Fasi 'really did a lot in Chinatown'
Ongoing revitalization efforts in Chinatown have their roots in initiatives spearheaded by Frank Fasi, who in the 1970s recognized that the community had potential as a cultural center and arts district.
Fasi also believed that more people needed to live in Chinatown if the city ever wanted to kick out longstanding criminal elements.
He helped Chinatown gain designation as a historic district.
And he kickstarted plans to build city-owned affordable housing projects in the area.
“A good part of the housing down here ... (went up) during his terms of mayor or were started when he was mayor,” said Downtown Neighborhood Board member Lynne Matusow.
Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, president of the Chinatown Business & Community Association, said Fasi also focused on crime. For example, Fasi banned traffic, except for city buses and emergency vehicles, on Hotel Street in an effort to curtail prostitution.
“I think he was the first mayor who really did a lot in Chinatown,” she said.