Malaysian-American Makes History As The Youngest Mayor Of A City In California

  • Dec 14, 2020
  • Sadho Ram
  • SAYS

Malaysian-American Makes History As The Youngest Mayor Of A City In California

She is the first Malaysian-American to be elected to public office in the US.

This is Jocelyn Yow

Over the week, 25-year-old Yow was appointed as the new Mayor of Eastvale, a city in northwestern Riverside County, California, after having served in the position as Mayor pro-tem this past year.

With her appointment on 10 December, Yow has become the youngest woman of colour ever to serve as mayor of a California city

She took to her Twitter on 11 December to announce the news, writing, “Local government makes decisions that affect our daily lives and is where we can directly see democracy in action.”

“It is crucial that we include the perspectives of young women and mothers while making important decisions that impact the families we serve,” Yow wrote, adding, “While I will be the youngest woman of colour and one of the very few young mothers to serve as a mayor in the state of California, I am hopeful that more young women and mothers will follow suit.”

A graduate of Norco College and UC Berkeley, the 25-year-old is currently pursuing her master’s degree in government at Harvard Extension, according to the Emerge California’s website.

She has served as district representative for the California State Senate and as an aide for the US House of Representatives, where she worked tirelessly to help seniors, families, small businesses, nonprofit organisations, and children to access valuable government services.

She’s a daughter of Asian immigrants, who moved to the US in 2011

Her mother is a Vietnamese refugee and her father is a Malaysian immigrant.

According to Yow, her mother’s family had to flee Vietnam and seek refuge in the US in the 1980s, and around the same time, her dad moved to the US to pursue higher education and a better future.

Her father and mother got together in San Jose, California, where Yow was born.

“In 1996, we had to move to Malaysia when my paternal grandfather [in Alor Setar, Kedah] was diagnosed with cancer, and I ended up spending 10+ years there, allowing me to learn more about our family history, heritage, and culture,” the newly-appointed Eastvale Mayor had written in a post earlier this year.

When she moved to Malaysia, Yow was just a year old.

According to a PBS Local report, Yow would continue to be in Malaysia until she turned 16 when she returned to the US with her brother to attend college. Their parents followed two years later.