Opportunity, access, equity, justice and service are the core values driving Senator Stephanie Chang, the first Asian American woman elected to the Michigan legislature. She worked as a community organizer in Detroit for nearly a decade before serving two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives and then as the Democratic Floor Leader for her first term in the Senate. She is currently serving her second term in the Michigan Senate and is the Senate Democratic Policy and Steering Chair.
Sen. Chang has built a strong track record of getting things done. In the state legislature, she has led on air quality and environmental justice, criminal justice reforms, affordable, safe drinking water, and immigrants’ rights issues. She has passed bipartisan legislation on a range of issues including sexual assault education and prevention, an address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence, the COVID-19 water shutoff moratorium, female genital mutilation, nitrous oxide “whip-its”, reentry services for wrongfully convicted individuals who were exonerated, improving Michigan’s maritime economy, support of community crisis response to mental health emergencies, and establishing Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. She is proud to have helped secure a historic community benefits agreement for Southwest Detroit residents near the Gordie Howe International Bridge and is active in her district advocating for the community’s needs. She cofounded the Asian Pacific American Legislative Caucus in Michigan and served as the chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus in 2017-18.
She served as state director for NextGen Climate Michigan, alumni engagement and evaluation coordinator for the Center for Progressive Leadership in Michigan, deputy director for the Campaign for Justice and as an organizer for Michigan United/One United Michigan. She also worked as a community engagement coordinator for the James and Grace Lee Boggs School and assistant to Grace Lee Boggs, an activist, writer, and speaker. The senator is a co-founder of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote-Michigan and Rising Voices; she also serves on the board of the Southwest Detroit Community Justice Center.
Chang earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degrees in public policy and social work from the University of Michigan. She lives in Detroit with her husband, Sean Gray, and two young daughters.