DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR TARGETED

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Two of the Mirkarimi Four today (Dec. 6) – Supervisors Jane Kim and John Avalos at the Rules Committee – could block Mayor Ed Lee’s nomination of Marily Mondejar of the Filipina Women’s Network to the Redevelopment Successor Commission. APA talk is at least one supervisor is angling to “take down” Mondejar, a domestic violence survivor who led efforts to oust Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi over his domestic spat with wife Eliana Lopez. Meanwhile another legislator as of Dec. 4 had not grant a courtesy meeting with Mondejar before the Rules hearing recommending appointees to the Board of Supervisors for confirmation…The Mirkarimi Four – Kim, Avalos, David Campos and Christina Olague – voted last October to reinstate Mirkarimi, suspended by Mayor Ed Lee for his misdemeanor domestic violence plea. Olague lost election on Nov. 6 over her pro-Mirkarimi vote…Mondejar and Darshan Singh are the two APAs nominees to the five member panel replacing the powerful SF Redevelopment Commission

 

RECALL NOT ONLY OPTION: A Ross recall faces major costs and logistics of qualifying and winning the campaign, then an insider’s campaign to lobby the mayor to appoint an interim Sheriff who would face the voters…Here’s two other scenarios – let a battered Mirkarimi endure a slow political death of a thousand cuts until the 2015 election where he’d either surely lose re-election or serve out his term and quietly leave politics. Some in the anti-Mirkarimi coalition may want the Sheriff out, but they also may not be willing to give the Mayor a plum appointment…So, 2011 runner ups to Mirkarimi – former Undersheriff Chris Cunnie and current Assistant Sheriff Paul Miyamoto – stay tuned….

 

NOTHING PERSONAL, JUST BUSINESS: Not a plum is Phil Ting’s role as Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair. Disappointing since the new Assemblyman of the heavily APA 19th District (western SF) and Assembly Speaker John Perez are Cal classmates and close buddies. (“I can actually remember who his last girlfriend was,” said Ting about the gay Speaker in the Sacramento Bee, 12/4/12)…Assemblyman Ting’s post is sixth and last in rank after the Speakership and a step down from Ting’s predecessor, Fiona Ma, the former Assembly Speaker pro Tempore ranked immediately after Perez. With the Speaker in his last two year term, Ting – eligible to win five more two-year terms – will have ample opportunity to climb the Assembly ladder, assuming Democrats maintain control…

 

POST-MORTEM OF OLAGUE & SANTOS: After losing two appointees in election – Olague for Supervisor and Rodrigo Santos on the College Board, the mayor will have to carefully vet future appointments, especially now that Phil Ting has vacated Assessor-Recorder to become 19th District Assemblyman (west side San Francisco)…Lee’s lesson from the Olague debacle – appoint a reliable vote on key mayoral initiatives such as the California Pacific Medical Center expansion and seismic retrofit or 2011 mid-Market Street tax exemption for tech firms like Twitter…Second lesson, appoint someone electable, especially in Nov. 2014 for Assessor. Mayor Lee appointed Olague, a supporter with progressive credentials seeking election in the progressive but challenging anti-Lee District 5 (Japantown / Haight Ashbury). D5 voted for mayoral runner up John Avalos in 2011….

 

REACH OUT AND MUG SOMEONE: Former school board candidate Beverly Ho-Yun Popek wasn’t the only one. Nearly half of 2,300 SF robberies in the first eight months of 2012 involved mobile devices, according to District 8 (Upper Market/Castro) Sup. Scott Wiener. Many of them occurred on MUNI and 400 of all cell phone and I-pad snatchings ended in injuries. A 6-foot-4 mugger hospitalized the 5-foot-1 Popek herself on Sept. 13 (See 9/20/12 “Potstickers” at http://tinyurl.com/8lwflme) before snatching her IPhone at her parked car just before a USF candidate’s debate. Because of the phone’s GPS and eyewitnesses, police tracked down and arrested the perp…

 

PHIL FILL: So far, the popular name for Ting’s successor is Carmen Chu. The District 4 Supervisor has been a reliable vote opposing, for example, the Shell Energy/CleanPowerSF deal (which the Mayor had reservations) and supported the mayor’s recommendation to oust Sheriff Mirkarimi. While Chu has not won a citywide race like Assessor-Recorder, she nonetheless has won her District 4 supervisor seat handily …

 

MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE: The risk is replacing Chu in District 4. By appointing Chu, the mayor may diminish his base of support on the board. Prior to the elections, Lee could have counted on Chu, District 2’s (Pacific Heights/Marina) Mark Farrell and District 7’s (West of Twin Peaks) Sean Elsbernd, who’s now termed out. So far, Chinatown Community Development Center Deputy DirectorMalcolm Yeung was the early name popping up as Chu’s replacement. The Inner Sunset resident fits the profile as a reliable vote, considering Yeung’s role in successfully pushing the Mayor’s Housing Trust Fund (Proposition C) last month and five year stint as a tenant and housing attorney at Asian Law Caucus, where Lee was once managing attorney…However, Yeung could easily be pegged as a progressive on affordable housing/tenant issues, for example. He would have to recast himself as a moderate like School Board President Norman Yee did to win conservative District 7 (West of Twin Peaks)…

 

MUST WIN REPLACEMENT: But the big variable is whether Yeung can win potentially two elections – for the remainder of Chu’s two years (depending on when Yeung is appointed) and then another four years in Nov. 2014. It’s likely that Lee would tap an Asian Pacific American, if not a Chinese American like Yeung, to the heavily APA District 4 (Sunset) seat. Yeung is closely identified with the city’s first APA mayor (and still presumably popular among APA voters) as well as the influential CCDC and Chinese Chamber of Commerce’s Rose Pak. But that could present a problem, given the political factions of the APA community…However, the mayor must find a Chu successor who must win election. A loss would be devastating, especially in District 4, the core APA base of the mayor facing re-election in 2015…

 

CHU’S SELECTION: Mayor Gavin Newsom’s deftly appointed Carmen Chu to replace the indicted Ed Jew, whose shifting allegiances shifted him from Leland Yee, switched from Republican to Democratic, and even allied himself to the gadfly Chinese American Democratic Club. Newsom avoided playing factional favorites by selecting a community unknown in Chu and someone not closely aligned with Chinatown powerbrokers like Pak, Benny Yee and Pius Lee or someone with ties to State Senator Leland Yee or even Assembly member Fiona Ma. Likewise, Newsom did the same thing with Mabel Teng’s successor, picking Phil Ting for Assessor-Recorder from the Asian Law Caucus and avoiding community infighting over his appointment…

 

AIDE FOR SUPERVISOR: Another APA insider suggests Katy Tang – legislative aide – to succeed her boss, Supervisor Chu. Tang’s already familiar with Chu’s centrist stances that are closely aligned with the Mayor. Tang wouldn’t be the first aide to run, considering Supervisors John Avalos and Sean Elsbernd once worked respectively for Chris Daly and Tony Hall; however, aide Jaynry Mak lost a bid for the seat of her outgoing boss, Supervisor Fiona Ma in 2006…GENDER POLITICS: Given progressive angst over domestic violence (Mirkarimi) and sexual harassment (District 5 candidateJulian Davis), the mayor could secure the women’s vote in his own 2015 re-election by appointing Tang who would join female Supervisors Malia CohenLondon Breed (District 5 elect), Jane Kim …However, relatively unknown Tang’s lack of campaign experience could be crucial given that she may have to run twice…

 

“SUPER LAWYER” FOR SUPE: Known is SF Human Rights Commission Vice Chair Doug Chan, a former Police Commissioner under Mayor Gavin Newsom. Chan is more known in District 4 than Yeung and Tang after losing a bid to succeed Fiona Ma for Supervisor in 2006…Chan and Mak split votes which eventually helped Ed Jew win under ranked choice. Further, Chan has the capacity to raise the money to run twice. Chan is a Northern California “Super Lawyer” in business law with tenures on major commissions whose votes would cast him as a moderate suited to District 4 and Mayor Lee’s pro-development and small business direction…

 

GOING TRIBAL: Largest funded organization to spur jobs in the American Indian and Alaska Native nations? San Francisco’s ASIAN Inc. run by Michael Chan…The US Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency will fund a Business Center in Fresno under Chan’s non-profit for $1.5 million over five years. MBDA also contracts with ASIAN Inc. to run theSan Jose MBDA Business Center covering the Bay Area…California is home to over 723,000 Native Americans as of 2011 and has the largest number of tribes in the US… Alaska, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oklahoma American Indian/Alaska Native centers will receive more than $1.2 million apiece…

 

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.