Stephanie is serving in her first term as State Representative for House District 6. She serves on the Criminal Justice, Education, and Judiciary Committees. She has introduced legislation regarding education, earned paid sick time, a fairer justice system, water as a human right, environmental justice, and more. She launched the “Stand Strong, Respect Michigan” pledge for Michigan’s elected officials to take a stand against hateful rhetoric and in support of a welcoming community for refugees. Stephanie is the Deputy Finance Chair for the Michigan House Democrats and co-founded the Asian Pacific American Legislative Caucus.
Stephanie continued the Mary Turner Center for Advocacy - the neighborhood service center serving District 6, shared with Councilmember Raquel Castaneda-Lopez. At the service center, Team Chang has helped save homes from tax foreclosure, assisted with free tax preparation, helped eligible residents become U.S. citizens, and helped residents facing utility or water shut-offs. They promote public safety through a safety roundtable, convene a senior advisory council, and run a fellowship program for high school girls of color in District 6.
Stephanie’s parents came from Taiwan to the United States to pursue greater educational opportunity. When her dad found a job in the auto industry, he and Stephanie’s mother moved to Michigan. Stephanie was born at Sinai-Grace Hospital and grew up with her parents and older sister Josephina in Canton, Michigan.
A product of the public school system, Stephanie went on to the University of Michigan where she became a student organizer and graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies. After graduating in 2005, she moved to Field Street on the East Side to serve as an assistant to Grace Lee Boggs. Around this time, she began serving as a mentor with the Detroit Asian Youth Project, developing the leadership of Hmong and Bangladeshi American youth in the Osborn neighborhood and Hamtramck.
Stephanie served as an organizer for Michigan United/One United Michigan, building local volunteer-led coalitions to educate the public about the benefits of affirmative action and mobilize voter opposition against Proposal 2 in 2006. She built coalitions in five counties, co-organized statewide college student activism on the issue, and was critical in various other constituency groups' efforts against Proposal 2.
From 2007 until 2012, Stephanie served as the deputy director for the Campaign for Justice, which heads a broad-based coalition of organizations and individuals from across the political spectrum fighting for a fair and effective public defense system in Michigan. She helped build and mobilized the coalition in support of legislative efforts through legislative action, conferences, events, earned media, and outreach. She lifted up the voices of Michiganders who had been wrongfully convicted because of inadequate representation. Stephanie facilitated a workgroup on cultural competence and public defense and authored a report based on this work. In 2013, Governor Snyder signed bipartisan legislation that brings about long overdue reforms to Michigan’s public defense system.
Stephanie is a co-founder of APIAVote-Michigan, which serves the Asian American community through civic participation, advocacy and education. While leading the group for five years, she was a vocal advocate on immigrants' rights and immigration reform, voting rights, and redistricting. She developed and facilitated the implementation of nonpartisan voter registration, education, mobilization and protection plans and Census 2010 community education. She initiated and developed projects including a Youth Leadership Corps, community needs assessment project, and immigration story documentation project.
In 2013, she served as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the James and Grace Boggs School. Stephanie coordinated the school recruitment effort that included door-to-door outreach on Detroit’s East Side, letters and phone calls, community conversations, and visits to churches and organizations. She prepared neighborhood residents and parents to lead an effort to learn about the neighborhood’s strengths and needs. She supported parents in the coordination of a family resource room and a parent group. She recruited and managed over 100 volunteers for outreach, facility preparation and classroom activities.
Stephanie served as the alumni engagement and evaluation coordinator for the Center for Progressive Leadership in Michigan, building a network of alumni and examining the impact the organization has had in its seven years of training programs.
Stephanie lives in Detroit’s Lafayette Park neighborhood with her husband and infant daughter. She received her Master of Public Policy and Master of Social Work degrees at the University of Michigan in May 2014.