San Francisco Appoints First Noncitizen to Sit on the City’s Elections Commission

Chinese immigrant Kelly Wong, who has only been in the U.S. since 2019, will oversee elections in San Francisco despite not being eligible to vote herself.

San Francisco has appointed its first non-citizen, who immigrated to the U.S. from China in 2019, to serve on its Department of Elections.

But Kelly Wong, the newest member of the San Francisco Elections Commission, a seven-member civilian body that oversees and creates policy for the city’s Department of Elections, is not legally allowed to vote.

Wong, a self-described “immigrant rights community advocate” who also promotes “equity and inclusion”, was appointed to the commission on Wednesday.

Wong said she hopes her appointment will bring hope to other immigrants in San Francisco.

“There are always voices inside my head. Like, ‘You can’t do it. You’re not competent. You’re an immigrant. This is not your country.’ That’s not true,” said Wong, who immigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong to pursue graduate studies. “If I can do it, you can do it.”

From KQED:

Wong’s appointment is the result of a 2020 voter-approved measure that removed the citizenship requirement to serve on San Francisco boards, commissions and advisory bodies. Each of the commission’s seven members is appointed by a different city official, such as the mayor, city attorney or district attorney. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint Wong.

Drawing on her lived experience, Wong said she wants to increase engagement among the city’s immigrant and non-English speaking communities. Anyone who has delved into San Francisco’s ballot knows it can be just as confusing for native English speakers to decipher the myriad propositions, their arguments, and the city’s ranked-choice voting system.

“Even though I’m fluent in English, I still encounter challenges in navigating a new system, let alone participating in political conversation and activities,” Wong said in an interview with KQED before Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony.

One of Wong’s priorities is to ensure that voter materials are translated in a way that people can understand – she pointed out, for example, that there isn’t an equivalent term for the word “reparations” in Cantonese or Mandarin.

The left putting a noncitizen from China — America’s greatest geopolitical adversary — who is not eligible to vote in charge of elections is just another example of the policy insanity coming out of blue cities.

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