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Meet the Candidate: Jason Chang

Jason Oliver Chang. Courtesy photo

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running in the Nov. 2, 2021 municipal election.

Compiled by Ronni Newton

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to “Meet the Candidate” – designed to help them get to know the candidates running for office in the 2021 municipal election.

Identical questionnaires have been sent to all candidates, and each profile received has been submitted directly to We-Ha.com by the candidate or the candidate’s campaign management. The responses have not been edited but have been formatted to match our publication style. Questions left blank have been deleted.

As profiles are received, they will be published on We-Ha.com under the “Government” tab. We-Ha.com is not making endorsements of any political candidates but we are publishing this information in order to assist voters in being informed and prepared when they go to the polls on Nov. 2.

If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Name: Jason Oliver Chang

Age: 42

Party, position seeking: Democrat, Board of Education

Family information: My wife, Julie, and I have three children in West Hartford Public schools and we have lived here for 10 years.

Other occupation, if applicable: I am an Associate Professor in History and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut and Director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute.

Political experience: NA

Other relevant experience: In January of 2021, I founded Make Us Visible CT, a campaign to bring Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies to our state’s schools via a model K-8 curriculum, which, through bipartisan support, is now law.

Why are you running for office? Answering the call to fill a vacant seat at the height of the pandemic, has given me enormous insights into how the district can build on that experience and continue the work. I’m also excited about our work to implement our anti-racism and equity policies.

What issue(s) are your primary area of focus? I’m particularly concerned with educational equity in pedagogy, curriculum, and support.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing West Hartford today, and how do you plan to address it if elected? The biggest issue for me are the school/community partnerships. The District’s innovative One Community program has produced tremendous results but has room to grow. These community and family connections are going to be important relationships to expand as we manage our town’s recovery and pursue excellence in our schools

What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position? I am an award-winning scholar and educator specializing in the history of race relations and have built a successful state-wide network of families, students, teachers, and supporters for addressing educational inequality and empowering underserved individuals to advocate for change in their public schools. As a university professor, I am also positioned to think about the larger educational arc from Pre-K to Graduate School and have a decade of experience advocating for equity at every level.

Anything else you would like to share? I am a fan of our WNBA team, Connecticut Sun.

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