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Posticker Sig revisedJohn Avalos paid his former paramour and his soon-to-be former legislative aide Rachel Redondiez more than $30,000 from his failed mayoral campaign according to SF Ethics Commission 2011 filings. Likely being Avalos’ highest paid campaign staffer, she received $28,888 in salary or fees and another $2,806 in miscellaneous reimbursements through more than 20 different payments between July 1, 2011 and March 17, 2012.  An actual salary is probably higher since it doesn’t include payroll deductions. According to separate filings, Redondiez and Avalos had reported to the Commission that she provided “campaign management” services, claimed Avalos for Mayor 2011 “promised” $19,500 for her services and that she “received” $16,005 in the period from October 1 to November 15, 2011…

CAMPAIGN NOT INVESTIGATED: The exposure of Avalos campaign payments comes weeks after the District 11 Supervisor (See “Potstickers” on 7/17/14 attinyurl.com/pvkeclf) admitted and apologized for a now ended relationship with legislative aide Redondiez who is on leave seeking employment elsewhere. The SF Ethics Commission at the time said it had not received complaints about any alleged favoritism prohibited under city worker policy. So far, accounts about the Avalos-Redondiez affair only focused around their work relationship in the official capacity of representing Supervisor District 11 constituents and not any of Avalos’ election campaigns.  The Supervisor, estranged from his wife Karen Zapata, did not get into specifics of the alleged extramarital relationship – for example, when it started or ended. However, only Avalos – and no one from his personal, political and office circle – was making official statements, including saying that Redondiez had taken leave from her $95,000 position as of May 28….

Supervisor John Avalos

Supervisor John Avalos


WHEN DID THE LOVE START: The SF Department of Human Resources is using the office (not campaign) affair to revise the city employee manual which permitted the affair as long as no favoritism existed. Conceptually, the DHR re-write would transfer the subordinate to another manager and clarify managing elected officials should report romances to another authority. Meanwhile, DHR is reviewing the nature of Redondiez’s leave, according to sfgate.com….The undated start of the relationship may be significant if the Avalos-Redondiez personal and management relationship extended to the 2011 campaign, where Avalos as the mayoral candidate may have supervised his campaign manager (Redondiez). Avalos and Redondiez, a Filipina American community leader, worked together in the same office as aides to for former District 6 (Little Saigon/Civic Center/SOMA) Supervisor Chris Daly who served from 2000-2010…

CAMPAIGN WELFARE: Avalos – representing the second largest Asian Pacific American district in San Francisco, received more than $461,479 in taxpayer campaign subsidies to “match” $232,665 in individual campaign donations. The combined amount – $691,144 – was used to wage a mayoral campaign he lost to Mayor Ed Lee… There is a hazy issue of public dollars and private donations used by a mayoral candidate to pay a paramour who is also campaign employee/contractor. In 2011, mayoral candidates, except for appointed incumbent Mayor Ed Lee and Public Defender Jeff Adachi, received some form of public financing. Avalos had the second highest ratio of $2 in public financing for every $1 qualified dollar in donations, ranking just behind former District 7 (West of Twin Peaks) Supervisor Tony Hall $2.60 dollars in public financing for every $1 dollar in donations.

I CAN’T GET NO: Satisfaction with way income/wealth is distributed in California, according to most Field Poll adults in California. For all Californians, 38% were satisfied, and 54% unsatisfied. But maybe Asians have a harder time saying no, or are they just more content? The only major racial or ethnic group more satisfied than dissatisfied was APAs (47% satisfied, 37% dissatisfied). The survey released July 2 interviewed 2,013 California adults in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Korean. The other group more satisfied than unsatisfied was Latinos not born in the US – 52% satisfied to 41% unsatisfied. …When it comes to reducing the gap between wealthy and everyone else, Field found 67% of Californians said government should do a lot or some, while 24% should do not much or nothing… Here, APAs voiced the highest no-government sentiment among race/ethnic groups, with only 53% wanting the government to do a lot/some, and 20% wishing the government to do not much/nothing…

project mah jong

OWNING UP: Two communities sharing history and honesty…Start of APA Heritage Month celebration in May and weeks after April’s Passover coincided with a mending moment between SF Jewish and Chinese Americans in KQED-TV’s American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco produced by Jackie Krentzman. “Jews had become insiders in San Francisco. It was a privileged position but with disturbing implications,” said the narrator dwelling on the late 1870s long economic depression and attacks against oligarchs and poorly paid Chinese working for them. “Jews were people who spoke out in favor of social justice. If they had a blind spot, it came to the Chinese,” admitted historian] Fred Rosenbaum. “It is troublesome, disturbing part of Jewish history in the pioneer period in the Bay Area…” And from mending to playing, the Contemporary Jewish Museum feature exhibition this summer is Project Mah Jongg with both Jewish and Chinese style Mah Jongg sets on hand for visitors to play

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.