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San Francisco Appoints 1st Noncitizen to Election Commission

Posted on Tuesday, February 20, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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san francisco seal; Appoints 1st Noncitizen to Election Commission

The San Francisco Elections Commission has, for what is believed to be the first time in history, appointed someone who isn’t a U.S. citizen—who isn’t legally allowed to vote—to serve as an official.

The officer, Kelly Wong, was sworn in on Feb. 14, local news outlet KQED reported. It said that Ms. Wong, an immigrant rights advocate, is a native of Hong Kong who arrived in the United States in 2019 for graduate studies.

She was sworn in by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin during a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall after winning unanimous support from the board.

“This appointment is a milestone for all immigrant and marginalized communities throughout SF,” Ms. Wong wrote in a LinkedIn post on Feb. 15. “Representation matters: thousands of immigrants living in the city hold stakes in politics and there’s no better way to have us be represented than to serve in leadership positions.

“I am deeply committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of immigration status, has a seat at the table in shaping the future of our city.”

The appointment of a noncitizen to city boards, commissions, and advisory bodies was made possible in 2020 when voters passed a proposal by lawmakers to remove the standing requirement that candidates seeking office hold U.S. citizenship.

At the Feb. 14 ceremony, Mr. Peskin applauded Ms. Wong’s activism. “I’m very impressed by her commitment to enfranchising people who rarely vote, to educating people about the voting process, and to bring in noncitizens and get them the tools they need as they become citizens,” he told KQED.
 
The former resident of Hong Kong, which now belongs to China and recently saw mass pro-democracy protests over the people’s lack of true electoral representation, said she hopes to improve immigrant and non-English voter engagement in her new home city of San Francisco, which has a ranked-choice voting system. She also told KQED that one of her priorities would be to use resources to improve translations of voter materials.

“I’ve seen how language and cultural barriers prevent immigrants with limited English proficiency from fully exercising their right to vote,” Ms. Wong said.

Ms. Wong will join six other members of the civilian-led commission, whose job is to oversee policy and operations for the city’s Department of Elections.
 
As all member roles are unpaid, Ms. Wong said she would also continue her work for the progressive advocacy group Chinese for Affirmative Action—a non-government organization founded in 1969 whose mission is to protect the “civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States,” according to the group’s website.

She has worked for the group since 2022.

Chinese for Affirmative Action in 2016 supported other progressive advocacy efforts to further liberalize voting access, lobbying the government to change the law to allow noncitizens to vote in school board elections if their children attend a school in the district. Their efforts succeeded after challenges in the state’s courts.

Ms. Wong thanked the city’s immigrant rights commissioner, Sarah Souza—who arrived in the United States as an illegal immigrant child and was the first such person in California appointed to the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee—for her successful campaign in 2020 to change the law and allow noncitizens to serve on local commissions and advisory boards.

“Without Sarah’s advocacy and perseverance, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to represent immigrant voices and contribute to shaping the future of our communities,” Ms. Wong wrote in her post.

“To all immigrants in SF: I hope my appointment to the Elections Commission serves as a beacon of hope, showing that change is possible and your voices matter in policymaking. If I can do it, you can too.”

Vincent Pan, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, also congratulated Ms. Wong.

He told KQED, “I’m hoping there will be a day where it won’t be as newsworthy that you have someone who’s an immigrant and a noncitizen involved in helping make the city run better, especially in a city where such a large percentage of the community is immigrants.”

Reprinted with Permission from The Epoch Times – By Melanie Sun

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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PaulE
PaulE
2 months ago

Next up, allowing illegal aliens to be poll watchers on election day or vote tabulators. Think it can’t or won’t happen? Then you aren’t paying attention to the trend. If Biden gets installed for a second term, or any Democrat is installed in the Oval Office, that is just one of the many things that the Democrats will usher in. Enough illegals have already entered this country during Biden’s first term to add 22 new seats to the House of Representative after the next census count.

mike miraglia
mike miraglia
2 months ago
  1. California is out of their minds!!
Jackie
Jackie
2 months ago

Leave it to San Francisco to pull an unconstitutional act like this one!!! This is a big mistake, San Fran!!! Allowing non citizens to perform any functions that have legal consequences especially for illegals, when our own President doesn’t follow the immigration laws, is asking for trouble down the road!! You are setting a precedence that shouldn’t be allowed and you are making the United States a country with no borders!!! But maybe that’s what you are after in the end!!

JPop
JPop
2 months ago

California is such an easy state for our enemies to conquer. They’ll fold like yesterday’s laundry.

Patriot Bill
Patriot Bill
2 months ago

CCP plant nothing more. Welcome to Commiefornia

Dennis
Dennis
2 months ago

Fire the whole elections commission and try again with people who are not breaking the law just by being here.

John
John
2 months ago

The people of California…San Francisco in particular are crazier than sprayed roaches! This is just insane. The Democrat Party has been absolutely taken over by radical leftist idiots and this clearly demonstrates the insanity. Why in the heck are we allowing such a small group of wild-eyed liberals to destroy this country for the rest of us?

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
2 months ago

You know I’m just speechless right now. A real loss for words. No wonder all the illegals shifted from Texas to California where they’re welcomed and have representation.

Fredrick
Fredrick
2 months ago

The Califonia wackos do it again!!!!

Jane L
Jane L
2 months ago

Allowing this illegal alien to be on the board is a direct slap in the face to all Americans. She does not have the right to speak for those who came in to this country legally. And she is from China? What the hell is wrong with people. China is our enemy!! Disgraceful!

Freedom will ring!
Freedom will ring!
2 months ago

America used to be called a free country, now it appears to just be free for the taking! Isn’t it about time to say enough is enough & get back to following the Constitution? This should be taken care of by the court system, but it probably won’t be!

Constance
Constance
2 months ago

I love California. I love America. I love God! But this is so heartbreaking. Isn’t there a higher authority than the Election’s Board of any city? If there is, it should be stopped. It is illegal and treason. If not stopped, it is coming to a city near you!
Need to pray and stand up to this invasion of our country.

Toni
Toni
2 months ago

Are you kidding me??? This should not happen, EVER! What is this country coming to?

Leslie
Leslie
2 months ago

Do you see the symbolism here? This is what Biden and his drunken cabinet wants…to be owned by China and other agnostic countries.

Margaret
Margaret
2 months ago

God help us. What has happened that no one thinks they need to follow our laws, abide by the constitution and do whatever they think is new a feels good to them?

Deborah R. Evans
Deborah R. Evans
2 months ago

You must…at least do as others by doing the necessary things for citizenship ! It reminds me while at UFL a bunch of football players, while a whole line of students me one, had to stand in line all the way down the stairs and these went ahead ! What’s good for one ought to be also for the rest. What kind of example has that shown ?

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
2 months ago

A pile!

Vince
Vince
2 months ago

Newsome wants to bring this nonsense to the whole country don’t you know !!

FJB
FJB
2 months ago

Please tell me that this is a “The Onion” or a Babylon Bee story. It cannot possibly be real outside of the bizarro world, can it?.

Ladybug
Ladybug
2 months ago

This is just the kind of crap that is killing America one step at a time!! Democrats are Satan’s children ruining all our God given rights and spitting on our Constitution every chance they get. I am sick to death of them and all the illegal aliens Biden wants us to call immigrants! There is no way in this universe,not enough money in this world, that would ever make me want to live in the sewer state of California!!
God Bless America and have mercy on us, your children. Bring common sense back to us and help us fight this corruption that we may know righteousness and your love in our beautiful country and your world again, Father!

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
2 months ago

What next illegal aliens for president and VP and while were at it the whole White House and then replace all the governors in every state with an illegal that is what will happen in this country we are fast becoming a third world country with Biden and his VP leading this country maybe it might be already a third world country with all the people they let into this country.

sdg
sdg
2 months ago

NUKE San Francisco– they are and always have been traitors to the USA. Lets burn the flag and the constitution and put up the Chinese flag.
Declare all white conservatives as terrorists and have them gunned down by the FBI
When are people in this Country going to wake up and realize we are at war with the Chinese, Mexico, Ukraine, Venezuela and other country’s as they stream across our borders and form their militia’s across the country and get set to take us out!!!!

Joe
Joe
2 months ago

What idiots. Time for a reset in California. Does anyone have any balls in that state???

Joe
Joe
2 months ago

What idiots in San Francisco

Kurt
Kurt
2 months ago

That is a slap to all the people that legally became citizens so they could vote. My wife is from England and it was a long process when she became a US citizen. If they give the illegal aliens a “drivers license”, some (blue) states allow them to vote…an absolute disgrace

Keith
Keith
2 months ago

SAN Francisco votes should be thrown out for all federal elections!

Vicki
Vicki
2 months ago

This is absolutely nuts. What is going on and who in conservative leadership is allowing this to happen? California is messed up.

Lance
Lance
2 months ago

We had better wake up to this takeover and invasion. It’s godless. Try it in non-Christian countries. They will take what we aren’t willing to fight for. Wake up, America!

Devon
Devon
2 months ago

I am so sick and tired of people trashing our constitutional rights. Enough is enough. Why are people and our f*cked up government letting the happen. I am ashamed and disgusted on be an American. The government is literally sh*tting on the Graves of our forefathers. Shame on you a**holes!!!!

Glendaglenda
Glendaglenda
1 month ago

Immigrants that need to change OUR laws don’t need to be here. If you came here with that mind set you need to go back where you came from. Thinking we need to extend that wall from the border straight up the California State line into Oregon and Washington.

George
George
2 months ago

This is a disgrace to those who come over here legally and are citizens. It is indeed of slap in the face to those of us that are American in this country. San Francisco what is wrong with you?

Bonnie Levenwotrth
Bonnie Levenwotrth
2 months ago

Please fix this app so it will turn to LANDSCAPE mode too. My ipad doesn’t like this portrait mode at all. It’s hard for me to read sideways. Now don’t be like the republicaNS In congress, get something done. thanks.

Nikata Krushev
Nikata Krushev
2 months ago

So! What that means if Putin and Xi Chenping come ovet as imgrants they can help run America too as be voted into leadetsdhp posiytionsd. It’s ok if the likes of Hitletr come over as imigrants they can have a leadetship posityion.

Susan S
Susan S
2 months ago

I am now living in an alternate universe.

Jeane
Jeane
2 months ago

If Kelly Wong can be appointed to aform of government office and wants to be a beacon of hope to other immigrants (be they legal or illegal), her first step in office should be to apply for citizenship. Once that is accomplished, she can demonstrate to the rest of the immigrants just how to do it. My Great Grandmother did it and so did my Grandfather once he was old enough. They arrived legally thru Ellis Island.

Kelly
Kelly
2 months ago

Ignorance is in Democrat’s water and they are very thirsty.

Ricky
Ricky
2 months ago

If San Francisco wants to piss on the Constitution of the United States as well as citizens who have the right to be on the committee instead of “FJB people” and the people of California want to give up their right. Then Californians never deserved any right to begin with!

Gee
Gee
2 months ago

Here’s the beginning of the end! Pretty soon, all who crossed our borders will be made American citizens and will be able to vote for those who brought them here

Larry
Larry
2 months ago

She probably brought COVID to our shored

J
J
2 months ago

A CCP MEMBER UNDER COVER NO DOUBT!

Robberbaron
Robberbaron
2 months ago

So, apparently anyone living anywhere can now vote in SF. What is next? Need I ask?

Jimm
Jimm
2 months ago

White communities in San Francisco have become “marginalized communities”. What decent person, in their right mind, would want to live in this sh*t city?

Susan a.
Susan a.
2 months ago

This cannot be allowed ????????????

Wayne
Wayne
2 months ago

HAHAHAHAHAHA…………..only in california

anna hubert
anna hubert
2 months ago

awe are in itr way to select the Dear leader Hed job will b=be redindant

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