Political power play unseats SF Police Commissioner

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Police Commissioner Angela Chan fought the federal government as they unjustly tried to deport undocumented San Franciscans who were guilty of no crimes, and won. She fought to arm the SFPD with de-escalation tactics instead of Tasers, and won again.

But at the April 30 Board of Supervisors meeting, Chan lost. The board denied her reappointment to the Police Commission, and seven supervisors voted to appoint her opponent, Victor Hwang, instead.

The decision came after heated backdoor politicking by Chinatown political leader Rose Pak, insiders told us. Politicians involved would only speak on background, for fear of reprisal from Pak, yet indicated that Pak felt Chan did not consult often enough with Chinatown interests and focused too broadly on issues of concern to other communities.

Chan gained national recognition for her work against Secure Communities, challenging a provision that allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to call for illegal holds of undocumented persons they'd later like to deport. Pak came out swinging against Chan in the wake of those battles, we were told.

"It's a sad day for the immigrant rights movement when a strong leader cannot be reappointed," Sup. Eric Mar said just before the vote.

After Sup. Katy Tang introduced the motion to strike Chan's name from the appointment, and replace it with Hwang's, other supervisors noted the obvious elephant in the room — there was not only one vacant seat on the police commission, but two.

Supervisor John Avalos suggested the Board of Supervisors make a motion to request the mayor appoint Hwang himself, allowing for both Chan and Hwang to be appointed.

But Board of Supervisors President David Chiu said he'd asked Mayor Lee that very question to no avail. "It is not something that will happen," he said. "It is not the practice of the mayor to solve difficult decisions of the board. It's up to us."

Sups. Mark Farrell, Scott Wiener, Malia Cohen, London Breed, Jane Kim, Tang and Chiu voted to strike Chan's name from the appointment, and to vote to appoint Hwang instead. (Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez)

LAWSUIT FILED TO HALT TECH SHUTTLE PILOT

The road to regulating Google Buses has a new pothole: a lawsuit.

A lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court May 1 demands the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's commuter shuttle pilot program be put on hold while a full environmental review is conducted under the California Environmental Quality Act.

"We know that these buses are having devastating impacts on our neighborhoods, driving up rents and evictions of long-time San Francisco residents," said Sara Shortt, executive director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco and one of the lawsuit petitioners. "We've protested in the streets and taken our plea to City Hall to no avail. We hope to finally receive justice in a court of law."

The suit was filed against the City and County of San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee, the Board of Supervisors, the SFMTA, Google, Genentech, Apple, and a handful of private transportation providers. It alleges the tech shuttle pilot project is in violation of the California Vehicle Code, which prohibits any vehicle — except common carriers (public buses) — to pull into red zones that are designated as bus stops. It also alleges the city abused its discretion and violated the CEQA by exempting the Shuttle Project from environmental review. (Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez)

ILLEGAL ANTI-CAMPOS FLYERS TARGETED IN ETHICS COMPLAINT