This year, a record number of Asian Americans are running for public office at the local, state, and national level. Reappropriate has partnered with Run for Something — a non-profit launched in 2017 to support grassroots campaigns to elect progressive candidates — to profile these progressive Asian American candidates for higher office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2018 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.
What is your full name?
What office are you seeking?
CA Cupertino City Council
When is the election date?
November 6, 2018
What is your party registration (if any)?
Tell me a little bit about your background in general, as well as your relationship to your identity as an Asian American?
I come from a generation of young “Cupertinans” who, having been born and raised in this great city to immigrant parents, wonder whether they can afford to live here long-term. We are a rare Minority – Majority district, with those of Asian decent making up a majority of our population. Families have immigrated across the world to set their roots in Cupertino because we are home to one of the highest-achieving public school systems in the nation, a first-class community college, and the largest tech company in the world. In spite of all of this, Cupertino is still able to stay a quiet and attractive residential town with beautiful open spaces and safe streets.
The burden of our housing affordability crisis is being felt not only by those in my generation, but by all families across Cupertino. How we rise to the challenge of addressing this crisis, will ultimately determine the wellbeing of our community for generations to come.
How did you become inspired to seek elected office?
I’m fighting to make sure Cupertino remains a place where people can live, raise their families, work, and retire. Not only to make it easier for young professionals to start their families here just as their parents’ generation did, but to protect families who’ve lived in Cupertino for years from being forced to move away. When long-term residents are uprooted, our entire community loses a part of its family.
What three issues do you think are most important to your constituents, and what step(s) do you plan to take to address them if elected?
- Work with our neighboring communities to mitigate traffic through regional solutions and finally bring a viable public transit option to Cupertino
- Bring a free city-wide community shuttle to Cupertino through a Transportation Management Association (TMA)
- Champion strategies that relieve intense traffic congestion and attract patrons to our local businesses
HOUSING AFFORDABILITY AND EQUITY
- Champion a walkable, bike-able, transit-accessible Cupertino with community-sized zoning that minimizes traffic congestion and other impacts on neighbors, schools, and small businesses
- Ensure that our City Council takes a stronger role in financing the construction of affordable housing and requiring an equitable level of community benefits from for-profit developers.
- Protect our renter population from discriminatory behavior and unjust evictions while ensuring that our small property owners can remain in our community
- Support Community Choice Energy that incentivizes residents and businesses to switch to 100% renewable, carbon-free energy
- Reduce emissions and pollution from the Lehigh Cement Plant by holding it to higher environmental standards in coordination with Bay Area Air Quality Management District and other agencies
- Incentivize the highest green buildings standards so that construction and operation have limited impacts on our natural environment
What impact has the current political climate had on you as an Asian American progressive seeking elected office?
Those unhappy with our current presidential administration are fighting to make change at the local level. Last year we marched, this year we’re running!
What advice would you have for other young Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders currently considering a career in politics and/or public service?
Don’t listen to people who tell you to wait your turn. I firmly believe that our nation as a whole can benefit from the leadership of young, motivated professionals.
Where can readers go to learn more about you and your campaign?
How can readers get involved to help your campaign? Are there any upcoming events you’d like for us to know about?
Run for Something recruits and supports talented, passionate young people who advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench. Since its launch on inauguration day 2017, they’ve recruited 16,000 young people to run for office.