February 11, 2002
Supervisor Leland Yee
San Francisco City Hall
1 DR. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

 

Dear Supervisor Yee,

Thank you for the opportunity to meet last Friday Feb 8th with Small Business Advocates. We agree our homeless problem is related to non-profit organizations paid on the size of the problem. I add that rent control and a lack of property rights are also significant contributing factors. Articles are enclosed for your review.

And as we also discussed taxes, note the enclosed articles showing taxes hurt the economy and government income. Tax cuts and reduced government spending improve the economy and increase government coffers. Considering the amount of government waste, only one path supports the goals of everyone.

Thank you also for discussing the Department of Elections refusal to allow my Chinese name in my campaign. While I appreciate your offer to “fix” my problem, as a candidate running to make positive changes, I am equally interested in changing the Department of Elections’ offensive policy.  Enclosed is a copy of the meeting notes from when this policy was developed.

While there are many incriminating statements, I specifically note where it says “Chinese candidates…can use their own Chinese names” but non-Chinese candidates names must be “Strictly in accordance to how their names are pronounced”. And an example says “We don’t know her national origin, the Chinese name…will mislead the voters think (sic) she is a Chinese but she is not. We suggest that DOE ask the candidates provide (sic) their ethnic background”. Note those suggesting this policy. That the DOE accepted it is shocking.

In 1964, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Anderson v Martin, 375 US 399, it is unconstitutional for governments to identify the race of a candidate on a ballot. In 2000, Rice v Cayetano, 528 US 495 in Hawaii shows that the Supreme Court is still very sensitive about race in elections. This DOE policy intends to communicate whether a candidate is Chinese. And as a Chinese name is very important to Chinese people, you know that reducing non-Chinese candidates to phonetic replications is also demeaning. My Chinese friends agree that the name given to me by the Department of Elections is not a “Chinese Name”.

That the DOE refused repeatedly to allow my Chinese name I’ve used for years shows government arrogance towards those they are to serve. And it suggests something about those who would use race to influence the election process. After all this, solving this problem without changing policy would seem unsatisfactory. However, I accept whatever assistance you can provide and hope you understand and can support my position.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon. I sincerely appreciate your interest in these issues.

Sincerely,

Michael F. Denny