RAFU STAFF REPORT
PASADENA — Linda Wah, incumbent for the Pasadena Community College Board of Trustees, has launched her re-election campaign with a growing list of endorsements and a resolve to build upon the programs she introduced during nearly 12 years as a PCC trustee.
In announcing her support for Wah’s re-election, U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) emphasized Wah’s efforts to address the housing needs of PCC students experiencing homelessness and establish a debt forgiveness program for student loans.
“She advocated at the state level for dual enrollment so that high school students could earn college credit…and get head start on a college degree,” said Chu.
Other supporters include State Assemblymembers Mike Fong, Anthony Portantino, Chris Holden, and Laura Friedman; Los Angeles County Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Hilda Solis; mayors from South Pasadena, San Marino, Alhambra, Temple City, Rosemead, and Monterey Park; and fellow PCC trustees Jim Osterling, Berlinda Brown, Tammy Silver, Dr. Anthony Fellow, and student trustee David Ramirez.
Few would argue the fact that Wah’s most enthusiastic supporter may be her husband, James Okazaki, a former L.A. Department of Transportation assistant general manager and Little Tokyo community leader. Okazaki believes that her advocacy has laid the foundation for the students’ ability to advance toward successful careers and university degrees.
Okazaki has pledged to make phone calls and walk the district to help ensure that trustee Wah is able to continue the programs she has helped establish.
Wah faces challenger Kristine Kwong, an attorney, in the June 7 election.
A profile of Kwong on her campaign website reads, in part: “Kristine is an education lawyer representing both public and private sector entities throughout the State of California in a variety of operational issues such as labor and employment, student issues, operational compliance, and litigation. In the public sector, Kristine has worked with special districts, parks & recreational districts, water districts, sanitation districts, K-12 schools (public, private, and charter), and universities on a variety of matters.
“Most notably, during COVID-19, Kristine helped educational and private entities manage the constantly developing landscape of COVID-19 compliance, offering a steady hand during the navigation of changing federal, state, and local mandates. Kristine is also frequently retained to serve as a neutral hearing officer for public sector appeals of internal personnel matters. She is lauded for her objectivity, thoroughness, and reasoned approach in finding cost-effective solutions to complex problems.”