|Member of the Michigan Senate|
from the 1st district
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2019
|Preceded by||Coleman Young II|
|Member of the Michigan House of Representatives|
from the 6th district
January 1, 2015 – January 1, 2019
|Preceded by||Rashida Tlaib|
|Succeeded by||Tyrone Carter|
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
Stephanie Gray Chang is a Democratic politician from Michigan currently representing the 1st Michigan Senate District, She previously served in the Michigan House of Representatives in the 6th District—which comprises the cities of Ecorse and River Rouge and part of the city of Detroit—in the Michigan House of Representatives after being elected in November 2014. She is the first Asian American woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature.
Chang was born at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit. She was raised with her older sister, Josephina, in Canton, Michigan and is the daughter of parents who emigrated from Taiwan to pursue work in the auto industry. Chang and her husband, Sean Gray, live in Detroit with their young daughter.
In 2005, Chang graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies. In May 2014, she received a master’s in public policy and a master’s in social work at the University of Michigan. While at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, Chang was a David Bohnett Leadership Fellow, interning at the Detroit mayor's office, as a paid intern via the David Bohnett Foundation.
Before her election, Chang worked for about a decade as a community organizer in Detroit. During that time, she worked for NextGen Climate Michigan as the state director, Center for Progressive Leadership in Michigan as the alumni engagement and evaluation coordinator, the James and Grace Lee Boggs School as the community engagement coordinator, the Campaign for Justice as deputy director, Michigan United as an organizer, and as an assistant to Grace Lee Boggs. She is also a co-founder and past president of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote-Michigan and previously a mentor with the Detroit Asian Youth Project.
Chang became the State Representative for Michigan's House District 6 in January 2015. In her first term, she served on the Committees on Criminal Justice, Education, and Judiciary. In her second term, she serves on the Committees on Education Reform, Law and Justice (where she serves as Minority Vice Chair), and Natural Resources. Much of her legislative work is focused on air quality, affordable and safe drinking water, education and criminal justice reforms. She is the chair of the Progressive Women's Caucus, a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Legislative Caucus, and a member of the Detroit Caucus, Michigan Democratic Latino Legislative Caucus and Michigan Legislative Black Caucus. She also serves on the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Local Government Advisory Committee, which provides advice and recommendations to the EPA administrator to help develop strong partnerships with local governments to deliver environmental services and programs. Chang also focuses much of her work with residents in the district at the Mary Turner Center for Advocacy, the District 6 Neighborhood Service Center, ranging from saving homes from tax foreclosure to hosting a community baby shower for low-income pregnant women. The District 6 Neighborhood Service Center is shared with Detroit City Councilmember Raquel Castaneda-Lopez. In 2016 she launched the Girls Making Change fellowship, a leadership program for high school girls of color in District 6.
Chang faced Bettie Cook Scott in a Democratic Party primary for Michigan Senate District 1 on August 7, 2018, winning 49% to Cook Scott's 11%. During the election, Cook Scott made racially charged comments about Chang, but later issued an apology through a representative.
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- Stephanie Chang, MPP, MSW, 2013 Archived 2015-01-23 at the Wayback Machine. David Bohnett Fellows – UM Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. David Bohnett Foundation. BohnettFoundation.org.
- David Bohnett Fellows – UM Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy Archived 2015-01-23 at the Wayback Machine. BohnettFoundation.org.
- "Stephanie Chang, Diana Flora named 2011 David Bohnett Foundation Leadership and Public Service Fellows". Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan. May 31, 2011.
- David Bohnett Foundation Leadership and Public Service Fellowships. Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan.
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- DeAeth, Duncan (August 19, 2018). "Taiwanese-American faces racist insults in campaign for Michigan Senate seat". Taiwan News. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- LeBlanc, Beth (August 16, 2018). "Detroit legislator apologizes for racial slurs". The Detroit News. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- Bever, Lindsey (August 17, 2018). "Michigan legislator apologizes for racial slurs against Asian American opponent". Washington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2018.