David Chiu to Become SF's First Asian American City Attorney / Central Subway Is (Basically) Done

It's Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Hey, San Francisco!

Matt Charnock here — The SF Minute's second guest editor. Some of you might know me as the human behind The Bold Italic and SFist (on the weekends). TBH, I’m just glad to be here and for the free snacks.

Now, on to the news!

The City Attorney position in San Francisco was created in 1899; at that time, former offices of the City Attorney and County Attorney were unified. Franklin Knight Lane — a white, ostensibly progressive man (for the time) who would eventually serve as the United States Secretary of the Interior from 1913 to 1920 — became SF’s first City Attorney elected under this type of regime.

Fast forward well over a century later, and San Francisco is set to have its first Asian American City Attorney, Assemblymember David Chiu, who is expected to replace 20-year incumbent Dennis Herrera to become the next City Attorney.

“David Chiu has the vision, integrity, and experience,” Mayor Breed tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “I know he will continue to fight for the people in our community who are in need. I am confident that the City Attorney’s Office will be in good hands for years to come.”

In a news release from the Office of the Mayor, it was noted that Chiu, who oversaw California's 17th Assembly District, has authored significant legislation to expand and strengthen the civil rights of women, immigrants, and LGBTQI+ Californians. Following Chiu’s start as City Attorney, Newsom will call for a special election to be held within 140 days to elect a replacement Assembly District 17 seat.

So… a big digital round of applause to congratulate Chiu on his history-making position (that he’s expected to begin soon)!

Quick Newsy Bits:

  • San Francisco is “drowning in fentanyl,” causing a local drug epidemic that claimed more lives in 2020 than COVID-19 did; China is the main source of ingredients used to make fentanyl and it also produces the drug in a completed form, usually powder, making it easier to smuggle into this country and elsewhere throughout the world. (SFGate)

  • The swirling debate around El Farolito is forcing the City to examine its rules around chain restaurants and retail outlets — which could result in a big win for local businesses eager to expand, but not monopolize their products or services. (SFist)

  • 15-year-old Tyler Gordon, whose time-lapse of him painting Kamala Harris by the San Francisco Bay gained national attention, is releasing his first book, We Can: Portraits of Power, next week… and it’s already #1 on Amazon. (Hoodline)

  • There’s no question that SF’s beloved cable cars, as well as the 150-year-old system that supports them, are in need of a full revamp; it just may cost over $625 million to do it. (SF Examiner)

  • Oh, and good news: SFMTA is now testing Muni trains on the Central Subway system now that it’s about 98% complete — after the project started in 2010. (KTVU)

What Else I’m Reading, ATM:

And Finally…

Odds are you’ve found yourself in front of a guide to well-vetted fine dining this week after the 2021 Michelin Guide was announced. California added a massive 22 restaurants to the one-star ranks. Five of those are in San Francisco.

I, myself, have been to both Birdsong — having received its second Michelin star this year — and Niku Steakhouse, which recently collected a one-star rating by Michelin, and the meals at each were simply sublime. (I still have the odd dream of the four-ounce wagyu beef steak I ate one evening at Niku Steakhouse; the authentic Japanese whisky that accompanied it only made the experience that much more memorable.) O’ by Claude Le Tohic, Marlena, and Avery also made the list this year.

If you’re itching to treat yo’ self to a gastronomic indulgence, go ahead and make a reservation at any one of these newcomers. Don’t forget to bring your proof of vaccination, either.

Have a great evening. See y’all Friday! —Matt Charnock

Correction: David Chiu oversaw California’s 17th Assembly District, not its 17th Congressional District, as an earlier version of this newsletter stated.

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