SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — On Tuesday, Alex Lee won the race for the 25th California State Assembly — becoming one of the youngest and first openly bisexual state lawmaker.
“I am also proud to be the first Gen Z legislator and the youngest Asian-American legislator ever and I am also proud to have this interesting distinction of neither being renter or a landowner but one who lives with their family … which is actually a lot of people in this state,” said Lee.
“I have a lot of identities that intersect and I think it informs me to be very mindful and a strong advocate for the working class, for the marginalized, people of color because I experienced different discriminations based on whatever is my perceived identity by someone at the time.”
Lee’s unique background and efforts won by a majority — collecting 72.1% of the district vote according to reported precincts — beating Republican Bob Brunton.
The 25-year-old Democrat becomes the youngest state legislator in more than 80 years and tells KRON4 News he got involved in politics after the 2016 presidential election.
“If anything the last four years under the Trump administration has woken people up that they need to get involved they can’t just sit on the sidelines idly anymore, they need to get involved, that was a big inspiration for me,” said Lee.
“Seeing more progessive leaders like Bernie Sanders who endorsed me, AOC, and IIhan Omar just be very authentic and be very progrssive, that’s kind of what I got inspired by.”
A South Bay native — Lee worked as a Legislative Policy Advisor in the California State Senate and Assembly — working on issues including public safety, housing, education and climate change.
A few of Lee’s top priorities will be to attempt to address the housing crisis by building more affordable housing and getting rid of corporate donations in politics.
“When it comes to legislative priorities, my first priority on day one in office when I am sworn in, I attend to introduce a bill to vastly curve the influence of corporate money in politics,” said Lee.
“Personally I am a corporate-free candidate meaning I don’t take any money from corporations and I pledge and commit to never doing that in my political career and I believe that should be the case for all of California,” Lee added.
“My approach to housing comes in three parts, one is protecting working class families, preserving existing affordable units and then producing a lot more affordable units.”
One ballot that shows big corporations flexing their money was the recent passing of Proposition 22 — which was led by the $200 million campaign from Uber and Lyft to exempt California Assembly Bill 5 by reclassifying many independent contractors as employees.
Lee says the passing of Prop 22 is another example of big corporations being able to make up their own laws.
“With Prop 22 passing, that shows you that big companies can just buy out their own sections of law which is incredibly dangerous,” said Lee.
“Right now businesses have a lot of leeway in politics and I think corporations need to have their outside influence scaled back right now.”
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