Advocacy – Merchants

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On March 4, 2020, CMUASF wrote a letter on behalf of its members to the district supervisor Aaron Peskin. Below is the content of the letter:

March 4, 2020

Mr. Aaron Peskin

Board of Supervisor

City Hall of San Francisco

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244

San Francisco CA 94102-4689

Dear Supervisor Peskin:

It has been our pleasure meeting you, and Calvin on February 28, 2020. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to express our concerns and feedbacks regarding safety, business, and health issues in our Chinatown community. We have collected information from our Chinatown merchants, and decided to propose the following requests in hopes to improve the businesses and the safety of our community. Our members are merchants who own businesses in Chinatown.

We have considered the suggestions of merchants from different types of businesses such as: restaurants, tea shops, ice cream shops, salons, skincare, massage parlors, supermarkets, seafood markets, herbal shops, tourist shops, gift shops, jewelers, and electronic stores.

We asked merchants to consider two sets of questions:

First set of questions: What is the underlying problem Chinatown faces? What can we, the merchants, do in order to bring more customers to Chinatown? Do you support the action of having more advertisements, and road signs that would lead people to Chinatown?

Second set of questions: How can the city government help your business? Do you believe that the city government should pay more attention, and provide more grants to support our small businesses in Chinatown?

Merchants in Chinatown answered the above questions and have suggested the following feedbacks which will help their business and safety in their community:

1. Homelessness / mental disorder people destroy business in Chinatown!

We are dealing with homelessness, and people who may need help with mental illness in Chinatown. This issue is causing fear among residents, visitors, business owners, and property owners. There are people living on the street who need help, and there is a lack of a response from the city

2. To increase police forces in order to prevent crime

Crime is one of the major problems in Chinatown. We need more oversight to secure our business and our neighborhood. Starting about two years ago, Chinatown became the victim of Prop 47. It is often young adults, and teenagers who target women and small businesses. Criminals are protected by Prop 47 who would only be charged for stealing merchandises over $950. Under Prop 47 small businesses are the victim who could not afford to lose merchandise even if it is under $950. Our concern comes from the response to these crimes by the city. When culprits are caught, the only response from the city is to issue citations. There is a lack of a deterrent for these crimes. Therefore, the same groups of criminals return to prey on the community. We are against Prop 47. Please give us suggestions and help us to fight against this law. The community is in fear. We hope that the city is able to provide support. If the city continues to ignore this issue, our community will take the necessary actions to protect our people.

3. To increase Gross Sales tax up to two million instead of one million

Some merchants request to increase the current Gross Sales Tax pay from One Million to Two Million. It helps many merchants to have a tax cut, so they can use the funds to contribute back to our Chinatown community.

4. To reduce parking lot tax rate

Parking lot surcharge tax is too high in San Francisco which forces parking lot owners to increase their parking fee. By reducing the parking lot tax rate will encourage parking lot owners to reduce their price; therefore, more private parking spaces will be affortable to the public in our area.

5. Disagree to extend parking meter enforcement on Sunday and extension from 6-9 pm on Monday to Saturday and Sunday

Any parking meter extension is hurting our business in San Francisco. It will cut down drivers, or visitors coming in San Francisco.

6. To offer free shuttle bus from different neighborhoods (Sunset, Richmond, Oceanview, and others) to Chinatown.

This request will bring our neighbors around the city returning to shop and enjoy our restaurant in Chinatown.

Thank you very much for your attention. Looking forward hearing from you.


Edward Siu

Chairman of

Chinatown Merchants United Association of San Francisco