Saving lives: When leadership matters

SF-Health-Director-Dr.-Grant-Colfax-Mayor-London-Breed-by-Johnnie-Burrell, Saving lives: When leadership matters, Local News & Views
Mayor London Breed’s first-in-the-nation shelter in place order came way back on Feb. 28 and has since been extended to May 3. Gov. Newsom took the order statewide on March 20. Unlike the president, Mayor Breed is wise enough to listen to experts. On issues of health, she consults primarily with San Francisco Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax, who is speaking here. – Photo: Johnnie Burrell

by Lin Robertson

Decisive and direct with no time to waste. Here again we see what happens when an unselfish Black woman steps up to the plate without hesitation to protect us with the truth and the right recipe to fight back immediately – even when confronted with a new plague intent to kill especially our most vulnerable.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed didn’t play politics with our lives, but instead built a coalition with other communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to initiate the first shelter in place order in the USA. Soon to follow was former San Francisco mayor and now California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who did the same statewide in California, another first.

What a difference that seems to have made also for our people of color. While the fight is not over, London’s leadership continues to be measurably more effective from the very onset of the outbreak, compared to the performance of the White House. Let’s take a minute to think about the significance of what she really did.

She took care of us. Her no nonsense crisis management model would eventually also help New York take the only action that has proven thus far to be the change agent required to win this war nationwide. Like Cuomo, Mayor London Breed listened to her expert appointee, Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax, who remains on our front lines fighting against this epidemic. Unlike Trump, she sent us home.

Next stop: Prevention is clearly better than cure. Let’s look at the message from Michelle Obama, who always focused on enhancing our quality of life with proper diet and exercise to curb diseases like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and others typically evident in communities like the Bayview. These very same pre-existing conditions that make the coronavirus more deadly need to be addressed and need to heal even if we never test positive for this COVID-19.

Let’s fight – and vote – for healthy communities with affordable housing and clean jobs right here where we live. Yes, let us shelter in place for now. But while we do, pay attention to our mayor as she leads the way to a better society. Thank you, London, for doing the right thing. And thank you for putting us first.

Lin Robertson began her career by launching the Aruba Foreign Investment Agency in her native Aruba, a Caribbean island nation off the coast of Venezuela. Coming to California in 1998, she worked with the San Jose Office of Equality Assurance and in 2005 founded The Labor Compliance Managers, where she is managing director. She is also senior producer for International Media TV. Lin can be reached at