Opponents on June 4, 2019 urged the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency not to name a new Muni station in Chinatown for Rose Pak, a deceased power broker in city politics.

Jenna Lane/KCBS Radio

Debate Continues On Naming New Station For Chinatown Power Broker

Jenna Lane
June 05, 2019 - 11:38 am

SAN FRANCISCO —The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority Board failed to reach an agreement about naming a future Central Subway station in Chinatown for a divisive public figure after listening to hours of heated public comments. 

The board members have considered naming the station for Rose Pak, who wielded influence in city politics until her death in 2016 and was instrumental in getting the new Muni line routed through Chinatown. On Tuesday, there were three votes for and against the proposal, meaning that no decision was made. 

Former mayor and KCBS Radio contributor Willie Brown addressed the board in favor of recognizing Pak. 

"I want them to name the station after Rose," he said afterward. "She is almost single-handedly responsible for the Central Subway."

The line will run from the Caltrain station in SoMa to Chinatown. Construction is expected to be complete this year. 

Opponents don't see Pak's legacy in the same way as Brown. 

"This Chinatown is not Rose Pak's Chinatown," said Alicia Zhao. "And the subway station was not really the effort of Rose Pak herself. There were a lot of people involved." 

Queena Chen of the Rose Pak Democratic Club took a minute away from rallying supporters to notice that Pak made this kind of organizing look easy.

“I wish she was here with us today, instead of having to fight to get the station named after her,” Chen said. “I think she would do better work. It would be totally different if she was here today.”