UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comments from Dorsey’s swearing-in.
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – San Francisco Mayor London Breed has chosen Matt Dorsey as the new supervisor representing District 6 — which covers the city’s south of Market neighborhood — on the city’s board of supervisors.
Dorsey confirmed the news to KRON4 on Monday morning. He was sworn-in around 1 p.m.
At the swearing in, Dorsey said he intends to be an advocate for people struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, just as he has. 650 people died of drug overdoses in the city in 2021 alone, and Dorsey said the opportunity to help address that crisis is why he asked Breed to consider him.
“This is a public health challenge San Franciscans haven’t seen since the peak of the AIDS crisis,” Dorsey said. “As a gay man living with HIV who lived through those days, I can tell you the stigma of who is dying is masking the horror of how many are dying.”
Dorsey also intends to focus on public safety — His last job was as the San Francisco Police Department’s director of strategic communications. Police Chief Bill Scott told KRON4 that he will miss him at the SFPD.
“He’s balanced, he’s got lived experience, he listens and he’s responsive,” Scott said. “I’m excited to see him get this opportunity. He’s a good choice for the city.”
Still, Scott said he was “a bit ticked” “because we’re losing such a great guy.”
Dorsey said during the swearing-in that he believes in good government, and will try to combat open air drug scenes, homicides and other violence.
“I will embrace what’s healthy for good government and reject what’s toxic to it,” he said.
When announcing her pick of Dorsey, Breed said public safety was a top concern.
“I had conversations with people who actually live in District 6,” she said. “For the most part, their top issue was public safety. People I grew up with were not comfortable going out at night in their neighborhood.”
The seat became vacant last week after Matt Haney, who has represented the area since 2019, was sworn in to the California State Assembly.
Before working with the SFPD was the press secretary of former city attorney Dennis Herrera. The Assembly seat Haney won this year had opened up because Assemblyman David Chiu was tapped to replace Herrera in that position.
Herrera said during the swearing-in that Dorsey was very helpful in the fight for same-sex marriage equality. He will be the second gay man on the city’s board of supervisors, ascending to the board just weeks after some LGBTQ activists expressed disappointment with the city’s redistricting process, which separated two LGBTQ cultural districts when the Tenderloin was controversially excised from District 6.
District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who represents the Castro and Noe Valley neighborhoods on the board, told KRON4 that he is “very excited” to have more LGBTQ representation on the board.
“I think Matt is a great appointment,” he said.
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Haney had said he hoped Breed would pick his former legislative aide, San Francisco Democratic Party Chair Honey Mahogany. Dorsey said it was an honor to be considered alongside Mahogany and others.
Dorsey said after the swearing-in that he intends to run for a full term this year.