Serving his second term as President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, David Chiu stunned many wonk insiders after snatching the coveted SF Chronicle mayoral endorsement. Chiu serves as Supervisor for District 3, which his home to North Beach, Chinatown, Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill, Polk Street, Nob Hill, Union Square, the Financial District, the Barbary Coast and Fisherman's Wharf. He earned his undergraduate degree, law degree, and master's degree in public policy from Harvard University. But wait, there's more...
1. Introduce yourself in one sentence
I'm David Chiu, a former civil rights attorney, criminal prosecutor, business founder, neighborhood activist, and current President of the Board of Supervisors.
2. Zodiac sign
Born in Cleveland, raised in Boston, but have always been a San Franciscan in spirit and at heart.
4. How many years in SF or Bay Area
I moved to Russian Hill in 1996, and it has been a great 15 years.
5. Favorite SF neighborhood
Of course, the Polk Street and Russian Hill neighborhoods where I’ve lived for 15 years. I've had great times in the Mission (and the Haight...and the Fillmore...but we digress...), but I represent District 3 on the Board of Supervisors and would put our northeast neighborhoods up against any in the 7x7 miles of SF.
6. Berkeley or Oakland
Probably Berkeley for its ideas and street culture, but Oakland is a close second for being real.
7. Neighborhood you call home
8. How much do you pay in rent/mortgage
9. What was your first job
A janitor in the local public high school.
10. Best sandwich
Filet of salmon at Working Girls' Cafe on Kearny Street. Yum.
11. Great Quake or Loma Prieta
Both were terrible. As President of the Board of Supervisors, I sit on our city’s Disaster Council, and championed last year’s bond measure to rebuild our public safety infrastructure that was built after the 1906 Great Quake.
12. Favorite MUNI line
The 1-California - what I take to get across my district or to get home from downtown. It spans so many diverse neighborhoods from the Financial District to the Richmond.13.
13. Favorite politician of past or present (you can only pick one)
Former Democratic Senator Paul Simon. I served as his Democratic Counsel to the Senate Constitution Subcommittee, and learned so much from watching him stand up for unpopular progressive values, while resolving issues with those whose opinions he did not share.
14. Best TV show of past or present (you can only pick one)
24. Fighting the power with Jack Bauer.
15. Favorite bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge. It’s the most recognizable symbol of our city in the world.
16. Best restaurant
Too hard to limit to just one: Kokkari for Greek; Tommaso’s for Italian; Burma Superstar for Burmese; Grubstake for diner food; Green’s for vegetarian; Brothers for Korean; I could go on and on.
17. SF would be soooo much better if only ___________
Muni ran on time. I don't own a car so I know first hand the frustrations of a Muni that's too late, too slow, or too crowded. But what we often forget is that Muni is quite literally the engine that keeps our City going. Many San Franciscans rely on Muni to get to work on time, many children use public transit to school, and many San Francisco businesses depends on buses to bring them patrons. I believe that a Muni that reliably connects all parts of our City is critically important to San Francisco's future in so many ways.
18. SF has the greatest ________
Diversity. What I love most about San Francisco is the diversity of creative and talented people who came from throughout the world to now call San Francisco home. We have a well-deserved reputation as a city that welcomes all -- people of all cultures, backgrounds, professions, and interests. And I believe that this quality makes San Francisco a showcase to the rest of the world for the best of what is possible in urban life. It's what brought me here in 1996, and why I;ll stay here for the rest of my life.
19. Redheads, y/n
Today, right here on SFist, I'm taking a firm and unequivocal stance that I am pro-redhead.
20. Question you'd ask if you were doing this interview:
Favorite Karoake song, anyone?