Mayor Ed Lee's Statement on the Passing of Civic Leader Rose Pak
"I join all of San Francisco in mourning the death of community leader Rose Pak.
Rose and I have been friends for more than 40 years, and I am among a great many people whose lives were touched in a profound, positive way by this extraordinary woman.
This is a great loss to the City as a whole, and the Chinese community in particular – a community that Rose served, supported and fought for, often fiercely, her entire adult life.
From her time as a trailblazing reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, right up to the present, with her fierce advocacy for renovating public housing in Chinatown, Rose battled on behalf of the poor, of immigrants, of women. Along the way, she managed to shepherd the transformation of the century-old Chinese Hospital into a gleaming new, $160 million 21st Century facility, and to help make the new Central Subway a reality, connecting Chinatown with the rapidly expanding southeastern portion of our city.
Rose was tough as nails; she swore like a sailor; she was fearless; and she was relentless, sometimes painfully so. But it was always in service of the cause she most believed in: uplifting her community.
She could be rough-and-tumble, and in four decades of close friendship and civic work together, she could be tough on me, too. I have the bruises to prove it. But despite it, at her core, Rose was motivated by love. Love of family, love of friends, love of community, love of city.
Nobody talked the talk like Rose Pak, but let’s not forget, nobody walked the walk like her either. I will miss her dearly, as will our city.
There will never be another Rose Pak, and the city of San Francisco will shine a little less brightly as a result."
Mayor Lee ordered flags to be displayed at half-staff and City Hall will be lit in the color white to honor Rose Pak.