HO-HUM AND CHIU-CHU AFFAIR THIS NOVEMBER

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Posticker Sig revisedThis November’s municipal election expects to be a low turnout affair. Since 1981, six strictly municipal elections have drawn 30% or fewer voters with 1993 drawing the most with 37% of voters…They’ve been ho-hum affairs, except when special state elections jacked up turnout locally in 1989 to 44% and 2005 to 53%.  This fall’s election should range in the twenty or thirty percent range with no one contesting City Attorney Dennis Herrera, mayoral-appointed Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu and Treasurer Jose Cisneros and District 4 (Sunset) mayoral-appointed Supervisor Katy Tang facing token opposition….With turnout looking like freezing temperatures and no sexy ballot issues or candidate races, the candidates have a shot at surging turnout enough to affect close outcomes in four ballot measures – health care insurance retiree trust fund (Prop A), 8 Washington Street condo development (Prop B and C) and a non-binding statement on lowering prescription drug costs (Prop D)…Given the Chu-Tang working relationship (Chu hired Tang as her supervisor aide), the two have a shot at boosting their home turf District 4 turnout while Chu is looking to stimulate and turnout her potential citywide base of 108,000 Asian Pacific American out of over 494,000 voters…

Assessor Recorder Carmen Chu

Assessor Recorder Carmen Chu

 

CROWNING WINNERS: Chu and Tang could end up “queenmakers” in affecting the course of hotly contested 8 Washington condos (Props B and C). Given APA voters they garner for themselves are more likely to be pro-development, that helps Simon Snellgrove’s Pacific Waterfront Properties and Timothy Foo’s Golden Gateway (owners of the parcel for development) efforts (Yes on Prop B) to get the voter green light citywide to build the luxury condos…However, Board of Supervisor President David Chiu, whose district includes the development site, has led the fight against the 136 foot project for 134 condos, most notably turning the influential SF Democratic Party against the waterfront project when the SF Democratic County Central Committee voted to oppose the developer’s initiative, Prop B and for a citizens initiative (Prop C) to lower height limits on the project. Chiu stands to make a pitch to citywide APA voters against what will likely be very exclusive and city’s most expensive condos…. Likewise, the two Latino politicians on the ballot – City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Treasurer Jose Cisneros could be magnet for the smaller 47,000 Latino vote. And Herrera, given his court defense of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s executive order enacting same sex marriages, and Cisneros as highest LGBT municipal citywide official could spur LGBT and liberal turnout that’s likely to oppose the condos…

 

GREEN CHIU: The anti-condo campaign would burnish Chiu’s environmental record in a run up to a 2014 17th District State Assembly seat run against District 9 (Mission) Supervisor David Campos who declared earlier in August. For bicyclist Chiu, it’s the opportunity to get backing from SF’s big green groups who are major progressive endorsers – Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, SF Tomorrow, SF Bicycle Coalition

 

BACK TO THE FUTURE: Déjà vu all over again for former Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, recollecting her youth from 2002-06 as a San Francisco supervisor and astounded 8 Washington Street’s still kicking nearly ten years later, or as they say in SF – what goes around, comes round and round…And that license plate “3 DOG MA” (See 7/25/13 “Potstickers” at tinyurl.com/luf4t32) actually belongs to Fiona’s Golden Gate Heights neighbors…

Hon. Mike Honda is screened for hepatitis B at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration in 2006.

Hon. Mike Honda is screened for hepatitis B at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration in 2006.

 

BEHIND BARBED WIRE: Sounds like karma defined when economist and former White House Department of Commerce official takes on the second of World War Two internees for Congress. For 2014, Ro Khanna’s taking on last week’s Spanish-karaoke-Tenderloin crooning Mike Honda for his congressional seat. Honda, between ages 1 and 5, was interned in Colorado…In 2004, Holocaust survivor and long-time Rep. Tom Lantos trounced Khanna in his only run for office…Honda is among fading World War Two generation of 110,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated under the infamous Executive Order 9066. Others in the Congress – current Rep. Doris Matsui who succeeded her late husband Bob, also incarcerated. And former Commerce and Transportation Secretary and Rep. Norman Mineta

 

WILL KTVU LOVE A PARADE?: After embarrassingly broadcasting racist faux “Chinese” names debacle of  Korean Asiana pilots and subsequently leading to three high level firings, KTVU-2 could have more penance. They broadcast live and rebroadcast one of the largest parades in the nation – the annual San Francisco Lunar New Year parade. Organizers – through the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and their wily consultant and former news reporter Rose Pak – might want to encourage the station to give some big community red envelopes and mea culpas to Chinatown’s non-profit community and family associations….The San Francisco 49ers in 2005 were kowtowing to the LGBT and APA community for a training video farce playing on gay and Asian stereotypes (e.g. buckteeth, thick spectacles and Chinese sing-song talk). In the aftermath, former US Civil Rights Commissioner Yvonne Lee and Rev. Norman Fong – now the director of Chinatown Community Development Corporation – ended up serving on a 49ers community advisory committee, a year before the 49ers decided to move from SF to Santa Clara…

asiana_pilots_(2)

 

MISS ME?: Email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.net and  follow him at Twitter @SFPotstickers…

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.