The contest with the biggest implications for San Francisco city government this November is the race for supervisor in District 3. It will determine whether the Board of Supervisors keeps its moderate majority that's friendly to Mayor Ed Lee or shifts the power balance to the progressives. The mayor's pick -- incumbent Julie Christensen -- is being challenged by former supervisor Aaron Peskin. Longtime Chinatown resident Wilma Pang completes the field.
District 3 includes Telegraph Hill, North Beach and Chinatown. When I meet David Lee at Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square, he tells me that Chinatown residents will decide the election and with it the city’s political future. Lee is a lecturer of political science at San Francisco State University and heads up the nonpartisan Chinese American Voters Education Committee, which is dedicated to voter registration. In 2012, he himself ran for supervisor in District 1 but did not win.
“Chinatown has the largest percentage of decline-to-state voters and new voters in the district," Lee says. “They’re the classic up-for-grabs voters.”
Small wonder why campaign signs blanket storefronts around Portsmouth Square. Signs supporting Aaron Peskin outnumber those supporting Julie Christensen.
“I certainly see Peskin’s message of housing affordability and housing rights resonating with tenants here,” Lee said. “Still, the mayor enjoys strong support in the Chinese-American community."