[TIMELINE] Politics and the Chinese American Community
2. Gary Locke
3. Hiram Fong
4. Cheryl Lau
5. Diane Yu
6. San Francisco: Leland Yee/Mable Teng /Chief Fred Lau/Tom
California Heritage Project is a very interesting and wonderful
project. It improves our researching skills. First, we formed a
group of several students, then we searched for information about
Chinese Americans. Our group found some interesting information
about Chinese Americans who are politicians.
It is rather difficult for us to find much information because
Chinese Americans seldom work in fields related to politics. Chinese
American politicians are not that many in the USA even though they
do have contribution to the USA. The political world in the USA is
usually for the white people. We want people know that the Chinese
Americans also can be very successful in the USA. There may be not
enough information about the Chinese American politicians in
Internet, but we did try our best to get the information about them.
Gary Locke, the present governor of Washington, was elected king
country Executive in 1993. He served 11 years in the state
legislature. He worked five years as chair of the House
Appropriations Committee. He was former Deputy Prosecutor and Legal
Advisor for Seattle Human Rights Department.
Gary Locke has worked for economic development, public safety,
preserving the environment and public education.
He led reforms to streamline regulatory processes and reduce the
cost of development. He has managed the county jail system so that
no inmates have been released early. He toughened laws against
violent offenders and burglars. He prosecuted criminals for murder,
robbery, assault and other violent crimes. He has brought together
businesses, labor representatives and environmentalists to achieve
compromise and progress rather than deadlock.
He increased enrollments and financial aid at college and
universities. He also provided funding to reduce class sizes, raise
teachersí salaries and improve availability of computers and other
Contact Locke /Locke's Recent Events /International Mission /Career
Linnea Lenkus photography /Legislature
Hiram Fong was elected as Hawaii's first senator in 1959. A
Republican, Fong went on to serve Hawaii for three terms until
retiring in 1977.
He had served in Hawaii's territorial legislature from 1938 to 1954,
including four years as vice-speaker of the House of
Representatives, and six years as speaker. He was vice-president of
the Hawaii State Constitutional Convention held in 1950, and was a
longtime, ardent supporter of Hawaiian statehood. In the Senate,
Fong worked hard for the people of his newly established state. He
also worked to improve civil rights.
CHERYL LAU (1944-)
Even as a student at Hilo High in Hawaii, Cheryl Lau was Fascinated
with Politics. But the woman who is Nevada's secretary of state's
first Asian American to hold elected office at the executive level,
and the woman who made an unsuccessful bid to become the first Asian
American woman to be elected a state governor, never dreamed of
making politics a career.
Her victory as remarkable, considering that the eventual winners of
the gubernational attorney general, and majority were Democrats.
Lau's affiliation with the Republican Party often produces lively
debate when she gets together with her father, mother, and two
sisters. During her term as secretary of states, she has made it
easier for businesses to obtain licenses in Nevada. After
considering her options and the record she has built on such issues,
Lau decided to try to climb the next step on the political ladder on
April 28, 1994, she announced she would run for governor, but lost
in the November elections.
DIANE C. YU (1951- ) ATTORNEY:
IN 1983, Diane Yu was appointed superior court commissioner for the
Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland, California. In 1986, she
was the first White House fellow ever appointed from the judicial
branch of government to serve as special assistant to the U.S treat
representative. In 1987, she was appointed as general counsel of the
state Bar of California.
In November 1996, Leland Yee was elected to the Board of Supervisor.
Before he elected to the Board of Supervisors, Yee served eight
years as a member of the San Francisco Board of Education. He served
as the Vice President and President of the Board. When he became the
Supervisor, Yee spearheaded the passage of Proposition H. And the
Proposition H was an initiative to rebuild the Central Freeway. The
Central Freeway campaign was notable for the Chinese voters. He also
proposed to solve the on going conflict about the accessibility of
the De young Museum.
Mable Teng became the first Chinese American female of the Board of
Supervisor in San Francisco in 1994. Teng dedicated to immigrant
rights and bilinguals. She also teaches Citizenship and ESL in the
City College of San Francisco. She was bored with a grassroots
background. She was the founder of Committee for Immigration Justice
and a member of the community college Board before she became the
Board of Supervisors. Teng is eligible for re-election in November
1998. She currently chairs the Finance Committee.
CHIEF FRED LAU:
He is the chief in San Francisco Police Department. He is the first
Chinese who became the Chief in SFPD. He thought San Francisco is a
good place to work. He is trying to have gun control in the city
now, because the number of gang shootings problems and in the
process, the police took off the street. Therefore, now San
Francisco has one of the lowest homicides Mates of any major in the
nation. The SFPD will be soon celebrating its 150th anniversary. "It
is important to realize that we are not simply a faceless
bureaucratic entity, but rather a collection of people- White,
Black, Asian, Hispanic men and women, gay and straight- committed to
the task of protecting the rights of every individual." Fred Lau
Tom Hsieh is a member of the city's Chinese-American Community and
architect by trade. He ís also a long time member of the San
Francisco Board of Supervisors. Mayor Dianne Feinstein had appointed
him to fill the seat vacated by now city attorney Louise Renne.
Hsieh was known as a fiscal hawk as the chair of the board's Budget
Committee. He was not eligible for reelection in 1996 due to turn
Gordon, the first elected Asian American Supervisor when the Board
of Supervisors used to be all white, was a quiet but forceful figure
in Chinatown. He died when he was 56 years old. His death surprised
and saddened family, friends and political allies who remember him
for his warm smile and calm demeanor. But the most important part
for his trailblazing efforts on behalf of SF's Asian American
Lau, who was appointed to the board by Mayor George Moscow in 1977,
won in that year of election. He served two years on the board
before losing his seat to ED lawson in 1979. Lau was the second
Asian American to be appointed supervisor. Lau sat on the board with
Dianne Feinstein, Quentin Kopp and Dan White who was later convicted
of assassinating Moscow and Supervisor Harvey Mike in November.