WHAT WOULD CURIOSITY THINK?

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Supervisor could join the Mars Rover if San Francisco’s Richmond voters take up the “Return Mar to Mars” suggestion from a three and one-half minute satire (tinyurl.com/8dtguen) on Eric Mar’s stances. The SF Association of Realtors, which is led by President Jeff Woo and Executive Director Jim Fabris, is poking fun at the first term supervisor’s stances on conducting meetings in a hot tub, regulating fast food toys (Happy Meals), denouncing a Central American coup (Honduras) and calling for new Grammy categories… Mar of District 1 hasn’t taken it lightly, using the SFAR attacks to drum up dollars. Last month, Mar sent a campaign letter thru Richmond resident and civil rights pioneer Henry Der saying the “Richmond District is not for sale” and organized a fundraiser drawing more than 200 people at Chinatown’s Four Seas…Meanwhile, Mar’s countering the salvoes by recasting himself as more balanced (politically, that is), less ideological legislator. Last week, Mar issued e-missives saying “let’s be clear: this is a pro-business, incentive-based program…” regarding his proposed Healthy Food Retailer Incentives Program…

Civil rights pioneer and Chinatown City College campus dinner emcee Henry Der tries to rein in Ling-Chi Wang’s remarks.

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: No apples received here. The power of the United Educators of San Francisco endorsement – packing a West Portal storefront with nearly 100 teacher boots-on-the-ground for supervisor candidate FX Crowley in District 7 supervisor race on Sept 23…The group – led by union leader Dennis Kelly and political director Ken Tray – have been dropping literature every weekend featuring their anti-incumbent school board slate of Beverly PopekMatt HaneySam Rodriguez and Shamann Walton. The four are expected to make “unity” appearances around the city during the month… Educators will rally again on Oct. 6 in the Richmond with three nights weekly devoted to phone banking, which is critical given that vote-by-mail ballots are coming soon…

BAD YEE, GOOD YEE: UESF has reinstated corporal punishment for politicians, that is. Educators and State Senator Leland Yee are supporting long-time stagehands leader FX Crowley. However, UESF president Dennis Kelly and his educators haven’t forgotten about District 7 candidate and School Board President Norman Yee. “He sat on the Board of Education when they decided to violate senior and layoff [policies]…That is not acceptable in San Francisco. That is not the kind of attitude we want going to the Board of Supervisors” said Kelly as rancor and file booed Norman’s name…Meanwhile, Leland said Crowley’s his only choice. No “all of the above” endorsements under ranked choice voting….

YOU’RE ON THE CLOCK: Emcee Henry Der repeatedly telling last month’s SF City College Chinatown celebration audience that semi-retired Asian American Studies Professor Ling-Chi Wang has “two minutes” to which he proceeded to roll up political credits in a seven minute spiel. “When you see me up here, start the kitchen,” joshed Wang at Far East Café

Civil rights leader Ling-Chi Wang needed some prodding to keep his Chinatown City College campus remarks brief.

COME AND GET IT….: Two Toisanese phrases never to be linked together at a political dinner – “Ho Chang Hay” – referring to someone “really long winded” and “Chew Fong Hay Choy” – the Cantonese dinner bell phrase for “The kitchen can serve the food”.…

CHINATOWN CAMPUS HEROES: The spectacled Wang, who team tagged with his wife Linda to make the campus reality, rolled up political credits for the 40-year crusade to build a new SF City College Chinatown campus for 6,500 students. Among notables - Phil Day did so much “more than any chancellor did so much to make this happen and make it reality today” in maneuvering politics and moola, as in $140 million…Del Anderson got the study and blueprints rolling on the campus and recently retired Don Griffin, whose tenure got the bricks and mortar going at Kearny and Washington….Wang also lauded as “first and foremost” College Board member Natalie Berg who “never forget for a moment about this project” as well Rodel Rodis and Lawrence Wong….Seen with Natalie at the Chinatown campus dinner shindig, husband Peter Finnegan, recently out of the hospital. Finnegan’s losing bid for SF Supervisor is forever immortalized on an old green and yellow MUNI PCC torpedo streetcar ad in the 1971 flick Dirty Harry, starring SF’s own cranky empty seat - Clint Eastwood

TOP OF FOOD CHAIN: Mayor Ed LeeASIAN Inc.’s 41st annual gala keynoter last Friday, seized the opportunity to support Props B (Neighborhood Parks Bond), C (Affordable Housing Trust Fund) and E (Gross Receipts Tax) – measures he believed run parallel with the business and affordable housing development non-profit led by President Michael Chan and Board Chair Frank Fung…Seeking to sweep away City Hall’s anti-business rap, Mayor Lee declared,  “We can get a lot more done if we talk about the businesses of the city and job creation, and we have done that with all these ballot measures.” The Nov. 6 ballot measures will incite innovative spirit, inspire investor confidence, and inoculate the city from bankruptcies facing Vallejo and Stockton, he noted….ASIAN Inc. Board member Jonathan Leong, founder of non-profit Asian American Donor Program, gave thumbs up for mayoral championing of business at “the top of the food chain” in the community…

Mayor Ed Lee uses ASIAN Inc. dinner keynote to push for Nov. 6 ballot
measures. (Photo by Germaine Lau)

POLITICAL BATTLEFIELD: The City College Chinatown campus lies on arguably the most contested land parcel in San Francisco. Representing two costly victories for the APA community for education and housing – the I-Hotel vacated in 1977, demolished in 1981 and then resurrected in 2005. Chinatown survived but at the expense of manongs now memorialized by hotel’s ground floorManilatown Heritage Foundation….Of course, the other victory is the City College campus, completed this year. Chinese and Filipino American communities beat back NIMBY politics of Financial District’s Hilton Hotel and Telegraph Hill neighborhood preservationists…

CLOSING LOOP: Vital lesson for grassroots groups by Chinese American Voter Education Committee - filling out voter registration AND permanent vote-by-mail applications. If voter registered but didn’t cast a ballot, groups had wasted major voluntary efforts to get the community to vote…The Sept. 30 Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs association (APAPA) forum at Cal State Sacramento with four key congressional races (See “Potstickers” on 9/20/12) took the next step, having California Secretary of State Debra Bowen orientate nearly 1,000 attendees last Sunday on how to use the state’s online registration system…

UNNAMED MAYOR: Odd that District 7 supervisor candidate Norman Yee sends out a mailer with a cover shot of himself shaking hands with unidentified Filipino American sporting a Panama hat. Looks like a slip since the unidentified fella is the well-known Art Belenson, the “Mayor of West Portal” who ran for supervisor in 2004…

State Senator Leland Yee endorses FX Crowley for District 7 Supervisor over School Board President Norman Yee. Photo courtesy of Crowley campaign.

I’M REAL:  Mike Garcia touting he’s only major District 7 candidate with “real entrepreneur” credentials compared to his rivals. Note Garcia’s emphasis on “real” while everyone else is stretching their credentials…Among his big time pro-small business APA supporters: Quincy Yu, owner of SeaYu Enterprises and a major JROTC backer (Prop V) in 2008, District 4 (Sunset) Supervisor Carmen Chuand Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (second ranking), SF Democratic Party Chair Mary Jung (second ranking) and Chinese American Democratic Club…Ma, an accountant, is close to Garcia campaign treasurer/architect Frank Fung given their leadership of Council of Asian American Business Association trade associations…

VOW OF POVERTY: The spouses of Crowley and Yee can commiserate. “My wife [Nancy Hayden] didn’t cherish the fact that I was stepping back from a job that paid more,” said FX…Meanwhile,Maxine Yee supported Leland’s early political career, running a family video store likely renting popular flicks Right Stuff and Tucker: The Man and His Dream, both of which FX once worked on…

WYNN-WIN SITUATION: Veteran school board candidate Jill Wynns – nonchalantly brushing off UESF tirades against her last month. Her Chinese character motif jacket brought her luck at joint meet of Asian Pacific and Westside Chinese American Democratic Clubs who endorsed the city’s second longest elected official…

Anti-incumbent UESF leader Dennis Kelly backs candidates Beverly Ho-A-Yun Popek for school board and Hanna Leung for college board.

SERIAL EATERS WANT: Diverse group of political activist or candidate contestants to compete in 2nd annual “Potsticker” eating contest on eve of Tuesday, Oct. 23. Proceeds benefit AsianWeekFoundation Awards given for timed gorging (how many eaten in 3 minutes) and new category – for how stylishly you can eat those potstickers… CONTACT: AsianWeek.com community editor Angela Pang at apang@asianweek.com or 415-373-4002….

 

MISS ME?: Follow me on Twitter at @SFPotstickers and email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.net.

 

-Germaine Lau contributed to this column. 

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.