She was born in mainland China and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia. She’s never held public office, and she’s not a registered lobbyist.
Her raucous, profane style irks local leaders like Aaron Peskin, who once accused her of having firecrackers set off under him during a Chinatown ceremony.
Like or dislike, agree or disagree, it’s hard to argue with the sheer power and will of Rose Pak. Now 63, Pak has been active in Chinatown politics and economic development since leaving her job as a Chronicle reporter in the early 80s. After decades of serving as an unofficial liaison between City Hall and Chinatown, Pak cemented her influence with the appointment and subsequent election of Ed Lee.
Her official role as consultant to the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce pays her a “few thousand” dollars a month, and she says she hasn’t accepted corporate consulting fees in about a decade. But the value of Pak’s backing — or the wrath of her ire — is priceless in San Francisco politics.