Vote #1- Barry Chang, the Imperfect Idealist on June 3

By Ignatius Yuan Ding

It’s really comical! I couldn’t stop laughing when I read the news story in which Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong claims that he and other three council members were brazenly “bullied” by one colleague. A picture instantly ballooned in my mind – a giant, like the one in the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” had taken on the foursome in one tackle and reduced them into dust! Really?
Barry Chang (left) and a volunteer campaigned on Memorial Day 2014 (file photo).

That is exactly who we need in Sacramento! Given all the unsettling squabbles, irrational behaviors and non-responsiveness to the needs of California constituents for decades by both establishment partisans at the Capitol, we ought to send in a “Citizen Bully” to whip their behinds – please pardon my French!

It was August 2011 when I wrote in this online space: “The Imperfect Idealist.” The same Don Quixote, a.k.a. Barry Chang, is still fighting the windmills — but miraculously won some tangible battles in public health, environmental protection, traffic control and local governance. To the ire of his colleagues on the city council, he has never ceased to ask questions and try to get answers.

Cupertino, as well as other local municipalities intensely lobbied by Chang, has finally taken a stand against the biggest stationary polluter in the Bay Area – Lehigh Hanson Cement plant. The Federal EPA and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued new rules and regulations severely cutting back industrial mercury release into our air and water after decades of rampant and deadly pollution by the cement plant. Last year, Lehigh settled a lawsuit with Sierra Club with a court-approved multi-million dollar clean-up of contaminated waterways.

To “award” Chang’s community service, the rest of the council blocked his appointment to the position of city mayor as it has been customarily done, since the incorporation of Cupertino, to the highest vote-getter in the last election. This was more than likely because of his perceived “trouble-making” and “bullying” of his peers.

Seeing the fruits of his work in the city, Chang has his eyes on a bigger target—Sacramento. That‘s yet another Don Quixote fight since Chang is not a man to kiss the rings of the establishment parties. He is now facing two formidable opponents in the primary: one with 89.5% contributions from the state Democratic machine, corporate lobbyists and PAC’s plus additional money hidden behind suspicious identities such as “homemaker” (entered in the Secretary of State database by a known lobbyist); the other supported by large sums of money from his own campaign manager who has no such financial means or a local religious leader.

Do we want to send Sacramento another Democrat to continue the wasteful governance or a Republican who wants to gut the budgets for education and public health, environmental protection regulations and immigration reforms?

We must do better with a Cavalry of One on June 3. Vote #1- Barry Chang, the Imperfect Idealist!