Broke-Ass of the Week

Broke-Ass of the Week – Board of Education President Jane Kim

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Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude.  Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit'probably not.

Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week?  Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.

I first met Jane Kim at a fundraiser for the League of Pissed Off Voters.  Along with Chris Daly and Jeff Adachi, Jane and I were guest bartenders.  Why I was chosen to guest bartend along with three politicos, I have no idea, but my guess is that they needed a degenerate to round out the do-gooders. The photo above was taken the night of the event.  Jane looks cute as a button, as always, and I look like I drank way too many vodka Redbulls…as always.

For those of you who don’t know, Jane Kim is running for District Six Supervisor.  She’s currently the President of the Board of Education, a job where she makes $6,000 a year.  So yeah, she certainly qualifies as a broke-ass.  The girl seems to know her way around the excellent cheap eats San Francisco has to off, so read below to get some insight from our very first Broke-Ass Politician of the Week:

Name: Jane Kim

Age: 33. But school security guards still stop me in the hallways when I visit our schools because they think I am ditching class.

Occupation: President, Board of Education. Salary=$6,000/year and yes, it’s taxed!

What neighborhood do you live in?: I live at an intersection of neighborhoods– where SOMA, Mission and Civic Center all kind of collide '“ except I refuse to nickname it something ridiculous like SoMissCiv.

What are you listening to these days?: Music is my second love after politics. These days I have been listening to Medeski, Martin and Wood, Fela Kuti, Alice Russell, Sarah Vaughan, Beastie Boys’ instrumental albums, Michael Jackson and mixes (DJ Neil Armstrong and Triple Threat). For recent albums, I’ve been digging J. Period and Nneka’s “The Madness”, Erykah Badu’s “New Amerykah, Part II” and Sade’s “Soldier of Love.”

Running a performance venue space and being part of the Bay Area arts community introduced to me to amazing local talent that I love to see live such as Goh Nakamura, Scrabbel, Monuments to Masses, Jazz Mafia, Marcus Shelby, DJ Sake-One, DJ China G, and the Quannam Collective. Oh, and Valerie Orth '“ her CD release was on August 28th at Slim’s.

Best money saving tip: DIY haircuts. I had purple streaks in my hair for awhile, and my campaign team was like, “Absolutely not.” So I cut it. Myself. I couldn’t bear the thought of buying black color dye for a few streaks of hair.

What do you refuse to spend money on? Anything with too much plastic. Seriously. Even before the BP spill, I authored this plastic bottle ban at the school district, because it’s ridiculous how much plastic we use up every day. It’s gross.

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: My laptop?

How’d that feel?: Well, I spilled tea on it recently, so not too good. I can’t live without my laptop and cell phone– sad I know.

Favorite cheap eat: Rice and noodles, baby! It’s become a joke amongst my friends– I get cranky when I go without carbs for a full day. For cheap eats, I love rice plates at Tin Vietnamese Cuisine, fried chicken wings at Capital in Chinatown, chicken & bok choi over rice at You’s Dim Sum ($2!) and pork shoulder at Sai Jai Thai. A new fave is Burmese Kitchen — Little Saigon on Larkin Street is an awesome area to eat in.

Favorite dive bar: Ooh, that’s hard. Zeitgeist is two blocks away and makers on the rocks is $5. Jay Bee is another favorite with $5 makers.

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: A pair of never worn Jimmy Choo’s at the Crossroads second hand store for $50. My first and only pair.

Favorite free thing to do: Long conversations with good friends, free, live performances (music, films, art gallery openings), sitting outside on warm days (yes, maybe even on a sidewalk?!) and what I do. I’m lucky — I love my work.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: Donate.  I know that is a “politically correct” answer but it’s true. I would love to freely donate to all the amazing community-based or local arts organizations that do work I respect and admire like At the Crossroads, Youth Speaks, Intersection for the Arts, Chinatown CDC, POWER, Bindlestiff Studio, SOMCAN, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, CLAER, Coleman Advocates, Life Learning Charter School on Treasure Island, our public schools and would love to give them more.

Plus, they give free services and empower broke ass people and communities.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Hell, yes. Even though I’m never able to make everyone happy all the time, I legislate and serve from my heart. I love what I do and the people I am surrounded by. I fell in love with my work as a Community Organizer and as a School Board. I love the challenges of my job– connecting limited resources to real people, problem solving, representing diverse communities and serving youth.

Do you own my book?: Haha, well' I borrowed my friend’s, but it’s really old '“ like almost a zine. There’s an updated version, right? I mean, you have a slick website, so you must.

Best hangover cure: #4 combination pho at Turtle Tower on Larkin Street, between Eddy and Ellis. I love their broth. I’m lucky though– I have low tolerance for alcohol (good for a broke-ass drinker) and I don’t get hangovers.

Are you a hipster?: Can elected officials be hipsters? My roommate turned me into a sushi snob'”it sucks because I can’t eat those $1 floating sushi boat plates anymore. Does that count? Oh, I used to play electric bass with an all female band called “Strangely.” We played at Brainwash, SOMARTs and Bindlestiff. That must give me some hipster street cred.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. […] more convincing reasons to vote for her other than being a bass player in a band and supposedly living on $6,000 a year in this […]

  2. […] when they could have just played it safe and quoted Wikipedia. And, despite Jane’s claimed $6,000 a year income, given her sunglasses, she probably has an iPhone that she could have busted out a lookup on. Jim […]

  3. leland
    November 26, 2010 at 9:43 am — Reply

    broke?? didn’t she go to stanford??

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