Stephanie Chang helped host our first Michigan training. She was working as community organizer and co-founder Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote-Michigan but she was not yet considering a run for office.
It wasn’t until then-State Representative Rashida Tlaib, another New American woman, encouraged Stephanie to use her organizing and advocacy skills to run for the seat that she was vacating. It took Stephanie six months of soul searching and conversations with family, friends, and leaders to finally jump in.
The district Stephanie was running to represent was diverse, but the New American Leaders training that she helped host had taught her how to connect with a broad spectrum of voters. She told the story of how her parents had moved from Taiwan to Michigan so her dad could pursue a career in the auto industry – and the American dream. By highlighting shared values and a common history, Stephanie was able to connect with voters and win.
In 2014, Stephanie became the first Asian American woman elected to the Michigan State House. While in office, she has focused the needs of her district, ranging from saving homes from tax foreclosures to hosting a community baby shower for low-income pregnant women. She is the chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus and a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Legislative Caucus.