Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Politics & Govt
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Published on March 26, 2024
Mayor Breed Nominates Lydia So to San Francisco Planning Commission, Cites Extensive Urban Design ExpertiseSource: Google Street View

San Francisco's mayoral office made waves this week as Mayor London N. Breed nominated the city's own Lydia So to the influential San Francisco Planning Commission, an announcement that followed her significant contributions to the city's transportation and cultural sectors, according to a statement from the mayor's office.

So's track record includes a stint as the first Chinese American on the Historic Preservation Commission and roles in the SFMTA Board and the Arts Commission, where she has been an ardent advocate for equity safety in public transit and culturally compassionate urban design, Mayor Breed furthered "Lydia has been a champion for the people of San Francisco, and her dedication to public service and her understanding of the intersection of housing, transportation, and infrastructure is what our City needs to move forward,"

Lydia So's nomination is poised to bring her decade-plus experience in urban design, architecture, and public service to a Commission that shapes the city’s approach to housing, land use, and transportation issues. So's dedication to fostering livable, sustainable communities has been evident in her leadership and design initiatives. Her commitment to inclusive designs that improve the quality of City planning was demonstrated during her time as a liaison to the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development, where she was a voice for affordable housing.

Malcom Yeung, the Executive Director of the Chinatown Community Development Center, praised So's comprehensive skillset and insight, asserting, "Lydia possesses an exceptional array of skills, encompassing placemaking, land use, transportation, real estate, and historical preservation," in a realm where community engagement is key to maintaining the city’s vibrancy and distinctiveness her addition to the Planning Commission will be nothing short of incredible Yeung said, the city anticipates So's unique perspective will enhance decision-making on projects affecting its diverse communities.

The San Francisco Planning Commission is crucial in advising city leaders on long-term urban strategies. So’s confirmation by the Board of Supervisors will see her take up this mantle - though this move necessitates her stepping down from the SFMTA Board. A local of the Mission neighborhood, Lydia, fluent in both English and Cantonese, has long advocated for AAPI community interests and broader city affairs.