SF political powerhouse Pak returns following medical issues in China

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One of San Francisco's most influential leaders is back home after health issues sidelined her in China for several months.

Rose Pak is back. You might not know her, but every politician in San Francisco does. That's why so many turned out to welcome her home. She's been a power broker in Chinatown and at City Hall for decades.

"She has a tremendous network of friends and enemies, so she's a player," said Gordon Chin, with the Chamber of Commerce.

"I don't care what people think. I just do what I need to do," said Pak, a political activist noted for her advocacy for the Chinatown community.

Pak's been a behind the scenes influence in several mayoral administrations and took credit for Ed Lee's ascension, then feuded with him over his pick for supervisor.

"We agree 99 percent and so when we have disagreement, we respect each other," said Lee.

Critics contend this activist has too much power. Even as she was receiving a kidney transplant in China, we're told she was keeping up with San Francisco.

"You can't critique someone for stepping up and stepping in," said Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome.

Pak has used her clout to help rebuild the Chinese hospital and recently had a nearby street named in her honor. Known as bombastic and foul-mouthed, she was mellow today but don't expect that to last.

"No, if necessary, I'll do it," said Pak.
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