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April 28, 2003


Bay Area Chinese Adopt Jim Reid

The Bay Area Chinese community has adopted a Caucasian candidate for mayor because of his good idea on housing homeless people. Building contractor Jim Reid, who built the Smallest House in San Francisco as a big piece of the solution to homelessness, has found substantial financial support for his campaign for mayor in the Chinese community. A diverse group of successful Chinese citizens from Taiwan, the Peoples’ Republic of China, and Hong Kong have jelled into a fundraising committee for Candidate Reid.

Each member of this Chinese team has rags to riches stories of how America has been the land of opportunity for them. They are now using some of their wealth to help poor Americans get back on their feet. Reid, who spent many days in San Francisco’s homeless shelters on two occasions to see what services were like and to experience homelessness first-hand, was amazed to see how few homeless people were Asian. He is surprised and pleased to get financial support from their community in his quest to build housing for San Francisco’s homeless population.

The fund raising committee met at Café do Brasil Restaurant at 1106 Market Street @ 7th Street at noon on Monday April 28th. Reporters from the Examiner, the Sing Tao Daily, the Independent, and the Chronicle were expected to attend this lunch.

The fundraising committee is looking at a tiny storefront near the Renoir Hotel. Reid’s campaign is characterized by journalist Hank Donat in his Heart of the City column in the Independent on Tuesday as the little guy in the race for mayor against the big guy in the race, Gavin Newsom. “If the fundraising committee raises $100K and they keep me on the bus to shake hands with a thousand people a day in the 194 days between now and the November 2003 election, we will win,” says Reid. There are enough people on MUNI to elect the mayor three times over and they will not vote for Newsom if they believe that Reid, whom they see on the bus with them, has a chance to win.

Reid believes that his famous little house, ShelterOne, who people on the bus know better than his name, will get voters who want to own housing in San Francisco to vote for him in November. “If we can convince the little guy who rides MUNI that a building contractor mayor will cause housing to be built that he or she can actually afford to buy, then they will vote in their own self-interest by electing Reid mayor.

Reid says that most of the big-name well-funded candidates for mayor do not even have the word “homeless” on their websites. They all talk about building affordable and workforce housing, but their words are meaningless to the 70% of working San Franciscans who cannot afford affordable housing. Reid vows use his experience building housing to change this.