Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO – An influential community activist who turned San Francisco’s Asian-American population into a political power in the city has died.

A friend of Rose Pak said she died of natural causes in her home Sunday morning. She was 68.

A former reporter who covered Chinatown for The San Francisco Chronicle, Pak eventually became an advocate as she became immersed in issues concerning the neighborhood.

As the longtime consultant to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, she helped raise money for her preferred politicians, backed projects that benefit Chinatown’s residents and helped make the neighborhood a strong player in the city’s political world. In 2011, she started a campaign that led to Ed Lee becoming the city’s first Chinese-American mayor.