A Q&A with Alex Lee, who at 25 years old won California's Assembly District 25 in the November 3, 2020 election. Lee is the youngest Asian American, first openly bisexual, and first Gen-Z Legislator in California history.
“I’m deeply grateful to the diverse communities of Assembly District 25,” said Lee. “The significance of our victory is part of a bigger, progressive movement ready to fight for a better future for all of us.”
Lee attended Sinnott Elementary School, Rancho Milpitas Middle School and graduated from Milpitas High School (2009-2013). The UC-Davis graduate will represent the 25th Assembly District encompassing Fremont, San José, Santa Clara, Milpitas, and Newark.
What were your experiences at Milpitas High School? Were there any Milpitas HS teachers that made an impact on you while in high school?
Milpitas High School influenced my outlook and politics. It’s a very diverse town and everyone has different political beliefs, and I think that was a strong empathy-building and relationship-building foundation for me. I got to experience through other people’s lives and working with them in classes, that everyone has different challenges in life and different experiences. Growing up that way, I really did want to make a difference in everyone’s life no matter their different challenges in life.
As a product of public schools from elementary school to college, I believe funding public education is important so others have the same opportunities I had. Students at MHS are very fortunate because of the school’s diversity.
Mr. Wrencher, Mrs. Bielski, Mrs. Roy, Mr. Roy, and Mr. Colburn were some of my favorite teachers. They were all incredibly knowledgeable and passionate.
When/How/Why did you decide to run for office?
I didn't think I would ever be running for office. However, I was inspired by the 2012 reelection campaign of Barack Obama in the fall of my senior year. I was deciding among a lot of things, including working in the film and TV industry. Ultimately, I think the Obama campaign sparked the interest in me, so I decided to pursue politics and government as an educational field as well as a career choice.
I've worked in positions that made me the best candidate to represent District 25. I've worked as a legislative policy advisor in both the state assembly and the state senate where I helped write and pass bills. The legislative process is something that is not new to me, and I understand how policy-making already works. When Assemblymember Kansen Chu announced he was vacating his seat, I decided to run. I knocked on 30,000 doors and that relationship-building paid off.
What does it mean to you being one of the youngest legislators in decades?
I have the distinction and responsibility to be a lot of firsts in California. I'm the first openly bisexual state legislator in California, the youngest Asian-American state legislator and first Gen-Z state legislator. That's an immense responsibility to make sure that more young people and more progressives are elected after me to break and shatter those records.