L.A. Chung
Email: lachung@patch.com
Phone: 650-201-1477 Hometown: Los Altos I was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Los Altos. What else do you think L.A. Chung stands for? My first Los Altos event was walking in the Pet Parade in 1962 with my Collie, Laddie. We all went down to the pancake breakfast at Rancho after that. I remember riding my bicycle on Interstate 280 the day before it opened to the public and passing under it to ride up to Maryknoll, before it was a retirement home for priests. My elementary school was close enough to walk to, and is now Grant Park and community center. I learned how to swim at Los Altos Covington Pool and Los Altos High School in the summers. I learned to ride from Herman Koopmans, following him from Los Altos Hills to Portola Valley.  I've been in journalism since 1980, when I participated in the Maynard Institute's Summer Program for Minority Journalists. I've been a reporter for the Hartford Courant in Connecticut and the San Francisco Chronicle. During a 12-year career at the San Jose Mercury News, I was an editor supervising reporters in community news, weekend breaking news and business. I had a column through which I wrote about local events, the travails of ordinary people fighting City Hall, and the intersection of race, culture and public policy. Since leaving the Mercury News, I've worked on the Chauncey Bailey Project, the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism and done research Hewlett Foundation projects. In the old days, once I told people my name, I'd have to quickly add— "No relation to Connie." But no one knows who she is, anymore. My Beliefs Always say "Please" and "Thank you." It goes a long way toward making life more civil. Play nicely. Stand your ground if you believe you're right. Admit when you're wrong. Politics  I believe in sanity, and in public officials striving to do the right thing for the greater good. I vote in each and every election, and have, at different times in my life, been registered as a Democrat, Independent and Republican. Religion My mother raised me at the Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church. It's the closest thing to "my" church, even if I don't attend. Local Hot-Button Issues Los Altos elementary schools are the top in the state. But maintaining school standards during a very sluggish economic recovery period, with limited and unreliable state funds, will be difficult this year and in the coming years. It will require the school community to reach out to the broader community and make the case for donations and perhaps taxes. Downtown economic vitality is a deep concern. 
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