As I had blogged last December, David Chiu was elected in November to San Francisco City Supervisor, District 3. This past week, Tim noted that David Chiu took office and was elected after six rounds of voting by his peers to be the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors! This makes Chiu the first ever Asian American, Chinese and Taiwanese American to lead the legislative branch of San Francisco’s 11-member governing body.
I have no doubt that David Chiu will serve with honor his two-year term as President of the Board of Supervisors, be re-elected as city supervisor in four years, and eight years from now — there is that lucky eight again — run for mayor and become the first Asian American mayor of a major US city in the continental United States! And eight years after being mayor of San Francisco, becoming the first Asian American governor of California! Or a Californian Asian American Senator or POTUS!
OK, maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Chiu definitely has a lot of challenges ahead of him, including dealing with a $461 million shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and dealing with the highest homicide rate in San Francisco in 10 years. Chiu did, in his acceptance speech, comment on a lot of his goals and the Board’s agenda at his election & inauguration party with other progressive city supervisors elected to the Board last Thursday night, which I had the honor of attending and shooting some video.
For all practicality, Chiu as President of the Board makes him — and some may disagree on this — the second most visible and powerful local politician in San Francisco, second only to the mayor himself. I could be wrong, but I think this makes David Chiu one of the highest profile Asian American politicians in local government in one of the largest and most famous cities in the United States, although I have great hopes for Sam Yoon to be elected mayor of Boston. No doubt, San Franciscans as well as those living in the Bay Area will be reading a lot and seeing a lot of Chiu in the local papers and television stations.
Just this past Sunday, there was a nice profile of Chiu in the San Francisco Chronicle:
“Chiu, 38, is an attorney born to immigrant parents. He has owned his own business and been a neighborhood activist, and is known as a level-headed professional who excels at building consensus. During the campaign, he was attacked by some business leaders as being too far left, but those who know the liberal politician said his experience on the Small Business Commission and as a business owner himself give him a unique perspective and credibility when it comes to economic issues… Born to Taiwanese immigrants Doris and Han Chiu in 1970, Chiu grew up in Boston. His father was a private practice doctor while his mother stayed home. Chiu said he and his younger brothers, Edward, 36, and Stephen, 33, were pushed by their parents to excel in school, and all three attended Harvard University.”
Chiu was also seen Sunday morning on San Francisco’s CBS5 in what I believe was his first extended television interview since him being elected to the President of the Board of Supervisors. And I didn’t even know that David Chiu was going to be around on Saturday, but Chiu dropped by an annual local Taiwanese American Lunar New Year celebration that is organized in Hayward to speak a few words to his supporters in the Taiwanese and greater Asian American community, with some kind words which I was able to capture below:
My posts around on politics won’t be David Chiu all-the-time, but I did want to convey just how unprecedented and important it is that Chiu is not only breaking a glass ceiling, but will also encourage and inspire other Asian Americans to get involved in public service and becoming politically involved.