Judy May Chu, Ph.D. (born July 7, 1953) is the U.S. Representative for California's 32nd congressional district, serving since 2009. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Chu was previously Chair of the California Board of Equalization, representing the 4th District. She had also served on the Garvey Unified School District Board of Education, the Monterey Park City Council (with terms as mayor) and the California State Assembly. Chu ran in the 32nd congressional district special election for the seat that was vacated by Hilda Solis after she was confirmed as Barack Obama's U.S. Secretary of Labor in 2009. She defeated Republican candidate Betty Tom Chu and Libertarian candidate Christopher Agrella in a runoff election on July 14, 2009. She is the first Chinese American woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress. Chu was reelected in the 2010 United States midterm elections, defeating Republican challenger Edward "Ed" Schmerling.
Early life, education, and academic career
Judy Chu is the second of four children of Judson and May Chu, who were married in 1948 in their ancestral home of Xinhui, Jiangmen, Guangdong. After getting married they moved to Los Angeles, near 62nd Street and Normandie Avenue, where Chu was born and grew up until her early teen years, when the family moved to the Bay Area. Chu graduated with a B.A. in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She then earned a Ph.D.
in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She taught as a psychology professor at the Los Angeles Community College District for 20 years, including 13 years at East Los Angeles College.
Chu's first elected position was Board Member for the Garvey School District in Rosemead, California in 1985. In 1988 she was elected to the city council of Monterey Park, where she served as mayor for three terms. She ran for the California State Assembly in 1994, but lost the Democratic primary to Diane Martinez; in 1998, she lost the primary to Gloria Romero. Chu was elected to the State Assembly in a May 15, 2001, special election after Romero was elected to the State Senate.
She was elected to a full term in 2002 and was reelected in 2004. The district includes Alhambra, El Monte, Duarte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino and South El Monte, within Los Angeles County. Barred by term limits from running for a third full term in 2006, Chu was elected to the State Board of Equalization from the 4th District, representing most of Los Angeles County.
U.S. House of Representatives
Chu entered the special election for the 32nd District after Congresswoman Hilda Solis was appointed as Labor Secretary. She led the field in the May 19 special election.
However, due to the crowded nature of the primary (eight Democrats and four Republicans filed) she only garnered 31.9 percent of the vote — well short of the 50% + 1 vote needed to win outright. She easily defeated Republican Betty Tom Chu (her cousin-in-law and a Monterey Park city councilwoman) and Libertarian businessman Christopher Agrella in the July 14 runoff. She had been heavily favored due to the district's heavy Democratic tilt; with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+15, it is one of the safest Democratic districts in the nation.
Chu was sworn in to office on July 16, 2009. Judy Chu’s number one priority as a new member of Congress is to work along side the Obama administration. She wants to quickly bring in money to help the economy, protect public services from dramatic cuts, and bring funding into communities to help with the economy. Chu believes that by making sure schools are strong, society is helping prepare students to live in the real world later on. Judy Chu is focused on bringing “green collar” jobs to the San Gabriel Valley. This includes jobs in public transit, alternative energy, and conservation. She believes that the San Gabriel Valley should be the nation’s solar capital with its climate, work force, and research facilities.
Chu married Mike Eng in 1978. (Eng took Chu's seat on the Monterey Park City Council in 2001, when Chu left the council after getting elected to the Assembly, and in 2006 he took Chu's seat on the Assembly, when Chu left the Assembly.)
September 15th, 2011