Remembering 2018

by Rev. Norman Fong

January 7, 2019

norman fong

What do you remember best about 2018? I’m going to share from a Chinatown point of view some of my best memories of last year:

We started off the Chinese New Year of the Dog with a famous Movie Star – Michelle Yeoh being the Grand Marshall of our parade! I felt like a little kid shaking her hand as I emceed the parade. My heart was beating fast because I was so excited. Her movie Crazy Rich Asians was also a Big Hit too!

michelle yeoh
Michelle Yeoh. Photo by Frank Jang.


Admittedly, we were also sad because we lost Mayor Ed Lee a few months before but the community did get the Chinese Education Center school renamed to honor Mayor Ed Lee and Anita! I think Mayor Lee in Heaven would be very proud of three housing projects that we at Chinatown CDC have been working that Ed Lee was very involved in: We completed renovation of 990 Pacific Ave and 227 Bay St (as part of Mayor Lee’s plan to rebuild and save the public housing projects for the future. Chinatown CDC took over ownership and will keep it affordable housing forever)! At 9th & Clement, Ed Lee as an attorney worked so hard to save seniors evicted from an SRO Hotel on Montgomery and Clay back in the 1980s. He worked with Chinatown CDC to move them to 9th & Clement and recently, the residents faced possible eviction again, but in 2018, with help from the new Mayor Breed’s housing office, we bought the building and will save it for affordable housing again! I can see Mayor Lee’s smile with his mustache!

227 bay
Grand Re-Opening of 227 Bay


990 pacific
Grand Re-Opening of 990 Pacific. Photo by Frank Jang.


Looking back at 2018, one of my best memories was Chinatown’s grassroots leadership: the Community Tenants Association (CTA) and Chinatown’s SRO Families standing up for more affordable housing in Proposition C that won in November of 2018. Their voices were heard all across the city when many political leaders were a bit hesitant too because some business leaders didn’t want it. Then, Marc Benioff joined us at Portsmouth Square to say he supported Proposition C which surprised a lot of politicians.

prop c 2018
Prop C


I am so proud of our Chinatown Seniors and SRO Families who have learned to speak out on important issues. They are the real heart of Chinatown and voice of Chinatown because they live here and will fight for what’s best for the community. But, what about our youth? Chinatown is looking good with our youth who worked so hard to create a new mural for Chinatown. Have you seen it yet? In 2018, our youth created a Mosaic Mural on Wentworth Alley (near Portsmouth Square) called “Dragon Boats Chasing Moonlight” – just in time for the Moon Festival in Chinatown in 2018. Also, I love the mural of Chinatown and North Beach shaking hands too that came out in 2018 (on Vallejo and Columbus). They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

dragon boats chasing moonlight
"Dragon Boats Chasing Moonlight" mosaic mural


neighborhood unity
"Neighborhood Unity" by Jeremy Fish


There are so many more memories in the Year of the Dog and there isn’t room to picture them all. We started rebuilding Chinese Playground last year. I was extremely PROUD OF CHINATOWN, the residents, the owner and Supervisor Peskin in the successful rebuilding of 801 Pacific Avenue after the terrible fire! When we all work together, we can overcome anything. Get ready for the Chinese New Year of the Pig everyone. SUM SERNG SEE SING!





Originally published in Sing Tao Daily on January 6, 2019
 
 
 
 

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