Jessica Kwong/The S.F. ExaminerSupervisor Norman Yee passes out fliers about the first Chinese community meeting in District 7

Jessica Kwong/The S.F. ExaminerSupervisor Norman Yee passes out fliers about the first Chinese community meeting in District 7

Supervisor Norman Yee seeks new outreach to district’s Asian population

Twenty-eight associations — a mix of neighborhood, homeowner and merchant groups — rule affluent District 7 in the southwest section of The City. But by attending their meetings since he assumed office in January, Supervisor Norman Yee said he has noticed the absence of a significant demographic.

In a meeting of about 40 people, Yee, who represents the area, said he saw only a couple of Asian residents, who make up 35 percent of the district, according to Planning Department data. Furthermore, 24 percent speak only an Asian language at home.

Yee also noticed that because of the low turnout of Asian attendees, the associations usually did not translate their meetings.

“This is an issue that has been bothering me for a while,” he said at a meeting with Chinese media on Wednesday. “I keep thinking, if these groups are not getting represented in their neighborhoods, they’re not getting the information. So I’m pretty motivated to bring that voice into the discussion.”

Chinese people form the majority of the district’s Asian population, many of whom live in the Ocean, Merced and Ingleside areas, so Yee plans to hold what he believes will be the first meeting in Cantonese and Mandarin that his district has ever had.

Taking place Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Ingleside Library, the meeting will feature presentations on the Affordable Care Act and pedestrian-safety issues, and give residents an opportunity to give feedback in their language. Translation into English will be provided if needed.

Yee didn’t know what to expect when he passed out fliers in Chinese at association meetings.

“Sometimes the attitude from many groups is immigrant Chinese don’t seem to care, they don’t talk,” he said. “But leadership was so grateful.”

Lee Hsu, president of the Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association, said providing translation during meetings would encourage Asians to participate.

“It gives them more confidence that they will be heard,” he said.

Anni Chung, president of Self-Help for the Elderly, which no longer has an information and referral center in the neighborhood, said of the district: “There’s diversity but sometimes people are not as tolerant of other people’s culture and our seniors feel that way.”

The most effective way to reach the Asian community is through word of mouth, Yee said, and he hopes that the outreach effort will gain momentum with this first meeting.

“If five people show up, then five people show up,” he said. “The more information gets out there, next time we’ll have more people.”Bay Area NewsChineseDistrict 7neighborhoodsNorman Yee

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

In his extensive filming of The City during the pandemic, Eric Goodfield said he has been “observing how the environment affects the behavior of people.” (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Filmmaker Eric Goodfield fixes lens on SF’s COVID days

140 days of shooting in The City made for ‘greatest adventure’

Most Read