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Power broker Rose Pak resents being called a power broker

Monday, November 26, 2012

The December issue of San Francisco magazine is out with a generally flattering piece about Chinatown political maven and long-ago Chronicle cub reporter Rose Pak. (The photo for the magazine is by Jim Hughes.) Among other things, we learn that she resents the “power broker” label, telling writer Chris Smith that “if I were white, they’d call me a civic leader.”

Here’s a sample from Pak’s brief stay at the Chronicle (after the jump):
As the only Chinese speaker at the Chronicle, Pak became the paper’s go-to person for all things Chinatown. Assigned to cover the Wah Ching, the Chinese youth gang that burst onto the scene in the early 1970s, she called George Woo, a student radical and the gang’s spokesman. Woo, who would go on to teach ethnic studies at SFSU, says that at first he refused to speak with Pak. Then, however, the stories started getting back to him. When gang members tailed Pak’s car to intimidate her, she pulled over and chewed them out, threatening to call the cops. Woo says, “When they told me that, I thought, ‘Hey, that woman I’ll talk to.’”

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