Renewed Leadership for Chinatown

by Rev. Norman Fong

January 14, 2019

norman fong

Ed Lee and Rose Pak are gone but their legacy continues on in new and exciting ways. If you were at the Chinatown Community Banquet for the New Supervisors of San Francisco (700 people came), you would have seen the new and emerging leadership in the Chinese Community of San Francisco. Emerging leaders from the Rose Pak Democratic Club, the Chinese Progressive Association Action Fund and the renowned Community Tenants Association joined together to welcome the four newly elected members of the Board of Supervisors.

chinatown community banquet
Chinatown Community Banquet

I was so happy to see new strong female leadership combined with the grassroots seniors of the Community Tenants Association. Of course, the long-time Chinatown Associations and leaders were there, but it was exciting to see new young leadership in action! Jen Low, President of the Rose Pak Democratic Club and Shaw San Liu of the Chinese Progressive Association are new young leadership we should celebrate. The emcees: Kitty Fong and Joyce Lam were very entertaining and they even forced the new Supervisors to speak in Chinese! Tammy of Chinatown CDC is always behind the scenes.

jen low shaw san liu
Jen Low, President of Rose Pak Democratic Club; Wing Hoo Leung, President of Community Tenants Association; and Shaw San Liu, Executive Director, Chinese Progressive Association

kitty fong joyce lam
Kitty Fong and Joyce Lam

tammy hung
Tammy Hung

norman yee
Supervisor Norman Yee, President of the Board

Together, the strength of Chinatown’s young and old leadership was clearly visible to all the supervisors and city officials there. Not only is there more leadership on the community level, in the halls of City Hall, we have a champion for Chinatown and the Chinese Community with the newly elected President Norman Yee! I am personally so proud of him! He now calls me Norman #2 because he’s #1! Ha! Ha! It is so great to have a homegrown Chinatown kid in the lead of the board of supervisors.

In 2019, we have a lot of big projects to get done and we need people to lead in all levels. We need to finish the Central Subway, the Ping Yuen Housing, Portsmouth Square… We need more leadership to fight for Chinatown and make sure our voices are heard. Chinatown has so many needs and our elderly have to be better protected and cared for.

I see HOPE now for our future thanks to the rising new leadership combined with our institutional organizations (i.e. Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Family Associations, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Assn., and so many community based organizations including the API Council. I think Rose Pak and Mayor Ed Lee would be smiling from above knowing that the Voice of Chinatown will continue to be heard! There is still so much work to be done but we have to stay united and put aside our differences. The only way to protect our community is to do it together. Happy New Year and get ready to parade together through the New Year of the Pig.

young leaders

Originally published in Sing Tao Daily on January 13, 2019

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