Meet Mike Chang
A Progressive Voice for Berkeley School Board
My name is Mike Chang, and I am running for Berkeley School Board in the 2020 elections. I am running because I want to provide education law expertise, particularly in anti-discrimination law, to the Board. I also have three children in BUSD and have been active in the District as a parent for ten years (with five more to go).
I joined this race after School Board President Judy Appel decided in late June not to run again. Judy and Beatriz Levya-Cutler, who is also stepping down from the School Board, have both endorsed me, as have the Mayor and Vice-Mayor amongst others. I hope to extend the Board’s important gains on equity issues and create a more equitable future for our children.
I was born in Coney Island, Brooklyn, to immigrant parents and raised outside of Chicago. I first landed in Berkeley in 1995 to earn a Cal Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies. Later, I earned a J.D. with a concentration in Critical Race Studies at UCLA. I then taught as a teaching fellow in Santa Clara University School of Law’s Center for Social Justice and Public Service before practicing law as an Assistant Executive Inspector General for the State of Illinois, where I investigated misconduct, abuse and fraud in state government.
But I couldn’t stay away from Berkeley for long. After returning to Berkeley, I became an attorney at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, where I implement remedies resolving race disparities in school discipline to break the school to prison pipeline; address school climate problems involving race, sex and disability based harassment; and ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to school programs and services. I am a commissioner with the City of Berkeley’s Police Review Commission where, as a member of the Use of Force Committee, I have advocated for the principle of the sanctity of life. I am also a lecturer in Ethnic Studies and Legal Studies at UC Berkeley where I teach race, law and civil rights, focusing on the values of equity and due process.
I have three children in BUSD and my wife and I are dedicated to the Berkeley public schools. We’ve both been very involved in our PTAs, and I served as Vice President on the Berkeley Arts Magnet PTA Executive Board for three years.
Please join me as I run with these principles in mind:
- Education is Community; Refund it
- Professional Berkeley Wages and Housing for Teachers and Classified Staff
- Equity and Allyship through a Restorative Justice Lens