Asian Americans penetrate into the legislature system

Donald Wong, a Republican, is a third generation Asian American and has been a resident of Saugus for over 35 years. (Photo by Jianghe Niu)

Tackey Chan (center), a Democrat, has been a community activist in Quincy. (Photo by Jianghe Niu)

On January 5, 2010, Governor Deval Patrick administered the oaths and affirmations of office for the 2010-2011 House of Representatives members-elect.

Tackey Chan, State Representative for the 2nd Norfolk District, and Donald Wong, State Representative for the 9th Essex District, made history in Massachusetts.  Chan and Wong are the first Asian Americans to be elected as American legislators.

Wong, who was the underdog in the election, caused a huge upset when he beat 10-year incumbent, Mark Falzone.  Wong, a Republican, is a third generation Asian American and has been a resident of Saugus for over 35 years.  Wong’s accomplishments include being an advocate for the Saugus Veterans, assisting in repairs of bridges in Saugus, sponsoring High School organizations, and analyzing and securing resources for defibrillators, Neighborhood Crime Watch, etc.

Chan, a Democrat, has been a community activist in Quincy, serving in organizations and nonprofits alike.  He was the co-founder of Quincy Asian Resources, Inc.  Chan was former Assistant Attorney General and former Legislative Director for Senator Michael Morrissey.  Chan has made a huge contribution to the Quincy community and he plans to continue his dedication.

After the inauguration, Chan and Wong were interviewed by Janet Wu, ABC News.  It turns out that aside from their views on gay-marriage, Wong and Chan have a lot in common.  Even though Wong believes that marriage should be between opposite genders while Chan differs, they both favor abortion rights, believe that tax hikes should the last option, and agree that state benefits should not be given to illegal immigrants.

Having Chan and Wong voted into office is an enormous accomplishment for Asian Americans.

Diana Li is a Sampan correspondent.

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