Hi, my name is Mike Chang, and I am running for Berkeley School Board in the November 8, 2022 election. I am running because I love Berkeley. I knew that from the very first moment I stepped foot here in 1995. I am committed to helping BUSD reflect the values of our community, which must include addressing investment in public education, issues of discrimination, and the problem of sexual harassment and violence.
I am a first generation American: I was born on Coney Island in Brooklyn (on the roller coaster) to immigrant Taiwanese parents and raised outside of Chicago. I value the immigrant experience and the exceptional perspective it provides.
I am a BUSD parent: My wife, Liz, and I met in high school in suburban Chicago and are parents to three very nice:) BUSD kids—two current BHS high school students and one BUSD alumnus. (Go Class of 2020!) I have been an active school volunteer at BUSD for over twelve years and served during the pandemic until very recently as Vice President of the District-wide PTA Council, where I was responsible for communicating with the BUSD administration on behalf of BUSD's local school PTAs. I am also a former member of the Berkeley Arts Magnet (BAM) PTA Executive Board and am a founding member of the recently established Asian American Pacific Islander BUSD Group, which in May 2021 put on the first-ever District-wide Asian American heritage month event that included presentations by students, parents, School Board members, and my faculty mentor from the Cal Ethnic Studies program who discussed the historical roots of anti-Asian racism and exclusion.
I am an education attorney: I am an attorney with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, where I enforce federal regulations prohibiting discrimination in schools on the basis of race, sex, disability, and age. I work with school districts, like BUSD, to resolve issues, such as race disparities in suspensions and expulsions, accessibility issues for students with disabilities, and sexual and race based harassment. In addition, I serve as Co-Chair of the U.S. Department of Education's Diversity and Inclusion Council, which advocates on behalf of the agency's 4,400 employees.
I am a city servant: I am the recent Chair of Berkeley's Police Accountability Board, a council nominated position in which I work with other community members, the City, and the Berkeley Police Department to adopt, through robust and thoughtful debate, common sense policing regulations grounded in equity and a community-based policing model.
I am a teacher: I am an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of Law, where I teach Education Law, and a Lecturer at Cal in the Ethnic Studies Department, where I received my PhD., in 2001.
I am a labor partner: I am a representative of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and a bargaining unit member of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
I am endorsed by: Mayor Jesse Arreguin; Vice Mayor Kate Harrison; City Councilmembers Rigel Robinson and Sophie Hahn: School Board Directors Ty Alper, Julie Sinai, and Ana Vasudeo; and former School Board Directors Beatriz Levya-Cutler and Judy Appel.
I am a runner: I like to run... with my friends, my neighbors, and sometimes even, if they'll join me, my kids. I love running around this great city-- the flats, the hills, the marina, the campus, the King track, the Ohlone Pathway, Tilden-- this is an amazing place! What I most love, though, are the people. It's what I loved most in 1995. I would be privileged to serve as your School Board Director and believe I have the skills, experience, and progressive vision to help BUSD navigate the challenges we face.
I am honored to have been sworn in on December 12, 2022 as a Berkeley School Board Director. I look forward to working with the superintendent, District teachers, staff, students, parents and my board colleagues in service of our students.
Top photo courtesy of Jonathan Miller Photography © 2020
Campaign graphics courtesy of Mojica Chow Art Director