[Fox News] Chinese Americans turn on San Francisco Democrats over crime, education: WSJ

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Many Chinese Americans have signaled that they could be done with progressive candidates in San Francisco ahead of upcoming elections.

Several local positions are up for grabs this November, including mayor, city Attorney, district attorney, sheriff and four seats on the Board of Education. While Chinese Americans have previously been a reliable voting bloc for Democrats, many are spearheading or supporting efforts to return to the political center over issues like crime and education.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, “Members of the Chinese community, who make up one-fifth of this city of 810,000 and a slightly smaller percentage of registered voters, say they have been particularly incensed by incidents of anti-Asian violence, school policies they believe have emphasized equity over merit, and street homelessness. Many are also upset that property crime has long been higher in San Francisco than most other major cities, though it has dropped this year.”

San Francisco State University associate professor of political science Jason McDaniel warned that the Chinese American demographic “is a community that can determine the outcome of elections” as incumbent Mayor London Breed seeks to defend her seat.

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Things began to change for Chinese Americans years earlier during the pandemic. 

“Many Chinese American voters grew angry at the political establishment during the pandemic, when prolonged school closures and a move away from merit-based admissions at one elite high school incensed families who put an emphasis on education,” the Wall Street Journal noted.

The frustration escalated with the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. Many Chinese Americans took part in the recall efforts against District Attorney Chesa Boudin, accusing him of ignoring their community. One particularly incendiary turning point came in 2021 when Boudin remarked that 19-year-old Antoine Watson was “in some sort of a temper tantrum” when he allegedly attacked and killed 84-year-old Thai immigrant Vichar Ratanapakdee.

“I think that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Garret Tom, a former San Francisco deputy police chief, said, according to WSJ.

WSJ reported that Chinese Americans voted in support of the Boudin recall, as well as the ousting of three school board members, on average 10 to 30 points higher than the overall voter population, according to one analysis. Some have indicated that they may be turning their eyes to the mayor’s seat.

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“I voted for London Breed, I loved her story, but at some point I have to take a look at the state of her city,” Boudin recall leader and mayoral candidate Mark Farrell campaign manager Jade Tu said. “There is a lot wrong with this city.”

A San Francisco Chronicle poll in February found that 80% of likely Asian voters disapproved of Breed’s performance. Two of her challengers each received 17% support, with Breed only at 10%.

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