A large crowd outside San Francisco City Hall on Monday rallied against a resolution that urges The City’s transportation agency to name the under-construction subway station in Chinatown after the late Rose Pak.
It was not clear just which organizations took part in the protest, but an organizer of the protest, Alicia Zhao, said many who showed up were residents in The City and merchants from Chinatown.
The protest comes as Supervisor Aaron Peskin last week reintroduced a resolution at the Board of Supervisors to name the station after Pak, who played a role in securing federal funding for the Central Subway Project.
Supervisors Norman Yee, Sandra Lee Fewer, Shamann Walton, Ahsha Safai, Rafael Mandelman, and Matt Haney, have all signed on in support of the resolution.
Many, though, in the crowd denounced the naming of the station after Pak, holding signs that read “Shameful Rose Pak” and “Rose Pak – Unregistered Chinese Agent In SF.”
“As a power broker, Rose Pak put together all kinds of political deals which were not in the best interest for San Franciscans.”
Zhao added that it was odd that Peskin supports naming the Chinatown station after Pak when he had made not-so-favorable comments about her in a phone interview with a Chinese television news station that was founded by the Falun Gong — a spiritual group that has been in conflict with Pak for several years.
Peskin criticized Pak for having influence over city contracts and being able to get land use approvals.
Fast forward three years later, Pak is helping and supporting Peskin’s election campaign for the District 3 seat he once held from 2001 to 2009.
It was not unusual for Pak to be a city politician’s friend one week and an enemy the next week.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors will ultimately decide on what to name the station.
A spokesperson for the transportation agency said last week that they are reviewing the resolution.
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. He covers transportation and City Hall. He has spent over a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Jerold is a native in the city and frequently takes public transit everywhere he goes. Email tips to [email protected]