Judy Chu
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California
Assumed office
July 14, 2009
Preceded byHilda Solis
Constituency32nd district (2009–2013)
27th district (2013–2023)
28th district (2023–present)
Member of the
California State Board of Equalization
from the 4th district
In office
January 3, 2007 – July 14, 2009
Preceded byJohn Chiang
Succeeded byJerome Horton
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 49th district
In office
May 21, 2001 – November 30, 2006
Preceded byGloria Romero
Succeeded byMike Eng
Personal details
Judy May Chu

(1953-07-07) July 7, 1953 (age 70)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1978)
Residence(s)Monterey Park, California, U.S.
WebsiteHouse website
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese趙美心
Simplified Chinese赵美心[1]
Hanyu PinyinZhào Měixīn

Judy May Chu (born July 7, 1953) is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for California's 28th congressional district. A member of the Democratic Party, she has held a seat in Congress since 2009, representing California's 32nd congressional district until redistricting. Chu is the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress.[2][1]

Chu was elected to the California Board of Equalization in 2007, representing the 4th district.[3] She previously served on the Garvey Unified School District Board of Education, on the Monterey Park City Council (with three terms as mayor) and in the California State Assembly. Chu ran in the 32nd congressional district special election for the seat vacated by Hilda Solis after Solis was confirmed as President Obama's Secretary of Labor in 2009.[4] She defeated Republican candidate Betty Tom Chu and Libertarian candidate Christopher Agrella in a runoff election on July 14, 2009.[5] Chu was redistricted to the 27th district in 2012, but still reelected to a third term, defeating Republican challenger Jack Orswell.

Early life

Chu was born in 1953 in Los Angeles. Her father, Judson Chu, was a Chinese American World War II veteran born in California, and her mother, May, was a war bride originally from Jiangmen, Guangdong.[6] Chu grew up in South Los Angeles, near 62nd Street and Normandie Avenue, until her early teen years, when the family moved to the Bay Area.[7][8]


In 1974, Chu earned a B.A. degree in mathematics from UCLA. In 1979, she earned a Ph.D. degree in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University's Los Angeles campus.[7][3]



Chu taught psychology in the Los Angeles Community College District for 20 years, including 13 years at East Los Angeles College.[3][9]

Local politics

Chu in 2007, while still a member of the Board of Equalization

Chu's first elected position was as a board member for the Garvey School District in Rosemead, California in 1985.[citation needed]

In 1988, Chu was elected to the city council of Monterey Park, California. In 1989, she became mayor of Monterey Park and served until 1994. Chu was mayor for three terms.[10][7][3][9]

Chu ran for the California State Assembly in 1994, but lost the Democratic primary to Diane Martinez; in 1998, she lost the primary to Gloria Romero.[citation needed]

Chu was elected to the State Assembly on May 15, 2001, following a special election after Romero was elected to the State Senate. She was elected to a full term in 2002 and reelected in 2004. The district includes Alhambra, El Monte, Duarte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, and South El Monte, within Los Angeles County.[11]

Barred by term limits from running for a third term in 2006, Chu was elected to the State Board of Equalization from the 4th district, representing most of Los Angeles County.[citation needed]

U.S. House of Representatives


2009 special

Main article: 2009 California's 32nd congressional district special election

Chu decided to run for the 2009 special election for the California's 32nd congressional district after U.S. Representative Hilda Solis was appointed to become President Barack Obama's United States Secretary of Labor. Chu led the field in the May 19 special election, but due to the crowded field (eight Democrats and four Republicans) she only got 32% of the vote, well short of the 50% needed to win outright.[12] In the runoff election, she defeated Republican Betty Chu (her cousin-in-law and a Monterey Park City Councilwoman) 62%–33%.[5][13]


See also: 2010 United States House of Representatives elections in California § District 32

Chu was heavily favored due to the district's heavy Democrat tilt. With a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+15, it is one of the safest Democratic districts in the nation. She was reelected to her first full term with 71% of the vote.[14]


See also: 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in California § District 27

In August 2011, Chu decided to run in the newly redrawn California's 27th congressional district.[15] The district has the second highest percentage of Asian Americans in the state with 37%, behind the newly redrawn 17th CD which is 50% Asian.[16] Registered Democrats make up 42% of the district. Obama won the district with 63% in the 2008 presidential election. Jerry Brown won with 55% in the 2010 gubernatorial election.[17][18] Chu was reelected, defeating Republican Jack Orswell 64% to 36%.[19]


See also: 2014 United States House of Representatives elections in California § District 27

Chu was reelected over Orswell, 59.4% to 40.6%.


See also: 2016 United States House of Representatives elections in California § District 27

Chu was reelected over Orswell, 67.4% to 32.6%.


See also: 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in California § District 27

Chu won reelection over fellow Democrat Bryan Witt by a 79.2% to 20.8% margin,[20] in one of a handful of districts in California that featured only Democrats on its midterm ballot.[21]


See also: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in California § District 27

Chu won reelection to her seventh term over Republican Johnny J. Nalbandian by a 69.8% to 30.2% margin. Nalbandian never conceded the race, citing unproven voter fraud.[citation needed]


Chu and husband Mike Eng, with Nancy Pelosi, at Chu's Swearing In ceremony for the U.S. House of Representatives

In 2009, Chu voted to increase the debt ceiling to $12.394 trillion. In 2010, she voted to increase the debt ceiling to $14.294 trillion. In January 2011, she voted against a bill to reduce spending on non-security items to fiscal year 2008 levels. In 2011, Chu voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011, which incrementally raised the debt ceiling.[22]

In 2010, she voted against measures proposed by the House to strip government funding to Planned Parenthood, and opposed restricting federal funding of abortions.[23]

Chu opposed the "See Something, Say Something Act of 2011," which provides "immunity for reports of suspected terrorist activity or suspicious behavior and response." She said, "if a person contacts law enforcement about something based solely on someone's race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin, they would not receive immunity from civil lawsuits."[24][25]

In June 2011, the House Ethics Committee began an investigation after receiving information suggesting that two of Chu's top aides had directed staffers to do campaign tasks during regular work hours. The investigation found that Chu had sent two emails to her staff on how to respond to aspects of the Ethics Committee's inquiry. The Committee found no evidence that Chu was aware of her staff's actions, it did find that the emails represented actions that interfered with the committee's investigation of the matter, and on December 11, 2014, it formally reprimanded Chu for interfering with its investigation of her office.[26][27]

In 2012, a Chinese spy, Christine "Fang Fang" Fang, volunteered for Chu's campaign and is suspected to have used political connections to spy for the Chinese Communist Party. Chu was one of several Democratic politicians who were targeted.[28]

In 2015, The Intercept published an investigative work by Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, assisted in part by the work of independent researcher Joanne Stocker, indicating that Chu received $11,150 from the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) between January 2009 and September 2012, when the MEK was listed a Foreign Terrorist Organization. She is an advocate of the MEK.[29]

On December 6, 2017, Chu was arrested during a protest outside of the U.S. Capitol.[30]

In 2019, Chu was named "honorary chairwoman" of the Forums for Peaceful Reunification of China, an organization advocating for Chinese unification.[31]

Chu accused Turkey, a NATO member, of inciting the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.[32] On October 1, 2020, she co-signed a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that condemned Azerbaijan's offensive operations against the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, denounced Turkey's role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and called for an immediate ceasefire.[33]

As of October 2022, Chu had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[34]

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[35]

Caucus memberships

Political positions


Chu claims that abortion access is "not just health care - it is a fundamental human right." She opposed the overturning of Roe v. Wade.[40]

Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023

Chu was among the 46 Democrats who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[41]

Personal life

Chu married Mike Eng in 1978. They live in Monterey Park.[42] Eng took Chu's seat on the Monterey Park City Council in 2001, when Chu left the council after being elected to the Assembly, and in 2006, he took Chu's seat on the Assembly when Chu left the Assembly.

Chu's nephew, Lance Corporal Harry Lew, a U.S. Marine, died by suicide while serving in Afghanistan on April 3, 2011, allegedly as a result of hazing from fellow Marines after Lew allegedly repeatedly fell asleep during his watch. Chu described her nephew as a patriotic American and said that those responsible must be brought to justice.[43]

In December 2019, Chu and her brother Dean Chu donated $375,000 to the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, California.[8]

Chu is one of three Unitarian Universalists in Congress.[44]

See also


  1. ^ a b 美首位华裔女国会议员赵美心回广东省亲. chinanews.com Guangdong (in Simplified Chinese). 2011-09-04. – See image (Archive)
  2. ^ "Judy Chu trounces rivals in congressional race". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2015-05-08.
  3. ^ a b c d "Vice Chair Judy Chu". California Board of Equalization. 2007. Archived from the original on 13 February 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2007.
  4. ^ Larrubia, Evelyn (2008-12-23). "Solis' House seat draws interest of prominent politicians". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
  5. ^ a b Blood, Michael P. Democrat captures US House seat in LA county, Huffington Post, 15 July 2009.
  6. ^ Merl, Jean (July 16, 2009). "Judy Chu becomes first Chinese American woman elected to Congress". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2009. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Judy Chu's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Rep. Judy Chu, Brother Donate $375,000 to Chinese American Museum in LA". nbclosangeles.com. December 26, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Chu, Judy (2002). "Political Philosophy for Judy Chu". SmartVoter.org. League of Women Voters of California Education Fund. Retrieved 14 May 2007.
  10. ^ "Mayors - Past Mayors Across the United States". ontheissues.org. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  11. ^ "Biography at California Assembly website". Archived from the original on December 24, 2001. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  12. ^ "CA District 32 – Special Election Race – May 19, 2009". Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  13. ^ "CA District 32 – Special Election Runoff Race – Jul 14, 2009". Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  14. ^ "CA – District 32 Race – Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  15. ^ Galindo, Erick (August 8, 2011). "Judy Chu announces plans to run for new San Gabriel Valley congressional district". Pasadena Star-News. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  16. ^ "Demographics of the new congressional districts – Spreadsheets". Los Angeles Times. 2011-07-29. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  17. ^ "Final 2011 Congressional Spreadsheet" (PDF). Redistricting Partners. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 19, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  18. ^ "Final 2011 Congressional Spreadsheet 2" (PDF). Redistricting Partners. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 31, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  19. ^ United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2012
  20. ^ United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2018
  21. ^ Mouchard, Andre; Staggs, Brooke (November 6, 2018). "Elections 2018: Incumbent Congresswoman Judy Chu racing past fellow Democrat Bryan Witt in California's 27th District". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  22. ^ "The Political Positions of Judy Chu". The Political Guide. The Political Guide. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  23. ^ "Political Positions of Judy Chu". The Political Guide. The Political Guide. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  24. ^ Kamboj, Kirti (9 August 2011). "H.R. 963: The 'See a Minority, Report a Terrorist' Act of 2011?". Hyphen Magazine. Hyphen Magazine. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  25. ^ Dye, Shawn (August 8, 2011). "Watch Rep. Judy Chu Argue for Protections against Racial Profiling". Unfinished Business.
  26. ^ "Official Letter of Reproval US House of Representatives, Committee on Ethics" (PDF). US House. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  27. ^ House, Billy (2014-12-11). "Chu, Gingrey Rebuked by House Ethics Panel". National Journal. Retrieved 2015-03-14.
  28. ^ Allen-Ebrahimian, Bethany (8 December 2020). "Exclusive: Suspected Chinese spy targeted California politicians". AXIOS. AXIOS. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  29. ^ Ali Gharib, Eli Clifton (26 February 2015), "Long March of the Yellow Jackets: How a One-Time Terrorist Group Prevailed on Capitol Hill", The Intercept, retrieved 30 March 2018
  30. ^ Wire, Sarah (December 6, 2017). "Los Angeles area congresswoman arrested during immigration protest on Capitol Hill". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  31. ^ "美联盟第34届执委就职,徐中(左)与郭志明交接,国会众议员赵美心(中)见证。". Las Vegas Chinese News Network (in Chinese). August 24, 2019. Archived from the original on 27 January 2023. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  32. ^ "Members of Congress Blast Azerbaijan and Turkey As Attack on Artsakh Expands to Armenia". Armenian Weekly. September 29, 2020.
  33. ^ "Senate and House Leaders to Secretary of State Pompeo: Cut Military Aid to Azerbaijan; Sanction Turkey for Ongoing Attacks Against Armenia and Artsakh". Armenian Weekly. October 2, 2020.
  34. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (2021-10-22). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  35. ^ "Judy Chu". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  36. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  37. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  38. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  39. ^ "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  40. ^ Chu, Judy (24 June 2022). Twitter https://twitter.com/RepJudyChu/status/1540396396028772352. Retrieved 28 June 2022. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. ^ Gans, Jared (May 31, 2023). "Republicans and Democrats who bucked party leaders by voting no". The Hill. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  42. ^ "Biography". Congresswoman Judy Chu. 2012-12-11. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  43. ^ McAvoy, Audrey. 3 Marines will go to trial for alleged hazing, Associated Press, 26 October 2011.
  44. ^ Sandstrom, Aleksandra (January 4, 2021). "Faith on the Hill: The religious composition of the 117th Congress". Pew Research Center. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
Political offices Preceded byMatthew Martínez Member of the Monterey Park City Council 1988–2001 Succeeded byMike Eng Preceded byJohn Chiang Member of the California State Board of Equalizationfrom the 4th district 2007–2009 Succeeded byJerome Horton California Assembly Preceded byGloria Romero Member of the California Assemblyfrom the 49th district 2001–2006 Succeeded byMike Eng U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byHilda Solis Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom California's 32nd congressional district 2009–2013 Succeeded byGrace Napolitano Preceded byMike Honda Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus 2011–present Incumbent Preceded byBrad Sherman Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom California's 27th congressional district 2013–2023 Succeeded byMike Garcia Preceded byAdam Schiff Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom California's 28th congressional district 2023–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byMike Quigley United States representatives by seniority 94th Succeeded byJohn Garamendi