Rose Pak Mulls Running for District 3 Supervisor

November 14, 2011 Updated: November 16, 2011
Rose Pak prepares for a photo op with Chinese Communist Party diplomats, officials, and hangers-on in Portsmouth Square in 2006. The occasion was a flag-raising ceremony for the Party. (Genevieve Long/The Epoch Times)

SAN FRANCISCO—Flush with the recent mayoral victory by her hand-picked candidate Ed Lee and profile-boosting media coverage, Chinatown wheeler and dealer Rose Pak has told Chinese media that she might consider stepping into politics herself: running for Supervisor in District 3.

“[Rose Pak] is very worried that next year in the District 3 Supervisor’s race there will be no Chinese candidate. If there’s no strong Chinese candidate with a good chance of being elected, she will consider personally running,” a Nov. 14 report in World Journal says.

Supervisor David Chiu’s support has dropped, Rose Pak is quoted as saying, and she’s very worried that next year there’ll be no strong Chinese candidate. Chiu is Supervisor of District 3, encompassing Chinatown and North Beach. 

In the Nov. 13 interview she told World Journal that over the last few decades she has been mostly known only in Chinatown circles, and that average citizens don’t know too much about her. But with the mayoral election, she became “an object for attack,” the World Journal states, and her constant appearances in the Western press significantly boosted her profile. 

A Nov. 12 piece in the New York Times, for example, depicts her as a ribald but largely innocuous troublemaker who knows which strings to pull at City Hall. 

That’s handy for Pak, the World Journal indicates, because “what candidates most need is name recognition.” The piece said that the recent mayoral election “made her earnestly consider the possibility of running for public office.”

And if there was no strong Chinese candidate in District 3 next year, Pak would consider moving from her 400 Beale St. condominium in District 6, to somewhere closer to Chinatown. Pak got her current residence at half-price under the city’s affordable housing program, despite being a consultant to the developer, Emerald Fund (which is prohibited, according to the rules on discount housing). 

Pak was quoted in the World Journal as saying there are several reasons why David Chiu is not likely to be elected for another term in District 3. One is that the recent result showed that he only has 15 percent support, while another is that Rose Pak no longer supports him. Over the last three years, she says, the community has not been pleased with Chiu because he has not been grateful to where his success came from. (The Chinese phrase used by Pak literally means “when you drink water, think of its source“—something that Chiu, apparently, forgot to do.)

Three years ago Pak and a coalition of Chinatown groups supported Chiu, but he “never consulted the ideas of voters on any topic,” Pak complained. That’s the main reason he did so poorly in the mayoral race, she says.

The World Journal said that Chiu responded on Nov. 13, arguing that he did get support from over 10,000 San Franciscans for his “independent leadership,” foresight, and service to the community. Chiu did not get back to The Epoch Times in time for publication. Rose Pak was not available by press time.