Sandra F.
San Francisco
I am a fourth generation San Francisco Chinese American. I was born at Chinese Hospital in San Francisco's Chinatown. When I was three years old we moved to the Richmond district. In those days, everyone went to public schools in their neighborhood and the hours after school were filled with going to and from friends' homes in the neighborhood, bicycling on our single speed bicycles, skating on metal skates and adjusting them with our trusty skate keys. Weekends were spent at my grandmother’s house in Chinatown, playing with my many cousins at the Chinese Rec Center followed by huge family dinners cooked by my grandmother. My mother didn't work for many years and my father was an airplane mechanic for the government. They had only a high school education but they were able to buy a house, raise three children and live in San Francisco. Today, I am the mother of three children, and serve as a Commissioner on the San Francisco Board of Education. I have seen the changes to San Francisco and I see how hard our families must work to live here. The wealth gap has widened and has taken a toll on the stability of our families. Our families are working harder but are unable to reach a level of basic economic comfort and security. As a school board member, I am continually awed by the strength of the human spirit, the resiliency of our youth and their families, and the dedication of SFUSD staff to provide the academic foundation our children will need to be successful in the 21st century. San Francisco has changed a lot from the San Francisco of my youth, but I hope the San Francisco culture of acceptance, respect for humanity and diversity still stand strong to lead us into the next phase of San Francisco history.