I often reflect on the productive and collaborative relationship I had with the late Mayor Ed Lee — the first API Mayor of San Francisco. We worked together and took on some tough and necessary fights, but we never wavered in our commitment to make San Francisco a safer place for everyone.
“The District Attorney’s Office must bring its services into neighborhoods, provide robust language access, keep elders safe, protect immigrant communities, and effectively address safety concerns.”
Mayor Lee nominated me to serve on the Police Commission in 2012. I served as Commission President for over 2 years. Under my leadership, the Commission worked with the Police Department to increase the number of API leaders in the department, add security at Ping Yuen Housing complex, address the rise of homelessness at Portsmouth square, and expand awareness about scams targeting seniors.
As your District Attorney, I will honor the spirit of this collaboration by continuing to convene the voices of API leaders and community advocates to address our most pressing challenges. Working in partnership with community leaders will help us identify approaches that promote public safety and ensure that our systems become more fair for everyone.
We must enhance community safety neighborhood by neighborhood — in a way that celebrates the richness and quality of each distinct part of the San Francisco. The District Attorney’s Office must bring its services into neighborhoods, provide robust language access, keep elders safe, protect immigrant communities, and effectively address safety concerns. We have seen an unacceptable rise in crime and violence impacting the lives of residents and small business corridors in Chinatown and Visitacion Valley — petty theft, property crime, and robberies are undermining the confidence of San Francisco residents and tourists — causing unnecessary pressure on many small businesses that rely on robust foot traffic to be economically viable.
Public safety relies on trust between law enforcement and communities — we can’t have a safe city when entire populations of community members aren’t able to report crime and seek assistance. The District Attorney’s office must be consistently available, whether at community meetings or holding office hours at trusted community spaces. When I was President of the Police Commission we held many commission meetings at Gordon J. Lau Elementary, making it easier for community members to attend our meetings and provide input.
As District Attorney, I will prioritize:
- Developing comprehensive services to combat the existing language barriers to better serve our monolingual non-English speaking communities.
- Expanding language access and cultural component services at every stage of service.
- Hiring lawyers, victim service advocates, and commissioners that reflect the diversity of the community they serve.
- Hosting quarterly public meetings with community members and law enforcement agencies on public safety.
“Public safety relies on trust between law enforcement and communities — we can’t have a safe city when entire populations of community members aren’t able to report crime and seek assistance. The District Attorney’s office must be consistently available, whether at community meetings or holding office hours at trusted community spaces.”
Safety for Elders
Elders make up nearly a quarter of residents in San Francisco. I recently convened a listening session with a very engaged group of elders and their advocates. They want what we all want — communities where they can safely live and thrive. They need to feel safe in our parks, riding public transit, and navigating increased congestion and precarious high injury traffic corridors. As District Attorney I will:
- Work with advocates and stakeholders to lead the way for San Francisco to address the crisis of fatal traffic collisions that are entirely preventable.
- Partner with SFPD to take a data-driven enforcement approach to target the top five traffic violations most likely to cause harm or injury to others.
- Provide communities with ample outreach and education prior to enforcement operations to signal clearly that the intent of enforcement is to increase understanding of existing laws, to enhance prevention and to increase safety awareness.
Protecting Immigrant Families and Communities
As DA, I will lead California and the US in establishing clear guidelines to protect everyone in our communities. We must keep our families intact and preserve community trust to ensure everyone in our community is respected by our justice system even as the federal landscape is becoming increasingly hostile and aggressive in its pursuit of mass deportations. We must invest in:
- Culturally competent support, language access and victim services in coordination with public health and law enforcement agencies with an explicit understanding of immigration consequences.
- Establishing alternate systems for reporting crime and making accommodations for survivors and victims to participate in the justice process without feeling unsafe from aggressive immigration enforcement at courthouses.
Building Safety Requires All of Us to Participate
The reality is that crime does not impact everyone equally. A crime to one individual often can have devastating impacts on that person and a sense of shared safety in the community. The recent street robberies demonstrate that we must work with the community and law enforcement to improve our ability to hold individuals accountable for these crimes.
As your District Attorney I will:
- Direct neighborhood prosecutors to work hand in hand with neighborhood crime units
- Work with local merchants, small-business owners, residents, and police officers to build strong cases against repeat offenders and organized crime rings.
- Collaborate with SFPD and the Mayor’s office to bring additional patrol officers to Chinatown corridors.
- Advocate for the expansion of SFPD cameras to preserve evidence in the investigations of crimes most impacting residents.
I am proud to have the support of these API leaders and I look forward to being an effective advocate for all API community members:
California Controller Betty Yee
State Assemblymember David Chiu
State Assemblymember Evan Low
California Treasurer Fiona Ma
Assessor Carmen Chu
Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee
Supervisor Gordon Mar
Former Supervisor Katy Tang
David Chan, Chinese Community Activist
Anita Lee, Former First Lady of San Francisco