【5/20/2021】CAPA-NoVA Distinguished Chinese American Project

邓稚凤(Mae Yih)(born Chih Feng Dunn May 24, 1928) is a former member of both houses of the legislature of the U.S. state of Oregon. She is the first Chinese American to serve in a state senate in the United States.

In Albany, Yih volunteered at her children’s school, eventually running for the local school board. She started service on the Clover Ridge Elementary School board in 1969, moving to the Albany Union High School board in 1975. In 1976, the local Democratic Party chairperson asked Yih to run for the Oregon State House. Yih won the election, defeating a Republican opponent who had 14 years of incumbency. Yih took office in 1977. She went on to serve three two-year terms in the House.

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In 1982, Yih decided to run for a seat in the Oregon State Senate. She won this election, and was re-elected in 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1998. Yih was elected Senate President Pro Tempore for the 1993–1995 session. Yih decided not to seek re-election in 2002 and retired at the end of her term in January 2003.

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【Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us!】

By Xi Su

CAPA-NoVA Volunteer

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