From left to right: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Harlan Kelly Jr., South East Facility Commission President Willie B. Kennedy, San Francisco City Administrator Naomi Kelly, Community Advocate Irene Williams Doss, Businesswoman Etta Jones. Photo by: Lance Burton.
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) General Manager Harlan Kelly, Jr. and San Francisco City Administrator Naomi Kelly were honored recently by community leaders at the South East Community College.
About 100 community members came together Nov. 28 to celebrate history, change and a brighter future for the Bay View District of San Francisco, hosted by the South East Facility Community Commission, led by President Willie B. Kennedy and Executive Director Dr. Toye Moses and Bayview Rotary Club President Ron Walton.
“We are proud of the future possibilities and building momentum in the community with the Kellys,” said Kennedy.
“This will usher in a new movement in the community with longtime advocates,” said Moses.
“I will commit $15 million dollars to remodel the infrastructure of the South East Community College structure,” said Harlan Kelly, also pledging billions of dollars to the community to rejuvenate business, commerce, and transportation while expanding economic opportunities.
“I want the SFPUC to be diverse, more diverse than it’s ever been, and I am committed to employing members of the community because this is my community,” he said.
According to Irene Williams Doss, the Kellys will strengthen the community economically.
“The Kellys have the power to really promote change within – we can ensure that there will be long term employment and economic development for residents of the city and county of San Francisco,” she said.
“We will continue to work closely with the Kellys,” said Southeast Community Facility Commission Vice President Bobbrie Brown. “Their knowledge and experience will make a big difference in our community. “
Kelly became the first African American woman to serve as city administrator in San Francisco. Appointed by Mayor Ed Lee, who previously held the position, she served as deputy city administrator, city purchaser and executive director of the city’s Taxicab Commission.
For nearly a decade, her husband Harlan Kelly has worked for the SFPUC overseeing the $4.6 billion infrastructure for the seismic upgrade of the Hetch Hetchy Water System as assistant General Manager. He will also lead the development of a multi-billion dollar sewer system overhaul.
Harlan Kelly said his two main focus areas would ensure diversity within the SFPUC internally and contracts externally, allowing minorities, women and small business to have access and opportunity.
Charlie Walker of Charlie Walker Construction Company was glad the Kellys acknowledged how Willie Brown helped them throughout their careers and feels they will create opportunities.
“They are headed in the right direction, and I appreciate that they are great models in the community. They are approachable. The Kellys will continue to open doors long fought for – contract opportunities will make a huge impact on employment levels of African Americans in the area,” said Walker.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us, but working together, we can get the job done,” said Naomi Kelly.