I am absolutely honored to be endorsed by Rose Pak Democratic Club. Rose Pak was a tireless, fearless advocate for public transit. She consistently elevated the Asian-Pacific Islander community into leadership roles, and it means a lot to have this endorsement and be a torchbearer for bringing API women especially into transportation.
As an API myself who moved to San Francisco specifically to reconnect with my Hong Kong roots, it is my everyday existence to be part of the API community in all aspects. I think it’s an exciting prospect to be the first API woman on the BART Board, and I’m committed to lifting up others in the API community as others have done for me to build out the pipeline to bring smart, engaged API folks into leadership positions.
Full press release below.
ROSE PAK DEMOCRATIC CLUB: EARLY ENDORSEMENTS FOR NOVEMBER 2018 ELECTION
The Rose Pak Democratic Club (RPDC) endorsed their first candidates for the upcoming election in November. The early endorsement process aims to uplift candidates that share the same values and community commitment as the late Rose Pak.
Rose Pak was a civic leader who dedicated her life to the well-being and empowerment of her community and believed in bringing people and communities together. In honor of its namesake, the Rose Pak Democratic Club works to elevate the voices of Asian Pacific Islander (API) residents in San Francisco. Through a commitment to public service, the organization engages residents to be more informed, involved, and active in the political process and provides a forum to discuss issues which impact the API community.
After consideration of completed questionnaires that were timely submitted, RPDC conducted interviews with select candidates for the positions of Assessor/Recorder, District 4 Supervisor, Board of Education, and BART Board of Directors (District 8). Strong consideration was given to each candidate’s record of service and commitment to the Asian and Pacific Islander community as well as each candidate’s demonstrated values and priorities.
The list of endorsements are as follows:
Assessor-Recorder: Carmen Chu
BART Board of Directors (District 8): Janice Li
Board of Education: Gabriela Lopez*
District 4 Supervisor: Gordon Mar
*The Club will consider endorsing candidates for the remaining two open seats on the Board of Education on August 20th.
Queena Chen, Chair of the RPDC Political Action Committee, explains, “Each of these candidates have shown a true commitment to advancing the Club’s vision for a more equitable and culturally-sensitive San Francisco. We were impressed by their history in working with diverse communities and particularly understanding and supporting the voices of Asian Pacific Islanders that are too often ignored in the political process.”
RPDC will host its regular Endorsement meeting for all remaining races and ballot initiatives on Monday, August 20th.
As Assessor-Recorder, Carmen Chu made great progress in updating and advancing the City’s antiquated property record system. Through her leadership, she was able to close loopholes and work through accountability efforts to collect close to $38 million in additional revenue. Carmen strongly believes in fostering strong communities and neighborhoods, which is why she organized multi-lingual Family Wealth Forums citywide to address concerns about housing stability and income insecurity. Over 800 families were served with pro-bono financial assistance. As a daughter of immigrants, Carmen has consistently represented immigrant communities and in touch with the many pressures that families are faced with given the high cost of living in San Francisco.
Janice Li would be the first ever Asian American woman to serve on the BART Board of Directors. During her tenure as advocacy director with the Bicycle Coalition, Janice made it one of her top priorities to engage with communities of color, especially seniors and limited English proficient groups, to better understand the needs and top concerns. She shows a strong understanding that public transit must work for more than simply able-bodied English speakers and a commitment to making the overall public transportation system work better for our community.
Gabriela Lopez is the only candidate out of a pool of 27 vying for a seat on the Board of Education who is a public school teacher currently in the classroom. She evidenced a strong understanding of the needs of limited English speaking families and students and how to effectively connect this population with school sites and the district. Her authentic commitment to serving on the Board of Education for its own sake and not as a political stepping stone came through to members, many whom have children either in the public school system already or will in the near future.
Gordon Mar is a longtime Sunset resident who has deep roots working with the API community. He began his advocacy working with organizations in Chinatown to fight for better living conditions for working families, seniors, and immigrants. Gordon also has a long history working in coalitions bringing together diverse stakeholders to work on important campaigns to expand access to good jobs, better pay, quality public education, affordable housing, and healthcare. As a father and homeowner, Gordon also shares the concern about quality of life and affordability issues that are pushing out low- and middle-income families. He is especially aware of the need for cultural competence in services and in community engagement. As Supervisor, Gordon is committed to carrying these basic values to his work in ensuring that community voices are not only heard, but also part of decision-making when it comes to neighborhood planning.