It’s a big month for Asian Americans in politics – especially up in Northern California.
Jean Quan became the first Asian American female mayor of Oakland, as well as the first Asian American female mayor of any major U.S. city, upon her inauguration on Jan. 3rd, while Ed Lee was sworn in as interim mayor of San Francisco on Jan. 11th.
Quan, who was previously on the Oakland School Board for 12 years, has stated that “crime, jobs and young people” are her priority.
Lee was voted in unanimously by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and promised to be “a mayor who tackles things head on, and moves the bar forward.”
Congratulations to both Lee and Quan!
The White House announced on Wednesday that Christina “Tina” Tchen, formerly the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement, has been promoted to Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady.
“When selecting a replacement, I looked for someone who had the right experience to lead my team and am grateful to bring on Tina, whom I’ve known and respected for 20 years. Tina’s success leading the Office of Public Engagement, reaching out to people across the country and encouraging Americans from all walks of life to feel connected to this White House, makes her uniquely qualified to step up to this position,” said First Lady Michelle Obama in a statement.
Tchen, a Chinese American, is a former corporate lawyer, who began working for the Obamas during the 2008 campaign. She was also (and will still remain) the Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
“The new year is a time for new beginnings, and I am thrilled that for me, it is an opportunity to take on a new and exciting role here at the White House and support the First Lady’s incredible initiatives in the years ahead,” sad Tchen in a statement.
Various Asian American elected officials will be gathering in Los Angeles June 5 for the second annual convention of the Korean American Democratic National Organization. Among those confirmed to attend are Mark Keam, member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang, and U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu.
They will be joined by other Asian American political leaders from across the country to discuss increasing representation in the U.S. government. Presently, only two U.S. senators and eight members of Congress are of Asian or Pacific Islander descent, reflecting 2 percent and 1.8 percent of those respective bodies. APIs comprise about 5 percent of the national population.
The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Wilshire Plaza Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. For more information, please contact Carrie Kim at (213) 384-2448, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.