SAN JOSE, Calif. - A progressive newcomer from the South Bay is looking to shake up the California State Assembly. Democrat Alex Lee is poised to become the youngest and first openly bisexual member.
Once the underdog, 25-year-old Alex Lee won by a landslide with more than 70 percent of the vote beating his Republican challenger for California Assembly District 25. The seat covers Milpitas and parts of Santa Clara, Fremont and San Jose. It was previously held by Kansen Chu.
“Upon taking office in December, I will be the first Gen Z legislator, the first openly bisexual state legislator and the youngest Asian American legislator in California history,” said Lee.
Out of all the firsts, the one he’s proudest is being the first openly bisexual state legislator. He said, there are only a dozen bisexual state legislators in the entire country.
A Milpitas High graduate and student body president at U.C. Davis, Lee was motivated during Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
“I was deciding what to do with the rest of my life,” said Lee. “I figured this is one real way to make an impact on people's lives.”
In the March Primary, Lee beat out seven other Democrats. He was endorsed by the man he interned for former Congressman Mike Honda. He was also endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders. Lee ran his campaign like Sanders taking no corporate money.
Among Lee’s priorities are expanding transit including BART and education reform. His top priority is housing.
“I know from firsthand experience how incredibly expensive it is to live in the Bay Area,” said Lee. “I wouldn't be able to live in my home community if it I weren't able to live at home with my family.”
“He’s going to serve as a state legislator but cannot afford to live in the community he represents,” said Assemblymember Evan Low.
Alex Lee worked for Silicon Valley Assemblyman Evan Low as a legislative aide. Low said Lee speaks to the progressive ideals and policies of Gen Z and millennial voters. Lee hopes to inspire those young people who see him in office.
“It’s about your belief and commitment in progressive values and working hard that in the end will resonate with people and that’s how you make change.”
The first bill Alex Lee plans to introduce as an assemblyman is eliminating the money corporations can pour into campaigns. His swearing-in date is December 7.