ANOTHER FIRST – APA WOMAN FOR SUPE PRESIDENT

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First Mayor, first Board of Supervisor President, first State Senator, first Assembly member, et cetera, et cetera…And now chat is Board of Supervisor President David Chiu’s former roommate and Supervisor Jane Kim is lining up as his successor, potentially the first APA woman Board President. Hopefully not a Chiu vs. Kim battle but more job swap with Chiu chairing a juice committee like Rules or Finance…One APA noted that Kim still talks and acts progressive but she’s a closet liberal-moderate. In one case, she pushed for last week’s supervisor committee amendment to support discounts and comprehensive outreach for low income and immigrant households in a SF Public Utilities Commission contract with Shell Energy. The contract supposedly generates electricity that’s 100% renewable but could raise residential rates by 23%…Then the SF Chamber of Commerce as of July rated her fourth at 90% after board moderates Mark FarrellCarmen Chu and Sean Elsbernd scored 100% for supporting key issues generating jobs and government efficiency. Yes, Kim voted for major development projects such as supporting pro-hoops Golden State Warriors Arena development along the port and luxury condos at 8 Washington Street… Kim could line up as a powerful legislator in gaining political capital from these projects and then trading them in for benefits to her District 6 (Little Saigon/Tenderloin) or her old Chinatown Community Development Center stomping grounds of District 3 (Chinatown) and create more affordable housing for seniors and working families…

Little Saigon Supervisor Jane Kim, next Board President?

FIGHTER FOR OUR SCHOOLS: Suggested new campaign slogan, although no one recommends the inspiration for it. Skyline College professor Beverly Ho-A-Yun Popek has some fight after being assaulted and strong-armed by an imposing 6-ft-4 inch hoodlum wrestling away her IPhone near the SPCA on 16th Street. The five-foot-one Popek got in a few licks, long enough for two witnesses to see her and SFPD tracked her IPhone GPS and arrested the perp…Although wearing SF Giants orange and black colors jersey last Sunday at joint Westside Chinese and Asian Pacific Democratic Clubsforum, she joshed her new colors were “black and blue” after spending 24 hours under observation for “head trauma and swelling and very bad black eye.” She’s okay, working with SFPD Police Chief Greg Suhr and DA George Gascon’s offices on putting the bad guy away in hopes of dissuading future offenders from picking on her, an “average Asian kid on the street” who’s easily typecast as easy prey. Gascon, an up-and-comer, could use this potentially high profile case to show APAs can fight back by working with police and prosecutors as did the “Sunset 5” prosecution by then DA and current California Attorney General Kamala Harris for highly publicized Sunset Five (see below)…Meanwhile, Popek picked up WCDC’s endorsement for school board and has been recommended to the APDC membership…

Bruised and fighting back, School Board candidate Beverly Popek

ALL NATIONAL EYES ON APAPA: Just days before vote-by-mail ballots go out, Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs association founder CC Yin and advisor Maeley Tom have scheduled key Sept. 30 afternoon debates at CSU Sacramento for four nationally watched congressional seats. Hundreds usually attending this APAPA forum could be registered for these key races….DISTRICT 7: APAPA’s one must see debate battle is the too close to call District 7 race between incumbent Dan Lungren and APA challenger, Dr. Ami Bera. In that race, one-sixth of residents are APA in a district that includes Elk Grove, Folsom and Rancho Cordova…DISTRICT 9: And another nail biter where nearly one-fifth of residents are APA is District 9 race between incumbent Jerry McNerney and Republican former California Board of Education member and Sikh American Ricky Gill representing region around Stockton, ground zero of the mortgage implosion, as well as parts of Sacramento, Contra Costa and San Joaquin Counties…DISTRICT 10: One of seven residents being APA could decide the race between astronaut and Democrat Jose Hernandez and incumbent Rep.Jeff Denham, a Republican running for the seat including Modesto…DISTRICT 3: Getting eyeballs is District 3 (Fairfield, Davis and Yuba City) race between incumbent Democratic Congressman John Garamendi facing off GOP county supervisor Kim Vann. Although Garamendi has been stretching his lead in polls, APA voters who make up one of eight residents could clinch it for Garamendi or breathe some life into Vann…

MEANS CLOUT FOR SF: For those APA Democrats and Republican activists who might skip out on helping their respective tickets in Nevada (See “Potstickers” 9/13/12), they might want to parachute into these districts and help their respective candidates. Democratic wins in these four key seats lays the groundwork for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco to reclaim her tiara as House Speaker this November 2012 or in 2014. That means more clout for APAs in San Francisco and nationally…

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (right) with SF Democratic Party Chair Mary Jung (left) and SF College Board member Natalie Berg (center) (Photo courtesy of AsianWeek Foundation)

IN THEIR OWN HANDS: What could buoy GOP White House nominee Mitt Romney’s underdog campaign in California against President Obama are citizen initiatives. Menlo Park fire district commissioner Virginia Chang Kiraly noted that recent state propositions on redistricting and pension reforms indicate that “Voters today are taking matters in their own hands.” November’s State Proposition 32 banning union and government contractor contributions is the latest which Bay Area Republicans are backing. “When people feel like they have no hope left, you see it in California, especially. You see pension reform initiatives in San Jose, San Diego and even in my little city of Menlo Park, you’ll see Prop 32”….

Michael Garcia, former SF Ethics Commission President and District 7 supervisor candidate.

DEFINED OR BE DEFINED: After Labor Day, School Board President Norman Yee has worked on defining himself in the District 7 supervisor race (See “Potstickers” 09/13/12)… However, in response, former SF Ethics Commission President Mike Garcia has a different tact in the church-going and long-tenured homeowner West of Twin Peaks district by sending e-mailers contrasting himself and Yee…. NASTY ABOUT BEING NAUGHTY: Garcia noted Yee has “used public dollars for personal expenses…[supported] legalized prostitution and public nudity” and a “false mailer” that Yee’s team photo shopped and thus left out lefty 2011 mayoral candidate and District 11 Supervisor John Avalos…It’s an indicator that Garcia has to narrow the gap in an Aug. 23-Sept. 1 SF Police Officers Association poll by Fairbank Mullin Maullin Metz and Associates where Yee had an advantage with 24%, while Garcia had 14% and FX Crowley had 6%. But it’s also a tactic to raise the gregarious Yee’s negatives up and deny him potential second or third place votes in ranked choice balloting…RX FOR FX: However a Garcia-Yee slugfest could make Crowley the nice guy for second and third votes. Don’t discount anyone at this point with former Port Commissioner Crowley revving up his engines by picking up the SFPOA, former police chief/Mayor Frank Jordan and US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s support…

If District 7 supervisor candidates Norman Yee and Michael Garcia slug it out, will FX Crowley (above) benefit?

READY FOR LIFTOFF: For David Chiu and Jane Kim, being Board President puts them on the launch pad for higher office. Chiu, who ran for mayor in 2011, came in first place, as the straight guy who beat a large and prominent LGBT candidate field in the 17th Assembly (eastside SF) SF Democratic Party county committee race. With Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi tarnished for any future run as mayor from the left and possibility that Ed Lee might not run for a second term in 2015, possibilities are endless with Kim or Chiu…

District 7 supervisor candidate and School Board President Norman Yee

CAN YEUNG WIN?: Enhancing Malcolm Yeung’s electability (see 9/6/12 “Potstickers) would be the expected backing of Mayor Lee who trounced a 2011 mayoral field by at least a 4-to-1 margin, including APA State Senator Leland Yee, Assessor-Recorder Ting, Public Defender Jeff Adachi and Board of Supervisor President David Chiu (and depending on the direction of the mayor’s poll numbers)…Yeung also played a major role in the 2003 “Sunset 5” conviction in the hate crimes assault five APAs at 19th Avenue and Taraval. Then again, given his deep non-profit credentials as a formerAsian Law Caucus staff attorney and now Chinatown Community Development Center policy analyst, Yeung risks being labeled as too “progressive” or “liberal” on such D4 issues as bonds (mostly homeowner district is likely to oppose given property taxes used to pay for them) or student assignments where the heavily Chinese American D4 supported student assignment reform by a 2-to-1 margin in 2011’s Proposition H, which barely lost by 153 votes citywide. To prepare for a D4 run, Yeung will have to analyze how progressive School Board President Norman Yee fares in his run for conservative West of Twin Peaks District 7 supervisor (See above and 08/30/12 “Potstickers”)…

SF Republican Party Vice Chair Rodney Leong (left) and Menlo Park fire commissioner Virginia Chang Kiraly

SERIAL EATERS WANTED: Diverse group of political activist or candidate contestants to compete in 2nd annual “Potsticker” eating contest on eve of Tuesday, Oct. 23 at Eric Chung’s One Ferry Plaza. Proceeds benefit AsianWeek FoundationRECORD EATER: 26 gyozas (aka potstickers) in 3 minutes by appointed SF College Board trustee Jeffrey Fang (ringer for figure-conscious trustee Lawrence Wong) out-eating fellow trustee and libation aficionado Steve Ngo (does “Sexual Chocolate” pair with potstickers?), 2011 aspiring jail bar-tendering SF Sheriff candidates Ross Mirkarimi and Paul Miyamoto, 2012 Congressional candidate Otto Lee and BART Board member James Fang (no relation to Jeffrey)…Awards given for timed gorging (how many eaten in 3 minutes) and new category – for style in how potstickers are eaten. To pig out or be a potsticker snob, contact Angela Pang at apang@asianweek.com or 415-373-4002. For pictures of last year’s event check out www.facebook.com/AsianWeekFoundation ….

2012 Congressional candidate and former Sunnyvale Councilman Otto Lee chows down during the 1st Annual Potstickers Eating Contest on Sept. 21, 2011.

MISS ME?: Follow me on Twitter at @SFPotstickers and 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.