Chinatown Merchants United Association of San Francisco has dealt and solved with many issues related to Chinatown before and after its establishment:
CMUASF has fought for more police force in Chinatown by adding more Chinese patrol officers, and established close communication networks between the policemen and the merchants. Since then the merchants may contact Chinatown police officers directly for emergency and non-emergency purposes.
Chinatown merchants were harassed by the Youngster Party. Once the information was received by CMUASF, it forwarded the information to the Chinatown patrol officer to deal and to resolve the issue.
Last year, the garbage company and the Public Works Bureau requested vacant parking spaces on Stockton Street to make rooms for garbage pick up at 5:00 pm. Merchants and CMUASF felt it was unfair practices for garbage company because there were still customers shopping at 5:00 pm, if the street was vacant and no parking were allowed, the business would affected deeply; therefore, CMUASF organized the meeting with the garbage company, the Public Work Bureau, and the merchants to fix the issue. Finally, the garbage company agreed to postpone the pick up schedule to six o’clock in Chinatown.
CMUASF requested Chinatown Supervisor Peskin to install twenty surveillance cameras in Chinatown starting from Stockton Street Tunnel. One of the cameras from Stockton Street caught on tape of criminal activity and the criminal was caught thanks to the camera installed at 777 Stockton Street. Supervisor Peskin also had another meeting with CMUASF board members in February 2020 to discuss a possibility of more surveillance camera installations in Chinatown by the end of this year.
February 2020, CMUASF board members and members arranged a media interview to clarify the rumors of a bakery owner’s wife who was infected Covid-19 positive in order to restore the reputation of the baker shop.
6. 二月份期間：In February 2020:
After many months of negotiation between MTA and CMUASF on how to promote Chinatown, MTA agreed to sponsor advertisements on all muni buses to promote Chinatown. Because of Covid-19, the promotion will be resumed when business reopens.
CMUASF has been working with Office Of Economics & Workforce Development to promote Chinatown by printing discount coupons booklets. Due to the pandemic the project will be resumed when business reopens.
After many meetings with the MTA, the MTA decided to return the bus stop to its original place on Stockton Street between Jackson Street and Washington Street.
7. 三月份期間：In March 2020:
CMUASF has designed a new Chinatown map for tourists local customers. The map is the directory for various business types, making it easier for tourists and local customers to shop in Chinatown.
Some merchants complained that many iron sewer covers were stolen. CMUASF contacted the Department of Public Work (DPW) to request for replacement, but DPW declined the responsibilities because they believed it was the merchant’s responsibilities. After hours of negotiation by CMUASF, DPW decided to replace the sewer plates for merchants at no charge.
CMUASF initiated a PPE supply drive to donate to frontline workers and was donated by 99% of Chinatown merchants. Over $42,000 of PPE supplies worth was donated to hospitals, Central Police Station, and Fire Station 2. The project was completed during the pandemic from March to May 2020.
8. 四月份期間：In April 2020:
During the pandemic, some people were feeding pigeons near the temporary railway station. When CMUASF received the complaints from merchants, CMUASF contacted the appropriate department and the temporary station was removed and less pigeons are surrounding the areas.
9. 五月份期間：In May 2020:
Received a notice from the MTA project manager team about construction work during business hours, after many disputes by CMUASF, MTA decided to alternate their construction hours in order to reduce as little affects as possible to our business on Stockton Street.
At the same time, MTA and DPW were planning to work on another project from Grant Ave and Sacramento for six months. After many discussions with the appropriate department by CMUASF, MTA and DPW decided to work on their project at a later time in order to ease some traffic congestion while they were working from Stockton Street and Sacramento Street.
During the protest and demonstration, CMUASF had communicated and coordinated with City Counselors, and the Central Police Department to ensure the safety in Chinatown was protected by police forces.
10. 疫情期間：During the pandemic:
CMUASF members voluntarily cooperate with the Chinese Herb Trade Association of America to pack and deliver immunity supplement herb packages to front line workers. This is the first step to outreach other organizations in order to form good relationships in the community.
During the shelter-in-place, CMUASF offered assistance to its members by completing SBA loans applications, PPP applications, EDD unemployment applications, and other services related to business.
CMUASF offered sample letters in Chinese and English versions to assist merchants who need assistance with rental agreements with the landlord.
CMUASF board members designed posters for merchants such as the mask covering, and six feet distancing to improve public health safety, and a keep smiling surveillance cameras poster to deter crimes.
Recently, CMUASF reported to the appropriated departments to inform them that debris and iron plates remained after the construction works were completed on Stockton Street which have caused environmental hygiene and safety concerns. The debris and iron plates were removed less than 24 hours after CMUASF reported to the appropriate authorities.
Thanks to CMUASF legal counsel, Stanley Shen for providing legal advice to our members who have offered free legal advice on business matters, and lease disputes.
CMUASF will continue to provide service to our members and our community, and many projects are in progress.
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.
Chinatown Merchants United Association of San Francisco