Ed Lee honored with vigil, memorial in San Francisco’s Chinatown
Candles lit the darkness and warmed a chilly night in Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square to honor and remember Mayor Ed Lee.
“Not only did he care for the people in Chinatown, he cared for people all over our city,” said Acting Mayor London Breed.
Some in the Asian community didn’t like seating arrangements for Mayor Lee’s public memorial last Sunday, and especially didn’t like the lack of Asian Americans allowed in the reserved area of the rotunda.
“I was very disappointed such arrangements were made, not sensitive to the chinese community,” said former San Francisco Judge Julie Tang. “No Asian speakers except for the mayor’s daughters.”
And there was an especially controversial comment from the mayor’s Chief of Protocol Charlotte Shultz. “He had a wonderful laugh with those twinkly — just like the picture, squinty eyes and smile.”
The words, “squinty” eyes offended retired San Francisco judges Tang and Lilian Sing.
“Everybody felt uncomfortable, nobody knew how to handle it,” said Sing.
The Mayor’s Office of Protocol responded to the criticism in a statement, which said in part: “Mrs. Shultz apologizes if any of her comments regarding the mayor, which were intended to be heartfelt and warm, offended anyone.”
“I can’t speak for Charlotte, but she misspoke. She loved Ed,” said Mayor Lee’s close friend Gordon Chin.
He said Thursday’s vigil was a chance for the Chinese community to honor the man they loved.
“This is open — seniors, immigrant families. Together — the place Ed Lee supported and loved,” Chin added
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