Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The late Ed Lee was remembered in San Francisco Wednesday as a champion of civil rights and honored as the city's first Chinese-American mayor.
Elected officials and relatives were set to gather at Lee's balcony at San Francisco City Hall to recognize his contributions, including his efforts for affordable housing.
Lee abruptly died a year ago Wednesday at age 65. He was born in Seattle to Chinese immigrants and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and joined the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco's Chinatown.
"As the first Chinese-American mayor, the city will always hold a place of pride in our hearts, but especially in the hearts of our Chinese and Asian and Pacific Islander communities," Mayor London Breed, who won a special election to become the city's first black woman elected mayor, said. "Thank you to Mayor Lee for your service and we really miss you dearly."
Lee is also remembered as a supporter of Silicon Valley's booming tech industry.
Housing officials and the Chinatown Community Development Center will announce the acquisition of two buildings in the Inner Richmond District that are home to low-income tenants. The apartments were originally going to be sold on the open market, which would've displaced their elderly Chinese residents. Having the city and CCDC buy the housing ensures they will stay there.
Lee devoted substantial effort to the cause.
"This is bittersweet because he's not here to enjoy it, but he laid the groundwork for this opportunity," London said. "I think that this is really carrying on his legacy and the work that he invested in, not just as mayor, but when he was an attorney protecting civil rights, too."
Today I joined our Chinese community to remember Mayor Ed Lee as the one-year anniversary of his passing approaches. Mayor Lee blazed trails as the first Chinese American mayor of San Francisco, and his legacy as a dedicated public servant lives on today. pic.twitter.com/0SNFB15AIm- London Breed (@LondonBreed) December 11, 2018