Inauguration day in San Francisco, January 8, 2009

The elections this year have been SO historical. Never ever before, have my kids and I been so excited about this year's election.

So the kids wanted to visit Washington DC to see Barack Obama get inaugurated, but who has the $5000 needed to house, transport and feed my kids, husband and me! I have told them we will visit the White House in the next four years.

In the mean time, I got them excited to go see a colleague - Eric Mar - get inaugurated to the San Francisco Board of Supervisor. The election of Eric Mar to many progressive Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area is a very dear accomplishment. For many of us in our 40s, it’s been a long time coming. I still remember those high school years in Los Angeles when we were campaigning hard to just have a voice (eg Michael Woo to LA city council). We finally have one of us. I wanted my kids to see this day.

I got the kids out of school early and headed on the BART to Civic Center Station. As part of the festivities, we stopped by the Civic Center Farmer’s Market and picked an Barack Obama t-shirt that my oldest son – Jeremy – could wear to the festivities.

We headed to City Hall and went to straight to Eric Mar’s Office – Room 284. Eric and his staff were getting ready for the inauguration. Eric’s daughter – Jade – and my kids got a personal tour of Eric Mar’s office.

We got in line to see if we could get into to see the inauguration live. The hall was full we were directed to the basement to watch the inauguration on SFGOTV…. which probably turned out to be the best alternative with two young children who were hungry and needed to go to the bathroom.

In a packed hall, my kids and I watched on SFGOTV the ceremonies of the day. My kids were particularly amused that it took the San Francisco Board of Supervisors 8 rounds voting to reach a consensus of Board President. They were particularly amused that supervisor Chris Daly and Ross Murakami voted for themselves almost each round. They were particularly excited and proud when Eric Mar made the speech to the board that electing David Chiu would be incredibly symbolic since Asian Americans represented 45% of the city and that there has never ever been an Asian American as president of the board.

Moreover, we were impressed that Eric also told the crowd that David Chiu would serve not just Asian Americans but all of San Franciscans well. It was Eric’s plea to the board that turned the vote around and eventually elected David to become the board president. After 8 rounds of voting, and with a clear winner, the hundreds or so watching on SFGOTV were overjoyed.

Next came the receptions at the many supervisors offices. My kids were overjoyed by the delicious spread of treats. They went from office to office looking for treats- something that only a 5 year old and 9 year old could do. The kids said that Supervisor Bevan Duffy had the best sweets with their chocolate chips cookies.

We also met some famous people at these receptions. We went into Sophie Maxwell’s office and met former 49er football star – Jamie Williams – who is now Athletic Director at the Academy of Arts College in San Francisco. My kids were overjoyed.

Overall, the kids got out of school early to do some learning at City Hall. I think they got a close-up, accessible look at city politics.