Assemblymember Kansen Chu was elected in November 2014 to represent California’s 25th Assembly District, which includes the Alameda County communities of Fremont and Newark, and the Santa Clara County communities of Milpitas, San José and Santa Clara. During his first year in the State Assembly, Assemblymember Chu served as the Chair of the Human Services Committee, where he fought for the most vulnerable among us, including children, seniors and the disabled. Most recently he was appointed as the Chair of the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee by Speaker Anthony Rendon. Additionally, he serves on the Assembly’s Insurance Committee. In 2015, Chu led an important discussion on homelessness as the author of Assembly Bill 718, which would have prohibited the citation of individuals that have no option but to sleep in their vehicle. Assemblymember Chu also authored legislation which expanded CalWORK’s benefits for grieving mothers and improved safety for bicyclist and pedestrians—both of these were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.
Kansen Chu previously served on the San José City Council for seven years. He was the first Chinese-American to serve on the region’s City Council. During this time, he made public health and environmental issues top priorities, passing legislation to require citywide green building standards and championed a ban on single-use plastic bags. He also spearheaded the installation of automatic heart defibrillators across San José as a way to save lives.
While serving on the City Council, Chu worked with community members to create the North San José Neighborhood Plan, established the Berryessa Business Association, helped to start the Berryessa Farmers Market, and moved the long-awaited Commodore Park project forward. He served on 21 local and regional governing committees and represented San José on the League of California Cities and the Association of Bay Area Governments.
A long-time advocate for education, Chu was elected to the Berryessa Union School Board District in 2002. As a school boardmember, he worked to bolster public education materials, strengthen curriculum and improve public access to school board meetings.
Born in Taiwan, Chu moved to the United States in 1976 as a graduate student. He holds a Master's in Electrical Engineering from Cal State Northridge, and worked as a Microdiagnostics Microprogrammer at IBM for 18 years. In addition, he also owned and operated Ocean Harbor Chinese Restaurant for 16 years.
Chu and his wife Daisy have been married for nearly 40 years. They have two adult children, Ann and Walt, a son-in-law Steve, and grandchildren, Kimberly and Connor.