Yee, who represents the 8th Senate District, held a news conference at the San Francisco Department of Elections to take out papers to form an exploratory committee for the November 2011 mayoral race.
The San Francisco Democrat has served in the state Legislature since 2002, where he has sought to increase government transparency laws and protect social services spending. His staunch opposition to education and welfare cuts has sometimes put him at odds with his caucus, including last month when he refused to vote for the budget package over spending reductions. He later lost his post in Senate leadership. He previously served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
"We need experienced leadership that can bring us together as one community," Yee said in a statement posted on his campaign website. "I want to see the Mayor work with, and not against the Board of Supervisors. The next mayor should partner with the school board, parents and teachers to improve our public schools. It is time we get back to basics, fix Muni, create jobs and continue to lead on important issues like the environment and human rights."
Yee, who was re-elected to a second term in the Senate last week, is planning to run in the November 2011 city election. The post will be vacated when current Mayor Gavin Newsom is sworn in as lieutenant governor in January. The Board of Supervisors can appoint an interim mayor to fill the post.
PHOTO CREDIT: State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, right, discusses the the documents related to a speaking contract for former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, found in the trash bins at California State University, Stanislaus, during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, April 13, 2010. Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press.