Clear Sailing For CCDC

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We’ve had the first test vote for any fallout from the mayor’s race. Fast tracked, Planning Commissioner Cindy Wu’s nomination last week went thru the SF Board of Supervisors un-debated and uncontroversial 10-0 vote (with one absence). That sets the stage for anyone out of the Chinatown Community Development Center talent pool, which produced Wu, Supervisors David Chiu (former board chair) and Jane Kim (organizer), former public housing commissioner Norman Fong (current director) and former Park and Recreation Commissioner Gordon Chin (retired director). Chin himself, a ringleader in the “Run Ed Run” campaign successfully drafting the candidacy of Mayor Ed Lee could be the ultimate test for appointment, having seen “Run Ed Run” co-ringleader Christina Olague win the plum appointment of District 5 Supervisor…WU UNCHALLENGED: During the Wu ratification concerns about CCDC apparently were put to rest, especially when Wu reassured supervisors on potential CCDC conflicts of interests in housing and projects hotly debated during last year’s mayor’s race. Wu divulged she consulted the office of City Attorney Dennis Herrera. The same Herrera was the 2011 mayoral candidate and born-again critic denouncing the Central Subway, which the White House recommended $150 million more in funding this week. Herrera’s office advised Wu to recuse herself from a vote if a Planning Commission project has a “financial impact” on CCDC. Supervisor Kim herself asked Wu to clarify “grey areas” of potential conflicts like CCDC owning land affected by a Commission vote on the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan. Wu said Herrera’s office would “not necessarily see a conflict”…

CONSOLATION PRIZE: Captain Paul Miyamoto got only the consolation prize – Assistant Sheriff – for being the runner up in last year’s SF Sheriff’s race. The ultimate prize of Undersheriff could have placed him in succession discussions if Sheriff Ross Mikarimi is undone by domestic violence charges. However Mirkarimi’s successor could ultimately depend on whom Mayor Lee chooses like the 2007 scenario when Mayor Gavin Newsom forced out Ed Jew as supervisor and replaced him with his Deputy Budget Director Carmen Chu. That Miyamoto is Assistant is also a good thing for 3rd place finisher and former Undersheriff Chris Cunnie. The Mayor could leapfrog Miyamoto and new Undersheriff Ellen Brin and appoint Cunnie as Sheriff. If the Mayor needs to score gender points, he could appoint Brin as a historic first female Sheriff, much like Newsom’s unprecedented selections of Heather Fong as police chief and Joanne Hayes-White as fire chief in 2004…
WOMEN RING ‘ROUND ROSS: Meanwhile, the Sheriff is surrounding himself with women in key policy positions, which potentially deflects the sting of domestic violence charges. For one, the new Undersheriff is Brin, who could fill in for Mirkarimi if he takes temporary leave to defend himself in criminal charges and child custody issues. Adding to his inside circle, Freya Horne is his chief legal counsel. For his upcoming trial, his personal criminal defense attorney is Lidia Stiglich, defense attorney for the Police Officers Association. Now what are the odds his vacant chief of staff selection will be a woman?

UPSETTING THE HELLMANS: District 1 (Richmond) Supervisor Eric Mar is upsetting the family of recently departed financier Warren Hellman. His legacy “Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival” and other Golden Gate Park events were the target of Mar’s Land Use hearings this week about traffic, trash and transit impact on park neighbors….Another Hellman legacy was his more than 11-year support of Chinese American Voters Education Committee and executive director David Lee, a resident of Mar’s district. Lee’s CAVEC devoted a major Feb. 3 tribute to Hellman with his sister Nancy Bechtle, President Lisa Stevens of Wells Fargo (founded by Hellman family), Hellman mentee Melissa Ma of Asia Alternatives Management and Mayor Lee with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as keynote… In CAVEC ads, Lee has had his photo splashed in Paul Kozak’s Richmond Review and Sunset Beacon February monthlies. But Lee insists he’s not running against Mar …
PLANNING FOR SUPE: Olague’s appointment to District 5 supervisor maybe a wash considering Mayor Lee replaced progressive (Mirkarimi) with a progressive in the most left of San Francisco supervisor districts. But with Olague off Planning Commission is a potential win for the mayor. While CCDC’s Cindy Wu who has a thin planning track record outside of Chinatown, the mayor removes Olague, a potential obstacle to megaprojects like the five new buildings for CPMC (Cathedral Hill, St. Luke’s and Davies Hospitals) or the Forest City Development of 1.3 million square feet and 700 units at the half empty, four acre San Francisco Chronicle complex. Olague was aMission Anti-Displacement Coalition protester opposing pre-2000 dot-com, pro-development excesses leading to the anti-Willie Brown 2000 sweep of his SF Board of Supervisor appointees and allies like Mabel Teng and Mike Yaki. That sweep led to Olague’s Planning Commission appointment by the same anti-Brown board.

ONE KYLE WILLIAMS FUMBLE AWAY…: If San Francisco has a shot at a 49er stadium, Santa Clara will have to fumble it as its City Council this week voted on resolutions to kick off the $878.6 million construction contract. The Hail Mary is a pending court decision allowing one last voter gasp to decide on the project’s financial risks. If the court allows a referendum, the 49ers have a new public face to sell the stadium – President/Co-owner Gideon Yu, a trained engineer who could appeal to high-tech Santa Clara, assuage fiscally concerned voters as well as APAs making up one-seventh of Santa Clara voter households. Yu – replacing Jed York as President – served as CFO to YouTube and Facebook. With APAs Yu and COO Paraag Marthe in the front office, they make up two of four top executives for the Niners who could be equally as helpful in selling a 49er stadium in San Francisco if there’s another shot. The Yorks, especially Jed York, has gotten the team going in the right direction especially after a 2005 racially-tinged training video that brought out father John York to do mea culpas in San Francisco…

MAX OR AX WHICH TAX?:
If not an increase in transfer tax which the SF Association of Realtors and Chinese Real Estate Association of America are opposed to, what else could be on the table? Well known political consultant and downtown interest representative were discussing at one Empress of China reception about alternatives to job-killing payroll tax which Mayor Ed Lee wants to eliminate. Consultant argued gross receipts tax would hurt ad buying political consultants like Johnny Wang and Tom Hsieh. However an improving economy is leaving the current budget with a $129 million surplus and lowering next fiscal year’s $229 million deficit. If the recovery accelerates, will tax hikes be needed? …

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER: With a looming façade and entrance to SF City Hall as backdrop, Director Jon Moscone’s “Ghost Light” at the Berkeley Rep (running thru Feb. 19) admitted last Sunday it wasn’t a biopic of his assassinated father, Mayor George Moscone, but part catharsis of coping with the 1978 assassination since he was a child. “Ghost Light” is part double take – gay son of assassinated father mayor whose own gay rights legacy (repealing California sodomy laws as state senator) is overshadowed by Harvey Milk’s martyrdom…MOSCONE AND ED LEE: Moscone’s personal tribute to his father has contemporary application in the election and legacy of the first elected Asian American mayor in San Francisco. Most post-election pundits superficially got one message – the first APA mayor in SF. However, there lacked depth of analysis of what it means for SF to have the first APA mayor and understanding APA voters that got Ed Lee to City Hall in a very APA city. Point-of-view is important, whether its Jon Moscone’s in “Ghost Light” or often quoted APA political analysts providing insight into the politics of SF’s APA community and history like CAVEC’s David Lee or retired UC Asian American Studies professor and veteran political warhorse Ling-Chi Wang who praised Mayor Moscone’s unprecedented high ranking Chinese American commission and staff appointments like Louis Hop Lee and the late Betty Lim

IN TRIBUTE TO FATHERS: ChinaSF’s Darlene Chiu-Bryant’s father Ho Man Chiu, 72, who passed away recently and former school board member Rod McLeod’sfather Roderick, 87….

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Email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.net.

About the Author

Veteran columnist has appeared in up to 450,000 households weekly in the SF Independent, Examiner (2000-04) and AsianWeek since 1996. As Editor-in-Chief (2003-07), AsianWeek and Samson received wide recognition from the California Legislature, New American Media, League of Women Voters, GLAAD, Organization of Chinese Americans, SPUR and APA civic groups. Thru the SF Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections, SF Elections Task Force and Chinese American Voters Education Committee, Wong helped boost APA influence from 25,000 in the 1980s to over 50,000 voters by the early 1990s.