“Live your lives boldly and keep the door open for others.”
June 3, 2019
We are very excited to announce that the Edwin M. Lee Community Fund has issued its first grants! Over the past couple of months, we considered a range of issues that reflected Ed’s values and selected three organizations in the Bay Area to issue grants of $10,000 each. We continue to be inspired by many organizations that represent Ed’s spirit of community and service and will continue to consider them for future grants.
The organizations we selected this year are:
- Asian Law Caucus: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which for decades has worked tirelessly to defend the rights of immigrants,
- HOPE SF (via the San Francisco Foundation), an initiative that reflects Ed’s deep-seated passion for revitalizing public housing, and
- GRID Alternatives, which shares Ed’s goals of combating climate change and pursuing social justice through its commitment to renewable energy and workforce development for underserved communities.
Our family is delighted to be able to support these organizations through your generous contributions to the fund. We plan to continue giving grants each year in the spring as a way to honor Ed’s longtime commitment to his community. If you have any questions about how the fund works, please refer to this page.
Mayor Lee &
the City He Loved
Edwin M. Lee was the 43rd Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco and the first Asian-American mayor in San Francisco’s history. Appointed in 2010 and elected and re-elected in 2011 and 2015 respectively, Mayor Lee’s term was a time of unprecedented prosperity in San Francisco and Mayor Lee sought to bring that prosperity and opportunity to all San Franciscans. He focused on balancing the budget, creating jobs, boosting San Francisco’s economy, building housing, housing the homeless, creating a cleaner and safer city and addressing affordability challenges.
Mayor Lee began his city government career as an investigator for the City’s first whistle-blower program in 1989 and also led the Human Rights Commission, the City Purchasing Office, and the Department of Public Works before he was appointed City Administrator in 2005. Mayor Lee was a community organizer and civil rights advocate and from 1979 to 1989, he was a Managing Attorney for the San Francisco Asian Law Caucus. He was born in Seattle, Washington, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bowdoin College in 1974 and from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley in 1978.
The Edwin M. Lee Community Fund seeks to continue the work of the late Mayor Edwin M. Lee who fought for a more just, inclusive, and compassionate society. (You can read more about Ed’s legacy here.) In the spirit of these values, the Edwin M. Lee Community fund seeks to support organizations that hold similar values, especially with initiatives that include but are not limited to:
- Protect immigrants and increase pathways to citizenship
- Reduce homelessness with a focus on increasing affordable housing
- Protect the environment and reduce the harmful effects of climate change
- Support equal pay and leadership opportunities for women
- Improve access to quality education for all students
- Advance causes for social justice and human rights
Our family is grateful for the outpouring of support for this fund. As our family is rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area, grants from the fund will primarily support organizations in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area while some grants may be given to organizations across the US and internationally.
You can read more details about our family’s plans for the fund here.
The Edwin M. Lee fund will support nonprofit organizations and social causes that were important to the mayor and remain important to his family. Mayor Ed Lee’s wife and two daughters have established a donor advised fund at The San Francisco Foundation in memory of Mayor Lee.
In addition to the Community Fund, we want to share another fundraising initiative. A volunteer committee made of friends and former staffers are leading the effort to raise funds for a sculpture of Mayor Edwin M. Lee. It will be the first City-owned sculpture honoring a Chinese American individual and will be placed at San Francisco City Hall. This effort is separate from the community fund as the fund is managed by our family and supports nonprofit causes Ed believed in, while the sculpture effort is managed by friends and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Please note that instructions are different for contributing to each one!
You can find the link to donate at Mayor Edwin M. Lee Sculpture, ArtCare – Friends of the San Francisco Arts Commission
If you would like to pay by check:
- Make check payable to “Intersection for the Arts” (ArtCare’s fiscal sponsor)
- Write “ArtCare Lee Sculpture” in the memo line
- Mail check to: ArtCare c/o Intersection for the Arts, 1448 Market St. San Francisco, CA 94102
Donations to ArtCare are tax-deductible through the fiscal sponsorship of Intersection for the Arts (Federal Tax ID #94-1593216).