"When Michael Chang won a seat on the Cupertino school board 25 years ago, he became only the second Chinese-American trustee then serving in Santa Clara County.
That candidates from South and East Asia and the Pacific Islands have become so politically successful is thanks in part to early pioneers, and to a sustained, deliberate strategy to engage people rooted in cultures that shunned or simply didn’t permit political participation...
“It was hard to get people to run,” said Chang, who in 1997 established an institute at De Anza College, where he teaches, to attract and prepare potential candidates. “It was so not normal to most people’s experience. They didn’t grow up with conversations over politics.”