Changing Perceptions: An Interview with Mayor Evan Low

By Ji, Ke; Tong, Clarence | Asian American Policy Review, Annual 2010 | Go to article overview

Changing Perceptions: An Interview with Mayor Evan Low


Ji, Ke, Tong, Clarence, Asian American Policy Review


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

On 10 December 2009, the AAPR interviewed Campbell, California, Mayor Evan Low.

Evan Low is a twenty-six-year-old Chinese American who began his term as mayor of Campbell, California, a Silicon Valley city of 38,000 people, in 2009. Low is the youngest openly gay and youngest Asian American mayor ever. A fourth-generation Californian, Low was first elected to the Campbell City Council in November 2006. In addition to receiving his bachelor of arts in political science from San Jose State University, Low graduated from the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He currently serves as a senior district representative for California State Assembly Member Paul Fong.

In recognition of Low's service and commitment to the city, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom named 5 June 2006 "Evan Low Day" in San Francisco. Low's record of serving his community includes co-instructing a college leadership program focused on youth empowerment and identity. A member of a number of Democratic Party organizations, Low was president of the Silicon Valley LGBT Democratic Club, cochair of Healthy Silicon Valley, and secretary of the National League of Cities Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials. In 2008, he was appointed by Governor Howard Dean to the Democratic National Convention Rules Committee.

AAPR

What made you decide on a career in public service and to run for political office? As a fourth-generation Chinese American how did your heritage and culture play a role in that decision?

LOW

If you think about elected officials, generally speaking, you ask them why they want to serve in public office, and most of the time they will tell you that they care about public safety, nice, safe neighborhoods, good education, safe and fiscally sound budgets. Those are all really important things. But I think what's also important is to have a sense of identity--where I've come from and how I can utilize those experiences to help those traditionally underserved communities.

I understand the challenges of being Asian and Chinese American, for example, of language access being a barrier. Here in California, it wasn't all too long ago that Chinese could not marry Caucasian people. Chinese could not own property. Those are really major issues of bad public policy that, quite frankly, were set at various levels of government. But as we all hear, politics is always local.

AAPR

Your dad was the president of the chamber of commerce. How did that play a role in your political career?

LOW

That was the major reason why I was engaged and am currently involved in the city of Campbell. I think many Asian Americans grew up doing speech and debate, piano lessons, tennis, and Chinese school. I didn't have any memory of that. My memory was of carrying ice from trucks to deliver to various vendors at the festivals, doing food and clothes drives, volunteering at the blind shelter. That was my upbringing. Those are my memories of my childhood upbringing, and largely because of my father, who brought me to many of those things as I was younger. So certainly that gave me the skills and the perspective that I have today.

AAPR

You mentioned that you want to serve underrepresented sections of the community. You represent a community that's not predominantly Asian American. In fact, Campbell is about 77% White and actually 11% Asian American. How does this affect the policies that you're enacting in your first term as mayor?

LOW

Well, certainly, as a representative of the city, I try to do my best to represent not just only one community but also the larger community as a whole; not to serve just one constituency, but to represent everyone. And so I think what's important is to recognize some of those facts and see how we can help populations, again, that are typically underserved as it relates to affordable housing, as it relates to language-access issues. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Changing Perceptions: An Interview with Mayor Evan Low
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.