Last week, The New York Times did an interesting piece on the potential next mayor of San Francisco. The current mayor, Gavin Newsom, is termed out from running for re-election in 2012 and is running for California lieutenant governor. Should Newsom win, the selection of an interim mayor would be decided by the Board of Supervisors in January 2011. One of the front runners would be current Board President and District 3 supervisor, David Chiu:
“Mr. Chiu, 40, would be San Francisco’s first Chinese-American mayor. He was elected board president on his first day in office in 2008 thanks largely to Mr. Peskin, his predecessor as president… Mr. Chiu is popular and smart, with a firm grasp of policy issues and a centrist’s disposition; Mr. Peskin has been known to refer to him jokingly as “the Chinese Obama,” aides say. Mr. Chiu is often willing to break with his progressive allies and seek compromises with moderate colleagues.”
Not only would Chiu be San Francisco’s first Chinese-American mayor, but the first Asian American mayor of a major U.S. city within the continental United States. (I’ve made it no secret that I have been a fan of David’s, and have volunteered and contributed to his campaign back in 2008.)
Historically, this would be HUGE and fitting; San Francisco has the highest percentage of Asian American residents of any major city within the continental United States at over 30%. This would thrust Chiu potentially into the national limelight, with such issues such as immigration and same-sex marriage being debated not only within California, but nationally. I’ll be voting for Gavin Newsom in November, and if he wins, as a result I might be potentially helping to make history by having David Chiu become mayor of San Francisco.