California has elected it’s first ever openly bisexual state lawmaker – 25-year-old Asian-American Alex Lee, who’s the youngest state legislator in eight decades.
Rising star Alex Lee made history in in Santa Clara County where he won the 25th District Assembly race by a landslide, receiving more than 72 per cent of the vote. His competitor, Republican Bob Brunton, took home just under 28 per cent.
He celebrated his hard-earned victory after a campaign where he had to take a part-time gig economy delivery job to make ends meet as he refused to accept corporate campaign money.
“I have the distinction and responsibility to be a lot of firsts in California,” Lee said after the result was announced.
“I’m the first openly bisexual state legislator in California, the youngest Asian-American state legislator and first Gen-Z state legislator. That is an immense responsibility to make sure that more young people and more progressives are elected after me to break and shatter those records.”
Alex Lee, who was endorsed by senator Bernie Sanders, already has years of experience with the state assembly having worked for five different lawmakers, either as an intern or a paid aide.
He was just 23 when he decided to run for office, and by his calculation has since knocked on 30,000 doors seeking voters’ support.
“I think voters were very encouraged that a young person like me has so much experience in policy making and governing,” he told CBS Local.
“I would run into folks when we were door-knocking who are 80 years old, who would say, ‘Our generation screwed it up so it’s time for you all to fix all these problems for us.’ And they said it in a very encouraging way.”
After years of working behind the scenes of politics while experiencing housing and financial insecurity, he now hopes he can be a force for change.
He was heavily involved in the Black Lives Matter protests back in June and was actually arrested after San Jose enforced a city-wide curfew.
“We were trying to explain what we were doing, we weren’t doing anything wrong,” he told ABC7 at the time, describing the “abrupt and aggressive” behaviour of the police as they zip-tied his wrists and threw him into the back of a wagon.
“I’m very frustrated that this curfew is being used as an excuse to suppress protestors and repress freedom of expression.”