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While San Francisco voters lean tenant (37% tenant, 31% homeowner and 32% unknown according to Political Data, Inc.), Asian Pacific American voters (APA) distinctively lean towards homeownership (47% homeowner, 26% tenant and 27% unknown) – one major reason two liberals swung to the center as SF Mayor in the case of former Asian Law Caucus managing attorney Ed Lee and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. The same constituency also pushed APA progressives to the center like Supervisors Mabel Teng and David Chiu who sought to expand their appeal to higher office – Teng’s losing bid for Board of Supervisor President in 1998 and Chiu’s bid for Mayor in 2011…     

MOM & POPS: Although led predominantly by non-APAs, last May’s Small Property Owners of SF drew more than 100 attendees, with Chinese Americans comprising three-quarters of attendees for the non-profit and advocacy group dedicated to supporting “mom and pop” landlords owning two to four units…Many of the modestly dressed, middle aged or senior Cantonese-speaking and immigrant audience at the St. Mary’s Conference Center forum depended on board member’s Josephine Zhao’s close circuit translation while noshing on dinner of chips, cheese and cold cut sandwiches… Zhao herself a landlord, single parent working in the tech sector owns and shares units with family while having one bad experience with tenants. Hence her email nom de guerre of “bitter”…Peter Reitz, directing the dual SPOSF and SPOSF Institute regularly attends meetings of Chinese American Democratic Club, which sympathizes with homeownership and mom and pop landlords like Zhao. CADC’s been less political gadfly under President of former school board member Eddie Chin and VP Hanna Leung, the former College Board candidate and current external VP for the Chinese Real Estate Association of America

Hanna Leung and Board of Supervisor President David Chiu

Hanna Leung and Board of Supervisor President David Chiu

ELEPHANT COMEBACK: Newly anointed Vice Chair of California Republican Party and current SF Republican Party Chair Harmeet Dhillion gave her keynote pitch to SPOSF about how her party respects property rights. Over the last two decades, local GOP had identified SF APA community as a constituency to recruit with its high percentage of non-aligned voters (46% no political party as opposed 43% Democrat, 9% GOP out of 107,997 APA voters, according to PDI) and lead the party back into SF relevancy…SF is YODA City (Your Only Democratic Alternative) given registration of 56% Democrat, 9% Republican and 31% NPP out of 494,000 voters…. However, over the last two decades, the GOP has gone from teens to single digit percent registration despite efforts, for example,  led by former SF Republican County Central Committee members Chris Miller and Rodney Leong to galvanize Chinese American parents over fighting for neighborhood schools in a 2011 ballot measure, which lost by a mere 115 votes. CADC once had owned this issue after former Presidents Roland Quan,Henry LouieAnthony Chow and Louis Hop Lee with activists Amy Chang and Lee Cheng had eventually won a lawsuit ending an anti-Chinese bias in student assignments by the SF Unified School District thru the Asian American Legal Foundation in 1994…

DEMOCRATIC OPPORTUNITY: While Dhillon and SF GOP would like to increase their ranks in the APA community, SF Democratic Party is in line to add APAs to their ranks, especially thru its voter registration arm in the SF Democratic County Central Committee. Its chair Mary Jung is the new Director of Government and Community Relations for the SF Association of Realtors. Jung, a single mom and homeowner herself, can make the same property rights pitch like Dhillon to a group like SPOSF, except that Jung has the SFAR with her along with two former SFAR and CREAA Presidents – attorney Jeff Woo and John Lee, a realtor and real estate columnist for Paul Kozak’s Richmond Review and Sunset Beacon monthlies. Woo and Lee were major driving forces in hiring not only Jung but SFAR’s new CEO Walt Baczkowski, successor to retired Jim Fabris. Also to note, the American Association of Political Consultants in April awarded SFAR 34 industry Pollie Awards for issue and candidate campaigns. In six years, SFAR has garnered 126 Pollie Awards. Certainly big combat boots for Jung and Baczkowski to fill…

Mary Jung

SF Democratic County Central Committee Chair Mary Jung is currently seeking donations for silent auction items for the 6th Annual Hep B Free Gala.

AUTOGRAPHS, NOT GRAFFITI: SF Department of Public Works Director and graffiti zapper Mohammed Nuru being a gentleman and locking arms last month with political gunslinger Rose Pak through the Central Subway excavation site under 4th and Brannan Streets to an autograph ceremony christening the “Mom Chung” tunnel boring machine with Mayor Lee, Board of Supervisor President David Chiu, Chinatown Community Development Center emeritus director Gordon Chin and current director Norman Fong…Rose’s left was slung while her right autographed MUNI’s subway mole…Grand occasions can’t stop Pak, walking with a cane in 2011 while at Eric Chung’s One Ferry Plaza welcome dinner by SF Mayor Lee for then Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng

TIC-KED OFF IN 2014?: During intense debate over District 2 (Marina/Pacific Heights) Supervisor Mark Farrell’s original condo conversion/TIC legislation, talk was pro-homeownership interests would side with District 10 (Bayview/Hunter’s Point, Visitacion Valley) Supervisor Malia Cohen for re-election in 2014 if she backed his proposal. She didn’t as same interests are considering retired teacher Marlene Tran as 2014 alternative against Cohen. Tran backed Farrell’s legislation this year and finished a strong third to Cohen for the 2010 supervisor’s race. Tran drew heavy APA support from former Macau police officer and District 10 Chinese-fluent candidate Teresa Duque, who runs non-profit SF Community Empowerment Center. In 2010, 739 out of 966 Duque votes ranked Tran as their next supervisor choice followed by Cohen with 64. But Cohen ultimately beat second place art director Tony Kelly by 442 votes….Tran’s voters ranked Kelly (303) over Cohen (201), which means Cohen needs to bolster her APA support, who make up nearly one-quarter of the district’s 40,500 voters. She’s added third aide Yoyo Chan, formerly of Barbary Coast Consulting shop run by Alex Clemens

WHAT’S UP DOC?: SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s Central Subway mechanical mole honors Chinatown’s “Mom Chung” or Dr. Margaret Chung as pioneering first Chinese American woman physician in the US and “adopting” more than a thousand “sons” or “faired-hair bastard” US troops during World War Two. Chung inspired one veteran – later a congressman – to submit legislation to form female branch of the Navy or the “WAVES”…Her part in APA history obscured that she’s part of Chicago Legacy Project’s 25-foot “Rainbow Pylons” on North Halsted Street commemorating in 2012 the first 18 historic LGBT figures, including assassinated SF Supervisor Harvey Milk…Chung’s “suspected lesbianism” according to her Levi Strauss sponsored bronze plaque overshadowed her accomplishments. “She routinely flouted convention by adopting both hyper-masculine and Hollywood glamour personas, while also managing to guard her privacy in spite of her intimate relationships with lesbian poetess Elsa Gidlow and entertainer Sophie Tucker.” On Chung’s death in 1959, her pallbearers included famed World War Two Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, SF Mayor George Christopher and Conductor Andrew Kostelanetz

BAD BLOG, NO BISCUIT: The Castro Biscuit has an “all APA women look alike” affliction or can’t separate two very close friends…The blog described SF Democratic Party Grand Poobah Mary Jung as the new SFAR government rep and outgoing PG&E employee but mistakenly noted her as the “one time spokesperson for former Mayor now Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom”…That was actually another PG&E alum in Darlene Chiu-Bryant, director of ChinaSF for Mayor Ed Lee. Rest assured, Self-Help for the Elderly COO Andy Bryant can identify his spouse from the other…or can he?…HORSE WHISPERER: horsey entertainment columnist and California Board of Equalization candidate Fiona Ma nabbing bargain $100 chalk sketch featuring John-John’s priceless salute of dad JFK from Democratic Women’s Forum silent auction and luncheon….

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