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Home About Chinatown CDC Messages from the Executive Director youtubeyoutubelinkedintwitterLike us on Facebook
Messages from the Executive Director Print

April 2014


Dear Chinatown CDC Friends,

Recently I learned about two styles of leadership that symbolizes how we do or do not get things done here in America. The predominant leadership style is likened to playing the game of chess. The game pieces are "Black and White" and the two opposing sides try to "WIN" by knocking each other down and out. Every chess piece is limited by its own hierarchy.

The second leadership style (and the one that can be a "game-changer" for all of us) is working together on a JIGSAW PUZZLE. The puzzle pieces are not just black and white but multicolored (like the New America). All individual pieces are equally important and every piece is needed to complete the picture or to create that "vision" together.

Chinatown CDC's style is to work with many players who care about their community and want to solve problems and issues rather than just playing Chess-like politics where you fight to get just what "YOU" want. We have formed many new collaborations and partnerships because we believe "we are all in it together" and we can't do it alone - like a jigsaw puzzle, every person has something to contribute to the whole.

We don't lose sight of the larger vision of community and find opportunities to engage our residents. We celebrate cultural diversity within and beyond Chinatown and with other neighborhoods. "Cook-off serves to build harmony in the inner city", an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle, highlighted the cultural diversity at our family housing in the Tenderloin and how residents worked together to create a cookbook.

We co-sponsored (for the 4th year) the Lunar New Year/Black History month celebration at the Bayview YMCA with Community Youth Center-SF. Our Russian and Chinese speaking resident leaders at Notre Dame successfully advocated for public transit issues on the Van Ness corridor. Soon, Chinatown CDC will be working with the very diverse public housing population to improve and renovate the "Pings" and two other senior housing developments in North Beach and Chinatown. We are looking forward to completing the Broadway Sansome Apartments early next year, which will serve a diversity of residents in need of affordable housing.

Community collaboration is not a linear process, it can be messy, hard to control and sometimes it ends in failure. Often, it's the only way to get to a result. We find ways to bring those jigsaw puzzle pieces together to accomplish our mission and get results for our community. And it feels great when it happens! It will take a lot of new alliances and partnerships as well as many more "game-changers". You game?

Rev. Norman Fong 方小龍

Executive Director

Executive Director Message Archive


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One of my first jobs as a high schooler was working as a Busboy at Muir Woods Inn. I really needed to get away from the distractions and turbulence of San Francisco. I remember enjoying the quiet outdoors and singing the song “Mill Valley” to the Youth who visited from Chinatown. I learned a lot about the nature in Muir Woods, like, for every foot a redwood tree grows taller; its roots must grow by three feet!


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