|Ling Ling Chang Today|
|Ling Ling Chang Today|
|l-r Andrew Wong, Jody Roberto, Ling Ling Chang, then Assemblyman Bob Huff accepting a check for the Diamond Bar Community Center from Matt Rezvani of British Petroleum|
In 2006, California Senator Robert S Huff named Ling as Woman of the Year . Today he is no less impressed. He describes Ling as "Energetic, and loves to dig deep into issues. She has many areas of interest and expertise. Her resume is one of the most extensive I've seen. She doesn't mind championing issues even if she is in the minority if she believes in it."
Ling Ling's story is the quintessential American story, the Diamond Bar version. A dentist in Taiwan, her parents hungered to live the American Dream. Ahead of his family, he attended USC to qualify his credentials in the US. A year later, he sent for his wife and young family when Ling was only 3. First settling in Walnut, by the time Ling was 10 the family roots were firmly planted in Diamond Bar.
From a tender age she has observed the community demographics change from 12 % Asian then to 51% now. Trilingual, she credits Diamond Bar's avoiding the conflicts of other communities when such a large shift occurs because of the "welcoming spirit" here.
Ling's hero is her grandfather. He was an opthamologist charged by the World Health Organization to eradicate trachomia ( a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment) in Asia. This instilled in the little girl a desire to be like her grandfather, "To make a difference."
Married to Andrew Wong (attorney and Pomona Unified School District board member), she is in her own right a dynamic half of one of Diamond Bar's most influential couples. They met volunteering for the Diamond Bar Community Foundation. The Friends of the Library. The Chamber of Commerce. Cautious by nature, Andrew took his time before he offered Ling Ling the bling bling):- Theirs was one of the most conspicuously public courtships of Inland Valley. One that no one bet against.
(l-r) Andrew Wong, Jody Roberto and Ling Ling Chang
image courtesy of Laura Kobzeff
Ling reports that being married elected public officials is in general, "perfect". A perceived lack of attention by an office holder leads many a spouse of an elected official to feel neglected. However, with their extensive and shared record of community service, "Being on the same page," brings with it an understanding and acceptance.
A self described science geek, absorbing data, "To analyze evidence and (move towards) action." are the personal qualities that propel her work. With a degree in biology from California, she is continuing her formal education with studies in environmental issues through Harvard.
Ever the optimist, the youthful appearing mover and shaker believes that even when things don't go as hoped for, life follows an evolutionary path. "You learn from your experiences."
Her experiences include something in the Angeles forest which is definitely not going to make my bucket list of things to do in life. Bungee jumping,
Which leads us to her third "favorite" quote.
Well-behaved women rarely make history
-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich