Alex (Zhihua) Chen | Alex (Zhihua) Chen – Students for Fair Admissions

Alex (Zhihua) Chen

Alex (Zhihua) Chen- San Jose, California

As we may all know, 2014 is dark time for California, especially for Asian Americans. On
1/30/2014, the Lunar New Year Eve, SCA5 passed in the California Senate along party line which
tried to overturn Prop 209 and restore racial discrimination in college admission. In this deep
blue state, the bill was also deemed as a sure pass in Assembly. Equality of college admission is
at stake, especially for high-achieving Asian students! In order to defeat it, I founded SVCA
(Silicon Valley Chinese Association) together with several friends to lead a grassroots counter
campaign in North California, especially in the San Francisco-San Jose bay area. After our one-
month’s online campaign and ground work helped by Asian community all across the US, the
California Senate had to withdraw this bill because of probable lacking of enough votes in
Assembly and fear of losing Asians’ votes in coming November elections. As new hands in area
of politics and civil rights, we gained our first victory!

But I knew the victory would be temporary and the bill might come back any time if the
California democratic party could consolidate supermajority in coming elections. After a short
rest, I led redeployment of our ground force to support candidates who could represent us,
especially Catharine Baker in AD16. After 8 months’ continuous effort, we eventually helped
win AD16 and successfully helped break one party’s supermajority.

At almost the same time, another national fight against similar racial policy was being
conducted out of my sight, and it was led by Edward Blum’s POFA (Project on Fair
Representation) and later SFFA (Students for Fair Admission). In early 2015, I happened to know
Mr. Blum’s longtime effort to fight against racial discrimination. Without any hesitation, I
promoted his organization in our community and invited his team to talk about his lawsuits on
our forum in May 2015 in San Jose. Immediately after the forum, I wrote articles to help SFFA
recruit thousands of new members and raise some funds (And I did it again in Aug 2017).
Unfortunately, in 2016, SCOTUS lost Justice Scalia, and our much-focused Fisher II case backed
by Blum was then lost. In California, one party regained their supermajority in both CA
chambers. The consequence is serious: The reviving of SCA5 is becoming more real than before
since affirmative action resurfaces even in the 2018 race for CA governor. The good news is that
we won the white-hot presidential election to which I devoted most of my free time in hope of
winning back SCOTUS.

Continuing fight to uphold Prop 209 in far-left leaning California and being help to continuous
nation-wide legal challenge to race-based admission policy are two main areas I will focus on.
With new SCOTUS, I believe SFFA can gain more victories under Blum’s lead. And I am humbly
applying for this vacant board position in order to communicate more efficiently and bring our
community’s resource to help SFFA achieve our common goal.

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