tv City Attorney Swearing-in Ceremony SFGTV November 10, 2021 6:00am-7:01am PST
breed and i want to welcome you to city hall to swear in our next city attorney for san francisco, david chiu. (applause) we know david wanted to have the swearing in in chinatown, with the rain, it made it difficult but we're bringing chinatown to city hall and want to take this opportunity to thank them for their amazing performance. thank you so much. (applause) now, you know san francisco loves a good swearing in, don't we? all the elected officials came out for this occasion. it may take me two hours to acknowledge each and every one of them, but i want to take this opportunity to recognize and thank the outgoing city attorney
who has been our rock for 20 years. thank you dennis. (applause) and i see hiing in the crowd in her mask, the former city attorney before dennis, thank you for joining us. (applause) we're also joined by california's top law enforcer in the state, amazing he is joining us here today. thank you so much. (applause) we've got old mayors and new mayors and mayors just making it rain mayors, but i saw willy brown here earlier today, i want to thank him for being here. (applause)
assessor-recorder, and i notice one of our bart board members, thank you for being here. (applause) and i want to recognize that we have a quorum of the members of the board of supervisors, starting with the president of the board of supervisors, walton, rowen, safai, stefani, mandelman, mar, haney, melgar and chan. i also notice our sheriff is in town, thank you for being here.
so for the rest of the five people that are left of names i didn't say, thank you all for joining us here today for this occasion to swear in our next city attorney, david chiu. david is an amazing person, his entire family is here, including his mom and dad, mr. and mrs. chiu, thank you for being here. his brothers are joining us as well. but mom and dad did the hard work, his wife candace and son, lucas. (applause) david has a rich history in this city and we are looking forward to his work as city attorney. right now we're going to let the program begin and i want to start by introducing reverend norman fong who will be
providing the invocation. (applause) >> first met david chiu 1999 and i don't know how i felt about attorneys, but he was a good one. he was defending immigrant rights. back then against the governor -- right after that, he joined in chinatown wholeheartedly and has become a part of our family, joining the chinatown board and met families and fought for tenants and so many things and we love you for that. we are sure you're still going to do that. first asian city attorney. (applause)
i'm here as your presbyterian colleague today. all that stuff is good, but i have my own charge because you're a presbyterian, you know the theology of government is their purpose in the world to bring forth justice. so everybody just yell, justice! and you know -- you might have forgotten, my son was an intern with you when you were president of the board. his name is what? micah. your charge is simple, micah 6:8 is my favorite verse.
what does the lord require but to do justice -- everybody say that. love compassion. if you are open and willing -- walk humbly with god. bless you, bro. (applause) i forgot why i brought the paper here. okay. i'm supposed to introduce the one and only singer, poet and she is going to do spoken word, tiffany fuller, she is bad. she is the first graduate of old school care in the bayview. give it up for tiffany fuller. i can't wait. she wouldn't do rehearsal with
me. >> good afternoon everyone. i'm a san francisco native, born and raised in the bayview. i know david and his wife because they have been long time supporters of old school cafe, a youth run club helping at risk youth get job training in the restaurant industry. i had a drug addict mother and unknown father and grew up in foster care and suffered with depression and anxiety and i'm still healing from some of the childhood traumas but through the program old school, i have become the first graduate from the program to go to college -- (applause) and get a masters degree in screenwriting from u.s.c. thank you. so i definitely have a lot of life plans. today i'm going to talk to you about justice. is that cool?
walking hand in hand and living in peace, but how am i supposed to live in peace if i can't afford the rent increase and not everybody wants the hold my hand and it has nothing to do with social distancing. don't touch me is what they really want to say. they look at me a type of way because i'm a little more blessed by the sun rays, ray bans on for the shade thrown at my face. over where, over there? i don't see it. not here or there or on the ground in desperate search for the books that came from the trees that were indeed cut down, i can barely breathe, global warming is definitely a thing. ventilation machine is sucking the life out of this country. red or black beans, collared greens, whole foods and clean
water is definitely a right but i'm too tired to bike to the train because there's not a grocery store within range. ♪ oh deep in my heart ♪ ♪ i do believe ♪ ♪ begging the powers that be can't you hear me? it has taken generations to be black and proud, confidence and loud. a safe space, a place to call home with plenty of rooms but no
ceiling. down the streets screaming i've got rights. why do i have to protest to be free. why do i have to protest to be me. why do they have to protest to be them or they. the price is not right but just in case, go ahead and change the channel or keep scrolling. #notagain. one nation but equal pay and living wage is still a conversation, thought asian hate and black lives matter still trending. enough.
>> wow. thank you tiffany for your words and that inspiration. one more round of applause. (applause) good afternoon everyone. i am california attorney general. thank you. (applause) thank you. and just so honored to be here on this special day, this historic day to celebrate our friend, someone we all so admire and respect, san francisco city attorney, david chiu. (applause) and i speak more today as a long time friend of david's, not as california attorney general. i've had the pleasure of knowing david before either of us ran for office. i remember sitting with him and
talking about our potential desire to serve to lift communities up and fight for the things we care about so much, talking about the unlikelihood of us being able to do that, given our histories. i was -- my mom is an immigrant from the philippines. i was borned in the philippines and came at two months old and david chiu, the son of immigrants but we were fueled by that desire to serve and david stepped into the role so naturally so early as a san francisco board of supervisors leader. he was the leader that leaders looked to to lead. not just the leader constituents need. he was elected board president three times consecutively and later, the first api to lead his assembly district. and you know, i've said this many times before and i'll say it again here, we served for multiple years in the state
legislature and david chiu was my favorite assembly member, including myself. i liked him better than i liked me, because of the way he got it done. some people have the values but can't find a way to turn it into action, into concrete change to deliver for the constituents who need it. some people can deliver but don't necessarily have the values that are the right ones for the people. david has both. when i think about the legislature, there are legislators and then there's david chiu. it is another level. he's always performed at that other level and earned the respect of those who he serves with and that's no different here. so i'm -- i have seen him take on the big fights, you know, the scary fights and for him, they're not scary. it's what he wants, it's what he looks for. he looked to always balance the scales of justice, to take on the most powerful.
whether it be the lead paint industry, poisoning our kids. or gun manufacturers allowing our families to die. he was always there. and he was a fierce force for good when it came to his leadership for housing, something he knew all too well, an urgent need that needed change here in california, here in san francisco, and led the fight for the strongest tenant protection law in the state of california's history and in all of the nation. that was david chiu. (applause) and that defines who he is. i talked to him after he got -- i forget what it was, 17 bills turned into law this year, and that's standard. that's what you come to expect from david chiu. these were not just -- i use this sports analogy talking
about legislation, they weren't just base hits, they were home runs and every policy area, he went for the fence and got it done. in my view, we're lucky to have him, san francisco, the city and county is lucky to have him. the state of california is lucky to have him. whatever role that might be. if he's willing to serve, i'm on board with david chiu, i love me some david chiu, whatever it is. the san francisco city attorney's office is important to me. some may know and some may not, i worked in that office for 9.5 incredible years working with the best boss in the world, dennis, who led the office with courage and conviction, made it an office that was a force for good and incredible colleagues who came every day mission driven to do good for the people of the city and county. so i would not be okay with just anyone taking over the san
francisco city attorney's office and i know dennis has set the standard, before him, also. let me just say, it's the best municipal law office in the nation, bar none. (applause) and while dennis has left his mark on the office and no one will seek to or can imitate it, david chiu in his own way will write the next chapter in this incredible office and continue its legacy for fighting for justice and opportunity and equity and inclusion. i want to just say thank you to david for stepping up -- let me say thank you to his family. thank you to candace and lucas. to the siblings and parents, proud that are here to see david step into this role. i want to share, i know how much
david loves you candace and lucas, i know you know that personally of course as well. he would always want to come home after a long week in sacramento, ready to be a dad and a husband. on our final day in the capitol wrapping up session on thursday's, i would often -- we carpooled back together and he would give me the opportunity to drive him in his car so he could take a nap to be refreshed when he got home. i can't confirm or deny that. david, i'm not sure what the right word is, he's been my partner, my wing man and gotten so much done together as legislators, it was me supporting him and taking his lead and one of the things i miss most when i became the attorney general, certainly the honor and privilege of a lifetime, i miss david and
working with him and miss that feeling of collaboration of combining forces to work for something great and to do something maybe neither of us could have done alone but to do it together. i know that spirit is not going to end, although our roles are changing, we'll continue to fight for people and fight for what's right and right wrongs and fight for justice and i'm very excited for that. let me say on behalf of my family and me to you and your family, congratulations, david chiu, i'm very excited for you and excited for the city and county of san francisco and for the state for all the great things. that is his brand, that's what david does, he gets things done to lift people up and make life better. i already made remarks about him, coming up, i want to say thank you for your years of service, dennis. you're an incredible leader and
incredible friend and you were an incredible boss. i told him privately that i have copied some of the things he did for me for my attorneys in doj because he was hands on and showed appreciation and love for his team. let's give it up for dennis, san francisco public utilities commission general manager. (applause) >> mr. attorney general, first of all, soon to be city attorney chiu, i noticed he was buttering you up a lot. everybody knows lately i have been calling him a thief. he's right, we have a great office. the best public law office in the state of california. and that's why he comes here to
recruit great former deputy city attorneys, he has taken a couple lately, since mayor breed, you made your announcement. it is great to be with you today and i know the mayor made some introductions and i want to acknowledge all the former and current deputy city attorneys here, who have done a wonderful job on behalf of the residents of the city and county of san francisco. (applause) we have my predecessor, former city attorney, we have attorney general, we have scott wiener, we have u.s. district court judge and a host of other former deputies and current ones. i was thinking as i was coming over here today, i was trying to figure out who had the over under on if i was actually going to leave. and i can tell you, it is legit,
i'm gone. i've got my pass, my stuff is all moved into that very, very small office at 525 golden gate. nothing like the palace at city hall but i have done my part bringing some rain on my first day as puc general manager. off to a good start. (applause) and david, i'm so happy to be here to celebrate you as the 31st city and county of san francisco. you have the best office in this building. i don't know what louise did to renovate with willy brown, but it is the best office in city hall and you will experience it yourself when you leave the ceremony, as will lucas. and you have -- you are about
to asend to the most independent office in san francisco city government. and i can't overstate how important that is. you know, the drafters of san francisco's city charter wanted the city attorney to speak with one voice, to be independent and to be answerable to the people of san francisco. and that's why the san francisco city attorney is only one of 10 elected city attorneys in the state of california. let me just tell you, not everybody likes that. when i took office, willy brown made it quite clear how much he didn't like having an independent elected city attorney and his last two years whenever we had a dispute, he would run to the press to talk about term limits on the city attorney. he never actually did it and we have a lot of laughs now but there were members of the board of supervisors who in my initial
meetings talked about the importance of board of supervisors having the ability to appoint their own council and louise will remember this very well. when i stated my opposition to that, a chill came over the room and relations took some time to warm up. but i will say that if you do this job right, chilliness will evolve into grudging respect. and if you do the job long enough, it actually evolves into admiration and gratitude. for being there at the right time. the best analogy i can think of, that of a baseball glove. when you get the new glove, you don't know how it's going to feel. got to oil it up, don't know how it's going to react. but then the big game comes, bottom of the 9th bases loaded
and you have to make a big play and that new glove is now an old glove and it is perfectly oiled and rises to the indication and so happy you have it. i have been doing this long enough, maybe i evolved into being the old glove, but you are now the new glove. and folks, let me tell you, there is nobody more prepared to make the big play in the big game than david chiu. (applause) i've had the good fortunate of knowing him for 20 years. he moderated one of the first debates i had when i was running for city attorney in chinatown. since that time, i have seen him as a client, the board of supervisors, colleague in the legislature, working on legislation together and as a competitor when we both ran for mayor in 2011 and had to debate,
debate, debate, five, six times a night i don't know how many times and most recently during the course of this transition, we have sat in my backyard talking about issues. i have been struck by his incredible intellect. his thirst for knowledge. most importantly, his independence, his honesty and his integrity and his respect for the traditions of the san francisco city attorney's office. so as i stand here today, i don't have a lot of advice for him, how to do the job right. he's going to figure that out and forge his own path but i know it's going to be great and he'll become the old glove probably a lot quicker than i did. i will offer this piece of advice, an indicator of how history repeats itself. last time there was a city attorney swearing in in here was january 2010.
it was my third term. david chiu was in his first term and he was president of the board of supervisors and sitting there as an 8-year-old boy, stole the show, introducing the crowd speaking in mandarin. well, he grew up in this building, he grew up here experiencing everything about it. he understood the halls and the people of the executive offices for the city attorney's office and can tell you my parking space number was 37 since he used to run down there all the time, aaron peskin's first office was 256. now he's 20 years-old and sophomore on the east coast. we had a conversation today when he did what he usually does monday morning, calls me and asks me for money and tell me what he did over the weekend. but he actually showed a little
bit of interest when he asked what i was doing today and i told him what i was doing today. he asked about david's son, his name and his age. and he said, dad, please tell david and his wife that i hope that lucas has as much -- half as much fun experiencing the magic and the people of the san francisco city attorney's office as i had with you. and that's what he said to me today and that is the best thing that you can do, coming back from sacramento, sharing this place with your boy and keeping up the best tradition of our office. so before i introduce -- i know you're going to do a fabulous job and i'm going to be there whatever you need, before i introduce mayor breed to take us down the formal road, i want to say it is so wonderful after serving with five mayors to have a mayor that at least for now, responds to my advice so easily.
and, you know, i have to tell you, the reason i say that, people would ask me during the course of 20 years in office, what is the secret to running such a great office, how does it work so great. i said it is real simple, i just hire people smarter than me and i let them do their job. and that's exactly what mayor breed has done. she followed my advice, hiring somebody smarter than me and said she's going to let him do his job. with that, mayor london breed. (applause) >> well, first of all, i was getting all emotional you talking about your son and what we hope lucas will experience growing up. i think what it reminds us of is
really why we're all here. we want the city to be better, we want the city to be a great city, especially for future generations and dennis, you have definitely done your part in making san francisco a better place for all. thank you so much. (applause) and to the members of your team, all the great people, i see jessie is joining us today, we are still here and when people try and credit me with the fact that san francisco did so well in covid, we couldn't have done it without the incredible people who work for the city and especially you and the city attorney's office. thank you jessie smith. (applause) and i've got to say, replacing
someone like dennis, it's a lot of pressure. but it was also the worst kept secret in san francisco because you all knew exactly what i knew exactly what dennis knew, that there was no better person to step in and to do this very challenging, independent, complicated job than david chiu. see, david and i have a very long history. in fact, david was the chair of the democratic party at one point, remember that? or was that scott? well, you guys were there together. two peas in a pod. but it's so interesting, i remember him, i wasn't an elected official at that time, and he was a member of the san francisco democratic party. and not only actively engaged in
supporting and running for office in his district, he ventured out to other neighborhoods to make it clear that although when he decided to run for supervisor in district 3, he wanted to be a part of doing good policy work for san francisco. so he has an extensive track record of work he has done around policy. we have talked about his work on housing, we talked about his work around tenant's rights. there are so many things that even when i became a member of the board of supervisors that i learned from david and one of the things that i appreciate about him that it took me a while to really get and understand, because i was always a fighter. let's fight this, let's fight that. david is like i want to get the done, so let's bring people together. let's bring people together, let's figure out the complicated
problem and let's negotiate so that what we do represents the very best of what we're able to do as policy makers for the people of this city. he did that every single time which is why he continued to get elected time and time again as the president of the board. but many are not familiar with his track record in the law. in fact, working for lawyers committee for civil rights, helping immigrant families who were being evicted, including in the mission district. working with the 9th circuit court of appeals as a clerk, working as an attorney in the united states senate. working for the san francisco district attorney's office through and through his ability as an attorney is not only what served him well as a policy maker to be thoughtful and understanding and make sure that
all right. lucas, are you ready? you ready for daddy to do this job? what a good son. all right. put your hand on that, please raise your right hand and repeat after me, i david chiu. >> i david chiu. >> do solemnly swear. that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states and the constitution of the state of california against all enemies foreign and domestic that i bear true faith and allegiance to the same. that i take this obligation freely without any mental
reservations. >> without -- any -- >> or purpose or evaluation. and i will well and faithfully discharge. the duties upon which i'm about to enter. and during such time as i serve as the city attorney. >> the city attorney. >> for the city and county of san francisco. >> the city and county of san francisco. >> congratulations. (applause)
>> i am so humbled by this moment. this is overwhelming. and with all of the amazing things that have been said, i almost feel like i should shut up and just sit down. let me start with some profound thanks. first of all, i want to thank mayor breed. i want to thank you not just for this incredible opportunity, but for your leadership during these incredibly difficult times. (applause) i am looking forward to working with you with every single member of the san francisco board of supervisors in an
attorney/client privilege way. with all of the elected officials here, the judges here, the over 100 city departments and agencies and commissions to move our great city forward. i of course want to salute my predecessor, our outgoing city attorney. (applause) for 20 years as has been said, you have built the gold standard for what a premier public law office means in this country. you have done it with integrity, independence, boldness that i seek to emulate. our city owes you an incredible debt of gratitude. and i'm looking forward to carrying on your legacy and the legacy of former city attorney as we move forward. thank you, thank you, thank you. (applause) i of course wanted to thank my
good friend, the attorney general for our friendship over many years, for the work our two offices will do together and for promising me you will never poach another deputy city attorney from our office. i also want to thank our good reverend for your spiritual leadership, the work we have done together and the communities we care about. please pray for me every single day. every day. and i want to thank our performer, so i have to say tiffany is someone i have been able to observe over the years. i'm just going to share, she was nervous before today, but you knocked it out of the park. speaking truth to power. thank you, sister. so i was hoping to go around the room, i was going to start with my first roommate in san francisco who happens now to be the mayor of san jose. but what happens at 1111 green
street stays at 1111 green street. i wish i could go around the room, literally every person here is special. and to my friends, to supporters, to our current and former staff, to the chiu crew -- (applause) i love you, i could not have done everything i have done thus far without you and we're going to continue this work together into the future. thanks to each and every one of you. and i want to take a moment and thank the residents of assembly district 17. (applause) because for the last seven years you have given me this incredible honor, the honor to represent the people in the state legislature. thank you for that honor.
want to talk for a moment about family. i want to welcome my brothers here, i want to welcome my amazing in-laws here. but i have to take a moment and thank the most amazing woman in my life, my beautiful, incredible amazing wife, candace. (applause) so i have never had a chance to brag about my wife in public, but for those -- most of you probably don't know, she has a very intense public interest job, managing a refugee foster care program. and while she has done that for the past seven years while i have been in sacramento, she has held down the home front with our energettic son lucas and babe, i'm so glad to be home with you. (applause) so there are two more folks that
i want to thank and i think you probably know who they are. i am the son of chinese immigrants. my mother was a teacher. my father was a doctor. my parents taught me everything about who i am, about my values. they taught me what it means to serve. and i am so happy mom and dad that you're here with us today. could you please stand up to be acknowledged? (applause) to begin my comments today, i'm going to share a couple of things we didn't discuss as a family growing up in boston in the 1970s and 80s.
first, i never expected to be an attorney. when we were growing up, my immigrant family, we didn't know any attorneys. mom and dad wanted me to follow in dad's footsteps and i know to this day, my mom is still disappointed i didn't go to medical school. sorry mom. the second thing we didn't talk about, the fact that we were different. as the very rare chinese family growing up in our community. we never talked about the ethnic slurs, the racial slights. but something happened when i was a freshman, premed in college. one day, i got a telephone call from a friend about eight asian american students at a nearby university who were going to a semi formal dance on a bus at
night. they were attacked by football players from their very school who hurled racial slurs, spat at them. the most disturbing aspect of what happened was that those attackers were not brought to justice. that moment changed me. i was incredibly upset because those students could have been me. and i became a student activist, i studied the civil rights movement, i switched my major from bio chemistry to government. and a few years later, i decided i had to go to law school because i wanted to fight for justice. that fight for justice is why i became a public interest attorney, it's why i worked with some of you here at the 9th circuit court of appeals and worked with others as a civil
rights attorney and others at the da's office. that fight for justice is why i'm here in san francisco. because our city embraces all of us from around the world. if you look around this very room, just look around. we reflect the diversity of the world. whether you are a gay kid growing up in new jersey, like scott, or a refugee daughter fleeing civil war in el salvador like supervisor melgar. or if you were a young kid fleeing rural texas like mayor brown. we're all called to the city because this city has welcomed us. we believe in standing up for those who need help. we believe in righting the wrongs. i first came to san francisco to work for an organization rooted in the african american
community. as we challenged proposition 187, which would have kicked asian and latino kids out of public schools. a couple years later, i represented the organization, the chinatown community development center and at that time then governor pete wilson trying to kick immigrants out of affordable housing. in both instances, justice prevailed. i have had a chance to work with everyone in this room as a public official. and i will tell you that during my time as a public official, the fight for justice has been front and center. working with so many of you, we have been involved in our collective fight for civil rights. not just the right to housing or the rights for immigrants but for lgbtq rights, for women's rights, for the right to choose. i can tell you, as the next city
attorney, i'm going to continue the fight for our collective civil rights. in the wake of #metoo and black lives matter and anti asian hate, there's more work to be done. (applause) as a lawmaker i'll tell i my fight for justice has been taking on the most entrenched corporate interest in america. in the legislature we took on big pharma and big oil, we took on gun manufacturers, lead paint companies for poisoning families. we took on wall street banks for failing our community and predatory for-profit schools for failing our kids. and i will tell you as our next
city attorney, i will continue this fight for justice, i will continue to stand up to protect workers, to ensure that we are standing up for consumers and we will hold corporations accountable. (applause) a third priority, as a policy maker my fight for justice has been solving the biggest challenges of the day, whether it is ensuring we get people back on their feet after the great recession and this one or making sure millions of tenants are not being convicted during the pandemic. as your next city attorney, i look forward to working with each and every one of you for how we can use the rule of the law and take the opportunity to address the pressing problems of the day, whether it be housing and homelessness and suffering on our streets or the crisis of
climate or whether it be rooting out corruption and ensuring we are holding city hall to the highest ethical standards. this is what we're going to do. let me close with two final thoughts. first, i like to observe that at this moment in united states history, we live in dark times. rights that we thought we had taken for granted are at serious risk, the right to vote, the right to choose, the right to healthcare. the san francisco city attorney's office over the years has stood through dark times. when no one thought marriage equality was possible, when donald trump came after san francisco and our sanctuary city status. when mayor london breed needed legal advice to figure out how
to defend our city against a new novel virus called covid-19, the legal attorneys at the san francisco attorney's office, they have wealded their legal sword time after time for city and country and i can't wait to roll up my sleeves the work along side them. (applause) my final thought, my hope really is for my 5-year-old son lucas. as we were discussing in the car today, as i drove him to drop him off at kindergarten and promised my wife i would drop him off every day, you know, lucas doesn't yet understand the work that i do, the work that we all do here at city hall. but lucas does understand that
it's not right that too many people live on our streets in the middle of the rain. lucas understands that when you look up at the sky, the color of the sky should not be dark orange. and lucas understands that when you learn about something that is wrong, it's our responsibility to not just speak up but to do something about it. professor cornell west has said, never forget that justice is what love looks like in public. justice is what loves like in public. my profound hope is that when lucas is older, buddy, when you're older, some day you will say that your papa and the city
>> president bleiman: order. hello and welcome to the tuesday 2021 virtual meeting the entertainment commission by name is ben and i'm the president. to protect entertainment members to the employees and the public the city all meeting rooms are closed however meetings and employees will be participating in the meeting