Angela Alioto, a candidate for mayor and former supervisor, sent out a press release through her law firm Friday afternoon announcing that she “commits to rename Kearny Street to the future Hon Edwin Lee Street.”
“Former Mayor Ed Lee spent close to four decades serving the City and County of San Francisco. His dedication and hard work helped not only the Chinese community he so dearly loved, but the entire city as a whole,” Alioto writes. “He dedicated his life to our city in an effort to make it a better place for all of us. He is deserving of an honor that will signify the fact that he was San Francisco’s first Chinese American Mayor and served our city with great distinction.”
The announcement from Alioto comes just one day after Acting Mayor London Breed proposed renaming Portsmouth Square in Chinatown after Lee. Alioto claims that “renaming Kearny Street to Hon Edwin Lee Street is a much more honorable, respectful and appropriate action to take on behalf of the memory of the late Mayor Edwin Lee than the renaming of a prominent square in Chinatown.”
The choice of Kearny over any other street may seem like an odd choice — but Alioto says she chose it as it covers a “distinguished stretch of San Francisco landscape,” including a hefty portion of Chinatown. The proposal may be an effort to win over the Chinese American vote — with Assemblyperson David Chiu and Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu out of the race, it’s unclear which candidate will garner the large, politically active demographic. But Alioto accused Breed of doing the same thing.
“Of course the reason she’s doing this right now is because she’s a candidate,” Alioto told the Chronicle. “I believe that it’s an attempt to bond with Chinese voters. But as acting mayor, she can do that.”