link to the programs we’re doing and implementing, they’re going to say okay, I’m going to go with it.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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