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Liang Chao is currently the Cupertino vice mayor.

Liangfang Chao

Although Liangfang Chao is the current vice mayor of Cupertino, she originally obtained her Ph.D. in computer science and never expected to get involved in local politics.  However, after acting as a parent volunteer for local events, her career in public service began. 

“When my kids were younger, I volunteered a lot in their classrooms to help the teachers teach math, science and even art,” Chao said. “Then some parents [found] issues in the math curriculum or [with] how technology is used in middle school, and I [found] that we [needed] to [work] together to express our concerns so that the school board [could] make better decisions [to] address parent concerns.”

Chao served on the CUSD school board prior to being elected to the Cupertino City Council in 2018 and adds that working in both positions has been a rewarding experience. She is running for re-election because she still wants to act on many items as a council member.

“One example is the Senior Center in Cupertino,” Chao said. “I know many [seniors] actually don’t use the Senior Center, so that’s something I really hope to [work on]. This year, we started the first in-depth survey of senior needs in Cupertino. Once we have that information, we can actually fill in the gaps in our services.”

Chao also feels passionate about environmental policies in the city, emphasizing that the single-use plastic ordinance recently adopted by the City Council “is the first step to try and encourage people” to be more environmentally conscious.

“Although we say ‘recycle, recycle, recycle,’ the reality is we generate so much waste [that we don’t have the] capacity to recycle so much trash,” Chao said. “So we should really try to emphasize ‘reduce’ and ‘reuse.’”

When deciding who to vote for, Chao encourages voters to learn about every part of an issue rather than just a certain aspect of it.

“I think a lot of people have misconceptions about me or where I stand and we really need to open our mind[s] and understand things [more] deeply,” Chao said. “So especially if you’re deciding on whether you want to vote for someone or not, you need to be careful [to] don’t fall into this trap some people might set for you because they want you to only know one piece of the puzzle rather than the whole thing.”

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