‘Anything is possible’: Vancouver delegation shares takeaways on San Francisco Chinatown tour – BC | Globalnews.ca

Now that a delegation of Vancouver police and business leaders have returned home from a trip south of the border to examine the revitalization of San Francisco’s Chinatown, the focus has shifted to how to apply what they’ve learned and get the city and community to invest in a safer Vancouver Chinatown.

The band wrapped up their San Francisco tour with a debrief from the city’s police chief at Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground on August 31.


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VPD and BC Business Leaders Tour San Francisco’s Chinatown


VPD and BC Business Leaders Tour San Francisco’s Chinatown

“I know we have some of the same challenges,” Chief William Scott told the delegation.

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Scott said he plans to send some of his members up north to see what Vancouver is doing in terms of policing.

“These types of partnerships are also part of the solution in my opinion because no one knows everything, and what works for all of you can work for us and vice versa.”

Vancouver’s Chinatown is struggling with security issues.

People are afraid to visit the area due to the random attacks on the elderly, street unrest and open drug use.

One block away, the Downtown Eastside remains the historic district’s greatest challenge.

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Minimalist Murals and Graffiti: VPDs and Business Leaders Tour San Francisco’s Chinatown

But the hope is to build on the vibrancy of San Francisco’s Chinatown, which includes embellished alleyways, bustling streets, graffiti removal within 24 to 48 hours, and a sense of safety.

“It’s inspiring that we can achieve this as well, because that hasn’t always been the case here,” said the Vancouver Police Department’s deputy police chief. Howard Chow told Global News in an interview.

“If we work as a community … with the merchants, with the owners, with the associations, with the VPD, with the city, we can do it in a much more productive way,” added William Hung, executive councilor of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation.

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“And that’s what they did here in San Francisco.”

It wasn’t easy, but after struggling with some of the same issues as Vancouver in recent years, San Francisco’s Chinatown bounced back – thanks to passionate community volunteers invested in change and police officers who bonded with business owners.

Read more:

How San Francisco’s Chinatown fought back against anti-Asian hatred

A regular team of cops patrolling San Francisco’s Chinatown, some of whom speak both Cantonese and Mandarin.

“I think that’s what we reimagined what Chinatown would be,” said Jordan Eng, president of Vancouver Chinatown BIA.

“Beat the cops on the street in Chinatown, get to know the merchants, and really build that sense of trust,” added Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden’s executive director, Lorraine Lowe.

Local government must support the effort financially in order to see real change, Lowe said.

“Leadership has to come from the top of City Hall to embrace this kind of relationship,” Eng told Global News.

“I’m absolutely sure we can do this,” said Bill Kwok, vice president of the Vancouver Chinese Cultural Centre.

“We saw what happened here in San Francisco and I think it’s something that’s going to take time. It won’t happen overnight and it works together as a community, and from there, anything is possible.

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How San Francisco’s Chinatown fought back against anti-Asian hatred


How San Francisco’s Chinatown fought back against anti-Asian hatred

“It needs resources, it needs funding, but it also needs community engagement that is also going to scale up,” Chow said.

Chow also said the public would not foot the bill for the delegation’s four-day trip.

“It’s not taxpayer funded,” Chow told Global News.

“It’s funded by the police foundation and donors who have a vested interest in Chinatown because they want to see the issues and challenges resolved.”

Lily Ho, the founder of San Francisco’s non-profit Delta Chinatown Initiative, met the band on their tour and offered this advice for Vancouver.

“Don’t give up, it’s an effort that takes an entire community,” Ho said.


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