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Wind Newspaper: Labor union organizer Chyanne Chen announces her run for SF’s D11 Supervisor

By Portia Li / 李秀蘭

Updated: March 5, 2024 6:51 a.m.

(SAN FRANCISCO) Labor union oranger and Chinese community activist Chyanne Chen announced her candidacy for District 11 (D11) Supervisor in the November 2024 election. If Chen gets elected, she will be the first Chinese American Supervisor in San Francisco history representing the Southeast districts where are the homes of many Chinese American immigrant families.

Chen filed papers at the Department of Elections on February 29 to declare her intention to run for D11 Supervisor in November. She was joined by a diverse group of supporters who were Chinese community leaders and members from City Hall, unions, and Chinatown merchants associations.

Current D11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai who will term out later this year has begun his campaign running for mayor in November.

In recent decades, the neighborhoods in the Southeast sides of the City, Portola in D9, Bayview and Visitacion Valley in D10, Outer Mission, Excelsior, Ingleside and Oceanview in D11, have become homes for many Chinese American families who are mostly immigrants.

Under the redistricting plan of drawing a new map for 11 supervisorial districts in 2022, D11 jumped to the top for the first time as the largest Asian district in the City with 56.56% of the population.

D4(Sunset), which had been the highest Asian voting population in the City for decades, became the second largest Asian district with 54.51% population in 2022. 10 years ago, D4 was the biggest Asian district with 57.75% Asian residents who were eligible voters.

Chen also has an immigrant background from China. She came to San Francisco at age 15 and is a mother of two daughters. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Managerial Economics from University of California at Davis, a master’s degree in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell University, and presently is a graduate student in PhD program at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign pursuing a doctor of education degree.

Chen has had deep roots in the labor movement in her 20-year career. She began working as a community organizer at Chinese Progressive Association in 2006. She served as a coordinator at the SEIU United Healthcare Workers for over 6 years prior to becoming the Global Department Operation Director at SEIU from 2014 to 2019. From 2016 to the present, Chen is a founding member and executive member of the United Chinese Americans based in Washington D.C.

"For over 20 years, I have been deeply committed to our community, advocating for cross racial solidarity, and immigrant and workers' rights, a passion born from my own journey as an immigrant from a small village in China striving for a better life in San Francisco," said Chen.

Chen has resided in D11 for 24 years. "The challenges we face today are not just headlines; they're deeply personal. My daughter faced hate violence close to home on Ocean Avenue; my aunt was robbed on the #8 bus line; and within just one block of my home, my neighbors have been victims of home robberies," Chen said.

"These incidents aren't isolated—they're a stark reminder of the urgency to address our community's safety and well-being. District 11 is one of the most diverse districts in San Francisco and a vibrant hub of multi-generational immigrant families. We need a leader who not only understands these challenges, but has been fighting to address them," Chen stated.

"I understand the struggles of accessing services in language, affordable housing, equitable healthy care, quality education, good jobs and reliable public transit,” Chen said as a first-generation immigrant. "I have worked tirelessly to uplift our communities, our working families, and our small businesses, to show what we can accomplish a lot by unifying people."

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