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November 2nd 2010

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Today, Chinese American Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Energy Secretary Steven Chu hold White House cabinet positions only steps away in the line of presidential succession. California Supreme Court justice Ming Chin is often mentioned as a future U.S. Supreme Court appointee. California Controller John Chiang is a bright star touted for Governor of California. For many of us, we will see Chinese Americans ascend to positions of higher office perhaps becoming President, Supreme Court Justice and Governor. And today we can elevate Chinese Americans collectively thru our votes, volunteers and donors.





We have greater influence locally.


In San Francisco, at least four very qualified Asian Americans (State Senator Leland Yee, Board of Supervisor President David Chiu, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting and Public Defender Jeff Adachi) have been mentioned for the 2011 race to succeed Mayor Gavin Newsom in San Francisco. Chinese Americans will play a leading role in deciding who the next mayor will be as they have in 1991 for Frank Jordan, 1999 for Willie Brown and 2003 and 2007 for Newsom.


The Chinese American Democratic Club, founded in 1958, will play a leading role to reflect the voices of San Francisco Chinese Americans by campaigning for issues and candidates supportive of Chinese American jobs and small business, education and homeownership in San Francisco.




For years, CADC has endorsed and even successfully run qualified candidates to address those issues. Among them include Gordon Lau, Leland Yee and Ed Jew who served as supervisor. For college and school boards, CADC proudly has supported Ben Tom, Julie Tang, Lillian Sing, Eddie Chin, Alan Wong and Lawrence Wong. Most of these Chinese Americans except for Tang, Jew and Chin have proudly led CADC as president. Today, Sing and Tang are superior court judges. Harry Low, also a former president, served as California Insurance Commissioner and an appellate judge. 




By supporting these people, CADC is not merely supporting people with a Chinese American complexion or name. We do not look at issues or candidates because they are “progressive” or “conservative.” Instead, we look at the depth of the issue’s or candidate’s impact on Chinese Americans in work, business, schooling and homeownership.


For this November 2, 2010 elections, CADC is proud to support propositions and candidates primarily based on these criteria:


·         JOBS AND BUSINESS: To revive the economy, candidates and issues must break down unfair barriers or support a competitive share of government contracts for qualified businesses owned by local Chinese Americans or run by large numbers of local Chinese American employees. For example, CADC has supported policies to expand business and employee opportunities in building the Chinatown Central Subway and the North Beach/Chinatown City College campus. 


SCHOOL CHOICE: CADC led the Ho vs. S.F. Unified School District federal lawsuit ending discrimination against Chinese American children in the public schools in the 1990s. Since then, CADC has fought for neighborhood schools thru a fair student assignment process. It has continued the fight to qualify a ballot measure allowing for greater parental choice in neighborhood schools. CADC successfully helped pass a ballot measure in 2008 restoring student choice for high school JROTC programs, which annually served as many as 1,000 Asian American cadets. Given that Chinese Americans make up more than one-third of the school district, CADC has fought to create a friendly city for children and teens. Finally, voters must understand that education however is mostly the responsibility of the College and School Boards, Legislature, Governor and other bodies in the State Capitol. 


·         HOMEOWNERSHIP: Our community is more likely to be or aspire to be homeowners. Chinese American families have three or more members, which makes them larger than the general size of two member San Francisco households. Thus, Chinese American families are unique in the down-sizing family atmosphere of San Francisco. As a result, our households must purchase or rent larger, more expensive homes. They face difficult City Hall planning and permitting process to build or modify homes. As Chinese Americans, we seek or own homes in one of the nation’s most costly cities. We are likely to be recent home buyers who will pay hefty property taxes while carrying large mortgages.


As a result, CADC has questioned if not opposed most bond measures because these bond projects do not fairly hire local Chinese American firms nor promote affordable homeownership. Further, the burden of bonds and interests are disproportionately passed on as property taxes to Chinese American homeowners. Given many bonds can be defeated by a one-third of voters, a powerful unified Chinese American vote has the power to kill these bonds.



On the basis of these issues, we recommend candidates and propositions on the state and local ballots. In particular, we recommend these candidates for office:

·         FIONA MA FOR ASSEMBLY MEMBER, 12th DISTRICT: Fiona Ma is seeking election for her third term. The former supervisor had fought for Chinese American small businesses seeking their fair share of government contracts. She successfully led the fight at the legislature and ballot to restore JROTC in the high schools. Ma has increased her influence in the state legislature as Assembly Speaker pro Tempore. Her CPA and small business background is needed to lead California out of its budget mess.


·         JAMES FANG FOR BART BOARD: President James Fang is the only Chinese American on the BART Board and the second longest serving elected official in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Fang is leading the dialogue on bringing B2B or “BART to the Beach” and the system’s speedy on-time (96% on-time) service to San Francisco’s heavily Chinese American west side. His clout has been to already obtain $8 billion in federal funding to create tens of thousands of jobs to expand a green and seismically safe BART system. 330,000 system riders have “voted” in surveys with nearly 9 in 10 riders recommending BART. That is also a vote of confidence for BART Director Fang. Meanwhile, MUNI has failed to transport our community on-time while raising fares and parking tickets. His opponent is an unqualified former MUNI advisor on “transit effectiveness.”   


·         LAWRENCE WONG FOR COLLEGE BOARD: The seven member community college board represents 105,000 students who are nearly one-third Chinese American. Through Lawrence Wong’s longtime leadership, the Chinatown campus is close to reality. At the same time, the club endorsed only Wong and Anita Grier. It chose not to endorse a third candidate so that voters can send a message to opponents who have delayed the Chinatown campus that further harm to this vital project will not be tolerated.  The delay has forced many immigrant Chinese Americans to study in an obsolete and unsafe campus for years.  In the future, the new facility will teach English to students and prepare students for the workplace.


·         BOARD OF SUPERVISORS & MAYOR: Eleven supervisors consider and pass local resolutions, ordinances and charter amendments. They also review the mayor’s proposed budget of $6 billion. At times, the board will refer propositions for voters to consider. Currently, three Chinese Americans sit on the board in Districts 1 (Richmond – Eric Mar), 3 (Chinatown – David Chiu) and 4 (Sunset – Carmen Chu).


The board’s makeup has major implications on the next mayor’s ability to govern San Francisco. Mayor Gavin Newsom, if California elects him Lt. Governor, will leave his position. Board President David Chiu will serve as interim mayor until the board selects a permanent new mayor who must run for election afterwards.


In the 1970s, Supervisor Gordon Lau nearly became the first Chinese American mayor if the board had elected him to replace the assassinated George Moscone. While there are Asian Americans who may succeed Newsom, not all of them will support the Chinese American community on jobs and business, homeownership and neighborhood schools.


Meanwhile, Newsom, whom Chinese Americans overwhelmingly voted for in 2003 and 2007, is fairly supportive of CADC and Chinese American issues. He also appointed Chinese Americans to major posts – including Heather Fong as police chief, Carmen Chu as supervisor and Phil Ting as Assessor-Recorder.  


If Newsom remains as mayor after the Nov. 2 election, then he will need the support of at least four supervisors to sustain his veto of legislation hurting the community on jobs, business and homeownership. As it is, Newsom can probably count on the support of Supervisors Carmen Chu (District 4 - Sunset), Sean Elsbernd (District 7 – West of Twin Peaks). He will need to lock for two more allies with Bevan Dufty (District 8 – Castro) and Michela Alioto-Pier (District 2 - Marina) leaving the board after this November’s elections.


LYNETTE SWEET FOR DISTRICT 10 SUPERVISOR: Sophie Maxwell (District 10 – Bayview), who is also leaving the board, sometimes supported Newsom. District 10 could be the surprise of San Francisco. Long considered a district of African American neighborhoods, District 10’s largest population is actually Asian American – many of them are Chinese American in Visitacion Valley and Silver Terrace. Combined, Asian and African Americans can help elect BART Director Lynette Sweet, an African American woman who is CADC’s first choice. After her, CADC supports Marlene Tran who is a retired Asian American teacher fluent in Chinese. The third choice is Teresa Duque who is very fluent in Chinese.       


So, it’s important to see who replaces Alioto-Pier, Maxwell, Dufty and Chris Daly (District 6 – Tenderloin).  CADC feels these supervisor candidates will support the community on homeownership and small business and jobs:

District 2 (rank up to 3)                No position

District 4 (rank up to 3)                Carmen Chu (running unopposed)

District 6 (rank up to 3)                1. Theresa Sparks; 2. Matt Drake; 3. Jane Kim

District 8 (rank up to 3)                1. Rebecca Prozan; 2. Scott Wiener

District 10(rank up to 3)               1. Lynette Sweet; 2. Marlene Tran; 3. Teresa Duque


·         SCHOOL BOARD: The nine member school board sets policy and budget and appoints top executives to educate more than 55,000 public school students, of which nearly one-third is Chinese American. Students are taught or supported by a staff that is only one-eighth Chinese American. The district’s board includes four Asian American board members – two of whom are Chinese American (Sandra Fewer and Norman Yee). Jane Kim is a Korean American attorney who once worked at a Chinatown non-profit and Filipina American Hydra Mendoza directs education policy for Mayor Newsom.


Chinese Americans have forced the school board to change policy on neighborhood schools and JROTC over the past 15 years primarily thru court action and ballot measure. Further, the school board in the past has been hostile to allowing local Chinese American contractors to build or retrofit school buildings. With Kim leaving to run for supervisor, CADC supports only these candidates sympathetic to CADC and community concerns: 

School Board (3 seats)                   Emily Murase

                                                                                Hydra Mendoza

                                                                                Margaret Brodkin





November 2010 Voter Guide




Office                                                                     CADC Recommendation


US Senator                                                             Barbara Boxer

US Representative

District 8                                               Nancy Pelosi

District 12                                            Jackie Speier




Office                                                                     CADC Recommendation


Governor                                                               Jerry Brown

Lt. Governor                                                         Gavin Newsom

Secretary of State                                 Debra Bowen


Controller                                                             John Chiang

Treasurer                                                              Bill Lockyer

Attorney General                                 Kamala Harris     


Insurance Commissioner                                  Dave Jones

Board of Equalization, District 1                     Betty Yee

State Senator

District 8                                               Leland Yee


State Assembly

District 12                                            Fiona Ma

District 13                                            Tom Ammiano

Superintendent of Public Instruction              Tom Torlakson


State Supreme Court

Chief Justice                                         Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Associate Justice                                 Ming Chin

Associate Justice                                 Carlos Moreno


Court of Appeal, Associate Justice

Dist. 1, Div. 1                                       Kathleen Banke

Dist. 1, Div. 1                                       Robert Dondero

Dist. 1, Div. 2                                       James Lambden


Dist. 1, Div. 3                                       Martin Jenkins

Dist. 1, Div. 3                                       Peter Siggins

Dist. 1, Div. 4                                       Timothy Reardon


Dist. 1, Div. 5                                       Terence Bruiniers

Dist. 1, Div. 5                                       Henry Needham, Jr.


Superior Court, Seat 15                                      Richard Ulmer




Office                                                                     CADC Recommendation


School Board (3 seats)                                       Emily Murase

                                                                                Hydra Mendoza

                                                                                Margaret Brodkin


College Board (3 seats)                                      Lawrence Wong

                                                                                Anita Grier


BART Director, District 8                                  James Fang

Assessor-Recorder                                             Phil Ting

Public Defender                                                   Jeff Adachi


Board of Supervisors

District 2 (rank up to 3)                    No position

District 4 (rank up to 3)                    Carmen Chu (running unopposed)

District 6 (rank up to 3)                    1. Theresa Sparks; 2. Matt Drake; 3. Jane Kim

District 8 (rank up to 3)                    1. Rebecca Prozan; 2. Scott Wiener

District 10(rank up to 3)                   1. Lynette Sweet; 2. Marlene Tran; 3. Teresa Duque




Measure               Name                                                                                                                    CADC Position


PROP. 19               State Legalization, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana                          Yes

PROP. 20               Redistricting of Congressional Districts                                                        No

PROP. 21               $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge for State Parks/Wildlife              Neutral


PROP. 22               Prohibition on State Borrowing, Taking of Transportation,

                                Redevelopment or Local Funds                                                                       Yes

PROP. 23               Temporary Suspension of Air Pollution Control Law                                 No

PROP. 24               Repeal of Law Allowing Businesses to Reduce Tax Liability                    No


PROP. 25               Require Simple Majority to Pass Budget Instead of Two-Thirds

                                Vote of Legislature; Require Two-Thirds Vote for Taxes                           Yes

PROP. 26               Two-Thirds Vote for Certain State or Local Fees                                         No

PROP. 27               Repeal State Commission on Redistricting and Consolidates   Yes

                                Authority for Redistricting for State Legislature and Board

                                Of Equalization



YES on Proposition 19   

State Legalization, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana


Reason: State prisons are overloaded with people penalized for using or selling marijuana which should be taxed and regulated like alcohol and cigarettes. Taxes could help support K-12 schools, University California, California State University and community colleges where Chinese Americans have high enrollment. Police can focus on violent and serious crimes instead of marijuana.  


NO on Proposition 20

Redistricting of Congressional Districts


Reason: The new commission is an untested redistricting process that could harm Chinese American representation and power. Currently, the two SF congressional seats represent the largest Chinese American community in the US. The departure of Rep. Jackie Speier creates an excellent chance of electing a Chinese American. That is the same with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if she leaves. In office, she has major influence on Chinese American issues like immigration reform and fighting Hepatitis B. (See also Proposition 27).


NEUTRAL on Proposition 21       

$18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge for State Parks/Wildlife Programs


Reason: CADC was neutral on increasing motor vehicle fees in return for free admission and parking at state parks for state residents.


YES on Proposition 22   

Prohibition on State Borrowing, Taking of Transportation,

Redevelopment or Local Funds   


Reason: Major projects like Bay Bridge construction could be delayed and hurt contractors owned by Chinese Americans or businesses employing many Chinese Americans. Previous state budget delays have slowed down projects, delayed payments to contractors and increased project costs which are passed on to taxpayers.


NO on Proposition 23

Temporary Suspension of Air Pollution Control Law


Reason: This measure would delay development and growth of California’s “green” industry and jobs which could accelerate with the Bay Area’s greentech innovation. Already, countries like China are far ahead in green manufacturing. California and the U.S. continue to depend on polluting foreign oil, which is indirectly funding the opposition to Prop 23. 


NO on Proposition 24    

Repeal of Law Allowing Businesses to Reduce Tax Liability             


Reason: Small businesses have suffered losses in recent years because of the economy. This would allow them to offset those losses instead of passing them on to consumers or delaying hiring of employees.


YES on Proposition 25   

Require Simple Majority to Pass Budget Instead of Two-Thirds

Vote of Legislature; Require Two-Thirds Vote for Taxes                   


Reason:  Budget gridlock has harmed K-12 schools, UC, CSU and community colleges which all have high Chinese American enrollment. A two-thirds vote for taxes would protect small businesses in our community.


NO on Proposition 26    

Two-Thirds Vote for Certain State or Local Fees


Reason: Certain fees can be supported if they address our concerns. However, two-thirds vote is too high of a vote to pass these fees. CADC could support a lower 55 or 60 percent requirement for these fees, which would still give Chinese American voters some clout in supporting or opposing these fees. 


YES on Proposition 27   

Repeal State Commission on Redistricting and Consolidates

Authority for Redistricting for State Legislature and

Board of Equalization


Reason: The new commission is an untested redistricting process of the state legislature. That could harm recent increases of Chinese American representation and power in the legislature (See Proposition 20 also).




City Measure


CADC Position



$10 vehicle registration fee



Earthquake Retrofit Bond



Increasing Employee Contributions to Benefits



Question Time



Non-Citizen Voting for School Board



Election Day Voter Registration



Health Service Board Elections



Setting Transit Operator Wages Through Collective Bargaining



Dual Office Holding



Saturday Voting Pilot



Hotel Tax Increase



Hotel Tax Loophole Fix






Community Policing



Property Sales Tax



NO ON Proposition AA

Vehicle Registration Fee


Reason: The burden of a $10 increase for upgrading roads, safety and transit falls upon vehicle owners who pay but do not receive an equal benefit. City Hall should fix MUNI first before demanding more from drivers.


NO on Proposition A

Earthquake Safety Retrofit Deferred Loan and

Grant Program General Obligation Bond


Reason: Homeowners – many of them Chinese American – and tenants will bear the cost of property taxes which will pay for $46 million in affordable housing retrofitting work that Chinese American contractors do not fairly benefit from.


YES on Proposition B

City Retirement and Health Plans


Reason: Prop B is a measure to reduce costs and balance the city budget. The average San Francisco civil service worker salary is double the salary of private sector workers. Civil service workers should contribute more to their retirement and health plans. They should not depend on taxpayers who face unemployment, have retirement plans which have suffered from the stock market collapse and pay for rising health plan costs. 


NO on Proposition C

Mayoral Appearances at Board Meetings


Reason: Voters rejected a similar measure several years ago. Under current law, the mayor can appear at S.F. Board of Supervisor regular meetings. The mayor can appear in many venues in person and online. This measure is unimportant compared to higher priorities like improving the economy and increasing jobs.  


YES on Proposition D

Non-Citizen Voting in School Board Elections


Reason: This could increase representation of Chinese American students, especially immigrants who cannot vote. This would increase their power on the school board – especially on the four Asian American members who do not always support issues like JROTC and neighborhood schools. Chinese Americans make up one-third of public school students.


NO on Proposition E

Election Day Voter Registration


Reason: While CADC believes in increasing Chinese American voters, the Department of Elections needs resources to check for eligibility or fraud.


YES on Proposition F

Health Service Board Elections


Reason: This would streamline elections and reduce costs.


YES on Proposition G

Transit Operator Wages


Reason: Prop G is a measure to reduce costs and balance the city budget. On-time service is only 73 percent.  And just over half of riders are satisfied with MUNI service. Voters have supported MUNI’s reorganization, increased funding, raised parking tickets and fares,  improved transit planning and guaranteed increased driver salaries. The result is poor performance for Chinese Americans who mostly live, attend school or do business far from the city’s center in neighborhoods like Visitacion Valley, Sunset and Richmond.


YES on Proposition H

Local Elected Officials on Political Party Committees


Reason: In these hard times, San Francisco’s elected officials should focus on one elective office, especially when the positions are full-time and pay high salaries (e.g. city supervisors earn over $90,000). Further, being on the Democratic or Republican county committees allow elected officials to unfairly raise tens of thousands more dollars to run for county supervisor or mayor. In addition, all county committees do not fairly represent Asian Americans since many Chinese American voters do not choose any political party and cannot vote for Democratic, Republican committee members.


NO on Proposition I

Saturday Voting


Reason: Voting by mail eliminates the need for Saturday voting which would increase election costs.


NO on Proposition J

Hotel Tax Clarification and Temporary Increase


Reason: Prop J is a measure to increase city revenue and balance the city budget. Increasing hotel taxes to the highest in the nation hurts local small businesses and employees in hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops which depend on convention and tourist business. Prop J will increase hotel taxes, but could end up reducing sales taxes when tourists shop or dine these businesses less. If Prop J and K pass, Prop J would take effect if it has more votes than Prop K since both have similar provisions.   


YES on Proposition K

Hotel Tax Clarification and Definitions


Reason: Unlike Prop J, Prop K clarifies the hotel tax law for online reservations and hotel tax exemptions. This measure does not increase the tax rate. If Prop J and K pass, Prop K would take effect if it has more votes than Prop J since both have similar provisions.    


YES on Proposition L

Sitting or Lying on Sidewalks


Reason: Prop L would allow the police to enforce prohibition of sitting and lying on sidewalks which are shared by all people. Allowing a few people to intimidate lawful residents discourages shopping in our small businesses and lowers property values. Given that the Chinese American community has a high proportion of children, increased sidewalk safety would make S.F. friendlier for our kids to walk and play. If Prop L and M pass, Prop L would take effect if it has more votes than Prop M since both have similar provisions.    


NO on Proposition M

Community Policing and Foot Beat Patrols


Reason: This is a dangerous measure that politicizes how the Police Department should protect the public. Community policing and foot patrols are different strategies to fight crime. Prop M could harm progress with crime declining for the last three years under Police Chiefs Heather Fong and George Gascon.  Other strategies instead of community policing could better serve different Chinese American communities. For example, Chinatown and Tenderloin have more senior and immigrant residents susceptible to different crimes than small businesses or homeowners in the Sunset or Richmond. If Prop L and M pass, Prop M would take effect if it has more votes than Prop L since both have similar provisions.    


NO on Proposition N

Real Property Transfer Tax


Reason: Prop N is a measure to increase city revenue and balance the city budget. CADC opposes Prop N and supports finding ways to rein in city expenditures while encouraging business growth. This transfer tax on buildings over $5 to $10 million and over $10 million hurts small businesses and their customers. It will be passed to small business tenants who will raise prices to their customers. If the building is residential, then tenants will carry the tax burden thru rents.  

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 October 2010 17:20 )