Legendary local power broker Rose Pak, who's graced our pages many, many times over the years as she asserted her influence on city politics at every important turn, is gravely ill, as San Francisco Magazine's Joe Eskanazi is reporting.
Eskanazi appears to have gotten a "last interview" with her which doubtless won't be her last in which she "continues to deploy the word 'motherfucker' like a comma" and remains feisty as ever, though apparently weak and more soft-spoken now. It's unclear how long she's been ill, but Eskanazi accompanies her for a treatment at the Chinese Hospital, a place she spent many years protecting from developers' bulldozers, and which is currently undergoing a $160 million reconstruction.
Most pointedly, the always tough and stoic Pak actually begins to weep when the subject turns to Mayor Ed Lee. Weep!!
At this, however, Pak’s facade cracks. “A Chinese-American fucking mayor!” she wails. Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, she begins to weep. “It is the biggest disappointment in my life.”
She has increasingly complained that Lee is neglecting the needy residents of Chinatown, a neighborhood that was his political incubator... And then there is Lee’s gravest offense: In January, he tapped neighborhood activist Julie Christensen instead of Pak protégée Cindy Wu to fill the vacant District 3 supervisorial seat. In doing so, Leewho has the rap of being unable to say no to powerful friends like Willie Brown and Conwaydefinitively proved that he could say no to Pak. His disregard for her fervent wishes for her neighborhood and locus of power was, in her words, “a crushing blow.” Pak now tends to speak about Lee“a brother that I never had”and their tattered relationship in the past tense... “This mayor got no balls,” she says, shaking her head. “That’s the problem."
And there you have it, folks. Ed Lee made Rose Pak cry, and she appears to want to take this grudge to her deathbed.