I joined this program to gain a new perspective on issues that I’ve been studying in my economics coursework. Over the last few years, I’ve developed an interest in how our built environment affects the economic, physical, and social wellbeing of a community. I chose to become an economics major because of my interest in urban and public economics. In my courses and research, I’ve looked at how affordable housing, transportation, and public infrastructure impact economic outcomes. I wanted to take a different look at these issues from a new perspective, one that took a more community-oriented, practitioner approach.
Before starting this program, my knowledge about Chinatown was quite limited. I knew about the Golden Gate fortune cookie factory on Ross that I always bring friends to when they come to visit me in San Francisco. I knew about a small restaurant on the upstairs floor of an older building on Kearny, and I knew that I could get cheap souvenirs on Grant Ave. That was the extent of my knowledge about Chinatown. And while I definitely have a lot to learn about the community, it’s culture, and it’s fascinating history, I already feel like I’ve become more familiar with the neighborhood. I look forward to what is to come with this great cohort.
One of the highlights of the first 2 weeks has been getting to meet so many CCDC leaders. I really enjoyed the Chinatown tour with Gordon. It was great to be able to meet him since we'll be reading a lot from his book, too.