Judy Chu
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Judy Chu
Judy Chu
Judy Chu official portrait.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California

July 14, 2009
Hilda Solis
Constituency32nd district (2009-2013)
27th district (2013-present)
Member of the California State Board of Equalization
from the 4th district

January 3, 2007 - July 14, 2009
John Chiang
Jerome Horton
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 49th district

May 15, 2001 - December 4, 2006
Gloria Romero
Mike Eng
Personal details
Judy May Chu

(1953-07-07) July 7, 1953 (age 67)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1978)
EducationUniversity of California, Los Angeles (BA)
Alliant International University (MA, PhD)
WebsiteHouse website
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Hanyu PinyinZhào M?ix?n

Judy May Chu (born July 7, 1953) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for California's 27th congressional district since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, she has held a seat in Congress since 2009, representing California's 32nd congressional district until redistricting. Chu is the first Chinese American woman elected to the U.S. Congress.[1][2]

Chu was elected to the California Board of Equalization from 2007 to 2009, representing the 4th district.[3] She had previously served on the Garvey Unified School District Board of Education, Monterey Park City Council (with five terms as mayor) and 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 President Obama's Secretary of Labor in 2009.[4] She defeated Republican candidate Betty Tom Chu and Libertarian candidate Christopher Agrella in a runoff election on July 14, 2009.[5] Chu was redistricted to the 27th district in 2012, but was still reelected to a third term, defeating Republican challenger Jack Orswell.

Early life

Chu was born in 1953 in Los Angeles. Chu's father Judson Chu was a World War II veteran born in California, and Chu's mother May was a war bride originally from Jiangmen, Guangdong, China.[6][7] Chu grew up in Los Angeles, near 62nd Street and Normandie Avenue, until her early teen years, when the family moved to the Bay Area.[8][9]


In 1974, Chu earned a B.A. degree in mathematics from UCLA. In 1979, Chu earned a Ph.D. degree in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University's Los Angeles campus.[8][3]



She taught psychology at the Los Angeles Community College District for 20 years, including 13 years at East Los Angeles College.[3][10]

Local politics

Chu in 2007, while still a member of the Board of Equalization

Chu's first elected position was Board Member for the Garvey School District in Rosemead, California in 1985.

In 1988, Chu was elected to the city council of Monterey Park, California. In 1989, Chu became Mayor of Monterey Park and served until 1991/1994. Chu held the mayorship for three terms.[11][8][3][10]

Chu 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 on May 15, 2001, following a 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.[12]

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 decided to run for the 2009 special election for the California's 32nd congressional district after U.S. Congresswoman Hilda Solis was appointed to become President Barack Obama's United States Secretary of Labor. Chu 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 got 32% of the vote, well short of the 50% vote needed to win outright.[13] In the run-off election, she defeated Republican Betty Chu (her cousin-in-law and a then-Monterey Park City Councilwoman) 62%-33%.[5][14]


Chu was heavily favored due to the district's heavy Democrat tilt and with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+15, it is one of the safer Democratic districts in the nation. She won re-election to her first full term with 71% of the vote.[15]


In August 2011, Chu decided to run in the newly redrawn California's 27th congressional district.[16] The district has the second highest percentage of Asian Americans in the state with 37%, behind the newly redrawn 17th CD which is 50% Asian.[17] Registered Democrats make up 42% of the district. Obama won the district with 63% in the 2008 presidential. Jerry Brown won with 55% in the 2010 gubernatorial election.[18][19] Representative Chu won re-election by defeating Republican Jack Orswell 64% to 36%.[20]


Chu won reelection over Republican Jack Orswell by a 59.4% to 40.6% margin.[21]


Chu won reelection over Republican Jack Orswell by a 67.4% to 32.6% margin.[22]


Chu won reelection over fellow Democrat Bryan Witt by a 79.2% to 20.8% margin,[23], in one of a handful of districts in California that featured only Democrats on its midterm ballot .[24]


Chu was sworn into office on July 16, 2009.


Chu believes that the immigration system is outdated and in need of reform. She has worked to pass the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (H.R. 15). She strongly supports the DREAM Act and has worked for its passage. She has introduced the Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation Act (POWER Act, or H.R. 2169), introduced to stop disreputable employers from exploiting immigrants.[25]

In July 2015, Chu went before Congress to speak out against what she sees as the "shocking" treatment of women and children held in for-profit detention facilities in the U.S. Comparing them to Japanese internment camps, Chu states the prolonged detention re-traumatizes families, breaks apart the parent-child relationship, and has serious cognitive effects on children.[26]

On December 6, 2017, Chu was arrested during a protest outside of the U.S. Capitol.[27]


Chu cosponsored the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2010 which authorizes the President of the United States to support measures providing abortions and other reproduction assistance to women in developing countries. In 2010, Chu voting against measures proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives to strip government funding to Planned Parenthood, and opposed restricting federal funding of abortions.[28][29] Chu has received ratings of 100 from all Pro-Choice affiliates including Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.[30] She has also received ratings of 100 from the NARAL pro-choice California in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 [30] while receiving very low ratings given by Pro-Life organizations in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.[30]


In 2009, Chu voted to increase the debt ceiling to $12.394 trillion. In 2010, Chu voted to increase the debt ceiling to $14.294 trillion. In January 2011, she voted against a bill to reduce spending on non-security items to fiscal year 2008 levels. In 2011, Chu voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011, which incrementally raised the debt ceiling.[31]

Defense of Civil Liberties

Chu opposed the "See Something, Say Something Act of 2011," which provides "immunity for reports of suspected terrorist activity or suspicious behavior and response." She said, "if a person contacts law enforcement about something based solely on someone's race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin, they would not receive immunity from civil lawsuits."[32][33]

On July 24, 2013, the United States House of Representatives voted on Amendment 100 to the H.R. 2397 Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2014 which, if passed, would have ended the authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act.[34] Chu voted "Aye" to pass amendment 100 and end the blanket collection authority; however, the amendment did not pass with the "Noes" blocking the amendment 217-205.[35]

Internet policy

In 2011, Rep. Chu became a co-sponsor of Bill H.R.3261 otherwise known as the Stop Online Piracy Act.[36]

Apology for the Chinese Exclusion Act

On June 18, 2012, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution, introduced by Congresswoman Chu, that formally expresses the regret of the House of Representatives for the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which imposed almost total restrictions on Chinese immigration and naturalization and denied Chinese-Americans basic freedoms because of their ethnicity. This was only the fourth time that the U.S. Congress issued an apology to a group of people.[37]


In June 2011 the House Ethics Committee began an investigation after receiving information suggesting that two of Chu's top aides had directed staffers to do campaign tasks during regular work hours. In the course of the investigation it was found that Chu had sent two emails to her staff on how to respond to aspects of the Ethics Committee's inquiry. While the Committee found no evidence to support that Chu was aware of the actions of her staff, they did find that the emails represented actions that interfered with the committee's investigation of the matter, and on December 11, 2014, Rep. Chu was formally reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee for interfering with their investigation of her office.[38][39]

Advocating People's Mujahedin of Iran

In 2015, The Intercept published an investigative work by Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, assisted in part by the work of independent researcher Joanne Stocker, indicating that Chu received $11,150 from the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) between January 2009 and September 2012, when the MEK was listed a Foreign Terrorist Organization. She is an advocate of the MEK.[40]

Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

Chu accused Turkey, a NATO member, of inciting the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.[41] On October 1, 2020, she co-signed a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that condemned Azerbaijan's offensive operations against the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, denounced Turkey's role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and called for an immediate ceasefire.[42]

Committee assignments

Chu and husband Mike Eng, with Nancy Pelosi, at Chu's Swearing In ceremony for the U.S. House of Representatives




In December 2019 Chu and her brother Dean Chu donated $375,000 to the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, California.[9]

Personal life

Chu married Mike Eng in 1978. The couple lives in the city of Monterey Park, where they have been residents for over 30 years[47]. 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.

Chu's nephew, Lance Corporal Harry Lew, a U.S. Marine, committed suicide while serving in Afghanistan on April 3, 2011, allegedly as a result of hazing from fellow Marines after Lew allegedly repeatedly fell asleep during his watch. Chu described her nephew as a patriotic American and said that those responsible must be brought to justice.[48]

Chu is one of just two Unitarian Universalists in Congress.[49]

See also


  1. ^ "Judy Chu trounces rivals in congressional race". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2009-07-14. Retrieved .
  2. ^ . chinanews.com Guangdong (in Chinese). 2011-09-04. - See image (Archive)
  3. ^ a b c d "Vice Chair Judy Chu". California Board of Equalization. 2007. Archived from the original on 13 February 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  4. ^ Larrubia, Evelyn (2008-12-23). "Solis' House seat draws interest of prominent politicians". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved .
  5. ^ a b Blood, Michael P. Democrat captures US House seat in LA county, Huffington Post, 15 July 2009.
  6. ^ Merl, Jean (July 16, 2009). "Judy Chu becomes first Chinese American woman elected to Congress". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2009. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ Hooi, Alexis (September 5, 2011). "Congresswoman: Nations can learn from each other". China Daily. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Judy Chu's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Rep. Judy Chu, Brother Donate $375,000 to Chinese American Museum in LA". nbclosangeles.com. December 26, 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ a b Chu, Judy (2002). "Political Philosophy for Judy Chu". SmartVoter.org. League of Women Voters of California Education Fund. Retrieved 2007.
  11. ^ "Mayors - Past Mayors Across the United States". ontheissues.org. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ "Biography at California Assembly website". Archived from the original on December 24, 2001. Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ "CA District 32 - Special Election Race - May 19, 2009". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012.
  14. ^ "CA District 32 - Special Election Runoff Race - Jul 14, 2009". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012.
  15. ^ "CA - District 32 Race - Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012.
  16. ^ Galindo, Erick (August 8, 2011). "Judy Chu announces plans to run for new San Gabriel Valley congressional district". Pasadena Star-News. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  17. ^ "Demographics of the new congressional districts - Spreadsheets". Los Angeles Times. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2012.
  18. ^ "Final 2011 Congressional Spreadsheet" (PDF). Redistricting Partners. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  19. ^ "Final 2011 Congressional Spreadsheet 2" (PDF). Redistricting Partners. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 31, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  20. ^ United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2012
  21. ^ United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2014
  22. ^ United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2016
  23. ^ United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2018
  24. ^ Mouchard, Andre; Staggs, Brooke (November 6, 2018). "Elections 2018: Incumbent Congresswoman Judy Chu racing past fellow Democrat Bryan Witt in California's 27th District". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ "Immigration". U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  26. ^ "Rep. Chu Joins Progressive Caucus, House Judiciary Democrats at Forum on Family Detention". U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  27. ^ Wire, Sarah (December 6, 2017). "Los Angeles area congresswoman arrested during immigration protest on Capitol Hill". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019.
  28. ^ "Political Positions of Judy Chu". The Political Guide. The Political Guide. Retrieved 2011.
  29. ^ "Rep. Chu Continues Fighting to Protect the Health and Lives of Women". Congresswoman Judy Chu. Congresswoman Judy Chu. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  30. ^ a b c d Issue Rating at votesmart.org
  31. ^ "The Political Positions of Judy Chu". The Political Guide. The Political Guide. Retrieved 2011.
  32. ^ Kamboj, Kirti. "H.R. 963: The 'See a Minority, Report a Terrorist' Act of 2011?". Hyphen Magazine. Hyphen Magazine. Retrieved 2011.
  33. ^ Dye, Shawn (August 8, 2011). "Watch Rep. Judy Chu Argue for Protections against Racial Profiling". Unfinished Business.
  34. ^ "H.R. 2397 - DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2014". Archived from the original on July 24, 2013.
  35. ^ FINAL VOTE RESULTS H R 2397 RECORDED VOTE 24-Jul-2013 6:51 PM
  36. ^ Bill H.R.3261; GovTrack.us;
  37. ^ 112th Congress (2012) (June 8, 2012). "H.Res. 683 (112th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved 2012. Expressing the regret of the House of Representatives for the passage of laws that adversely affected the Chinese in the United States, including the Chinese Exclusion Act.
  38. ^ "Official Letter of Reproval US House of Representatives, Committee on Ethics" (PDF). US House. Retrieved 2015.
  39. ^ House, Billy (2014-12-11). "Chu, Gingrey Rebuked by House Ethics Panel". National Journal. Retrieved .
  40. ^ Ali Gharib, Eli Clifton (26 February 2015), "Long March of the Yellow Jackets: How a One-Time Terrorist Group Prevailed on Capitol Hill", The Intercept, retrieved 2018
  41. ^ "Members of Congress Blast Azerbaijan and Turkey As Attack on Artsakh Expands to Armenia". Armenian Weekly. September 29, 2020.
  42. ^ "Senate and House Leaders to Secretary of State Pompeo: Cut Military Aid to Azerbaijan; Sanction Turkey for Ongoing Attacks Against Armenia and Artsakh". Armenian Weekly. October 2, 2020.
  43. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  44. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  45. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  46. ^ "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved 2018.
  47. ^ "Biography". Congresswoman Judy Chu. 2012-12-11. Retrieved .
  48. ^ McAvoy, Audrey. 3 Marines will go to trial for alleged hazing, Associated Press, 26 October 2011.
  49. ^ Sandstrom, Aleksandra (January 3, 2019). "Religious affiliation of the 116th Congress". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2019.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Matthew Martínez
Member of the Monterey Park City Council
Succeeded by
Mike Eng
Preceded by
John Chiang
Member of the California State Board of Equalization
from the 4th district

Succeeded by
Jerome Horton
California Assembly
Preceded by
Gloria Romero
Member of the California Assembly
from the 49th district

Succeeded by
Mike Eng
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Hilda Solis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 32nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Grace Napolitano
Preceded by
Mike Honda
Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
Preceded by
Brad Sherman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 27th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Quigley
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
John Garamendi

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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