My Background

I was born and raised in northern New Jersey just outside of New York City. My mother, Yuriko, was a Japanese immigrant, and my father, George, was a Chinese-American US Air Force veteran who, despite not having a college degree, became a Corporate Controller at Chase Manhattan Bank.​

I attended public high school while also earning a pre-college degree from the Juilliard School of Music. I graduated from Barnard College, majoring in Political Science, worked as a legal assistant, and then went on to Rutgers Law School. I developed a passion and interest in environmental law after participating in an externship program with the Sierra Club in San Francisco.

After graduation, I worked at the Container Recycling Institute tracking statewide Bottle Bill efforts, and the National Wildlife Federation, successfully lobbying for a Flood Insurance Reform Bill championed by U.S. Senator John Kerry.

In 1995, my husband John and I moved to Newton, where we raised our three children: George, Midori, and Joseph. Like many people, we were attracted by Newton’s excellent school system and close proximity to Boston.

I ran for the then-called Board of Aldermen in 1997 against a longtime incumbent (and won on a recount by 12 votes) on a platform of transparency, accountability, and constituent service, and served for ten terms (20 years).

I am proud to have played a leading role in environmental protection, affordable housing, and other progressive issues.​

In addition,  I volunteered with immigration advocates - representing disabled individuals seeking waivers on their citizenship applications and monitored children held in a detention center at the California border. I have also been active with many local community organizations and currently serve on the Dow Fund - which provides assistance for legal service providers in the Asian community, OCA-AAPA-NE - which provides mentorship and scholarships for Asian American Youth.

In 2015, as part of my service as a Councilor, I began a weekly email newsletter to keep Newton residents informed about government meetings. This continued until April 2022, when I co-founded Fig City News, which has rapidly become Newton residents' go-to news source.

I am currently working at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office providing assistance to individuals and families facing eviction and foreclosure and directing them to resources to help keep them housed.

I share my background with you so that you can see I have spent my career serving the public interest, advocating for a healthier environment, for individuals with disabilities,  immigrant children, access to safe and affordable housing, and on behalf of the residents of Newton.  I ask for your vote so that I can continue to be your advocate in the Massachusetts State House as the next State Representative from the 11th Middlesex District!