25-Year-Old Alex Lee Becomes California’s Youngest Lawmaker in 82 Years

California’s 25th district has just elected its youngest lawmaker in 82 years and the first openly bisexual state legislator.

Landslide win: Alex Lee, a 25-year-old Democratic candidate, won the 25th District Assembly on Nov. 3 by a landslide with a total vote of 73% against Republican candidate Bob Brunton, ABC7 News reported.

 

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Pokémon Go to the polls #vote

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  • “I have the distinction and responsibility to be a lot of firsts in California,” Lee said. “I’m the first openly bisexual state legislator in California, the youngest Asian-American state legislator and first Gen-Z state legislator. That is an immense responsibility to make sure that more young people and more progressives are elected after me to break and shatter those records.”
  • Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders endorsed Lee during the election.

  • Lee thanked the “diverse communities of Assembly District 25” in his victory statement.
  • The district covers part of Silicon Valley, San Jose, Fremont, Newark, Milpitas and Santa Clara, CBS San Francisco reported.

Who is Alex Lee: A South Bay native, Lee grew up in Milpitas and San Jose. He graduated from Milpitas High School and attended the University of California, Davis where he got his degree in communications and political science.

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  • While studying, Lee worked as an intern with former Congressman Mike Honda and for Assemblymembers Ed Chau, Evan Low, Cecilia Aguilar Curry, and his predecessor in District 25, Assemblyman Kansen Chu, Mercury News reported.
  • State Sen. Henry Stern hired Lee to be his policy aide after an internship.
  • The 38-year-old senator likened Lee to Wikipedia and Siri, who knows “what’s happening on the Senate floor.” Stern also added, “He was my guy to keep a finger on the pulse of the whole building. You knew whose bill lived, whose bill died, who was mad at who.”

  • Lee ran for the position after Chu announced he would not run for re-election last year.
  • Lee still lives with his mother and had worked a part-time delivery job to make ends meet during his campaign where he knocked on 30,000 doors to speak to the voters.

  • He is the second-youngest elected Assemblymember in California after Maurice E. Atkinson, a 23-year-old Democrat who ran and won in 1938.

What the future looks like: Lee plans to repeal the Costa–Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a law enacted in 1995 that limits rent control in California, when he takes office on Dec. 7.

  • “We really need to be moving toward a vision where the public is in the driver’s seat when it comes to affordable housing and we aren’t just relying on the goodwill, inclusionary housing of for-profit developers,” Lee said.
  • He also wants to introduce “a bill to vastly curb corporate political special interest money.”

Feature Image via @votealexlee

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