HACIENDA HEIGHTS, CA – Today, Lieutenant Commander Jay Chen, an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserves and President of the Board of Trustees for Mt. San Antonio Community College, announced his run for Congress in California’s 39th Congressional District.
“As our country unites to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and the political divisions
that have prolonged the crisis, it’s more important than ever that we elect leaders who understand the challenges that our communities face, and who can tackle these issues on day one,” said Chen. “I’ve always believed in service, hard work, and giving back to my community. It’s why I joined the military to serve my country, and it’s why I’ve always looked up to my parents, who worked hard as business owners after immigrating here. I’m running for Congress because we need principled leaders who are dedicated to making government work for the people again.”
“In the United States Navy, I learned that it doesn’t matter whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, you work together to complete the mission. While Young Kim would rather listen to extreme Republican insiders and special interests, I’ll work to restore integrity and accountability in government and put people first. That means ensuring rapid and free vaccinations for everyone and relief for small businesses so that they can reopen immediately, get back to work, and grow. And I’ll work across the aisle to invest in education and classroom funding so our schools can reopen safely. I’ll always put the people of the 39th District first.”
The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Jay attended Hacienda Heights public schools and earned a Navy ROTC scholarship to attend Harvard University. After studying at Peking University on a fellowship, he joined a global strategy consulting firm, where he worked extensively with Fortune 500 businesses in the software and logistics industries to manage mergers, build new products, and streamline operations before moving home and starting his own local real estate business.
As President of the Hacienda-La Puente School Board, he created innovative programs, including Mandarin language immersion classes, a culinary arts program, and free SAT tutoring. He has also utilized his experience as a Harvard admissions interviewer to provide free college application workshops to students to open educational doors for students.
In the United States Navy Reserves, Lieutenant Commander Chen has served honorably from the Korean Peninsula to the Middle East. As part of Operation Inherent Resolve, Jay led an intelligence team that helped bring justice to the extremist terror group ISIS, and played a key role in the military’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East.
Dedicated to his community, Jay serves on several local and national boards, including the Los Angeles County Library Commission, Metro Regional Connector Leadership Council, and Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies. He is a Marshall Memorial Fellow and served as a delegate for the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and American Council of Young Political Leaders.
Jay and his wife Karen live in Hacienda Heights where they are raising their two boys Lincoln and Carver. He speaks Spanish and Mandarin.