LA Chinese Community Heroes

Chi Mui

Chi Mui proudly served as a councilmember and mayor of the City of San Gabriel. He was elected in March 2003, and made history by becoming the first Asian and Chinese-American on the council since the incorporation of the city in 1913.

An avid runner until an injury stopped him, he takes the energy and perseverance he used in his marathon races and has put it to use, not only for the people of San Gabriel, but Los Angeles County as well.

 As a member of the city council, he has worked day in and day out to preserve the quality of life that San Gabriel residents value. He led the effort to open the county public library in San Gabriel on Saturdays to provide greater access to residents and students without increasing costs. An advocate of parks and open space, he helped the city obtain an additional $50,000 for the master plan and redesign of Vincent-Lugo Park.  Chi is also a member on the Friends of  the San Gabriel Public Library.

In addition to his responsibilities and duties as a member of the city council, Chi also participates as a member of the Small Business and Local Government Advisory Committee of the Southern California Air Quality Management District San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Victor Control District Board of Trustees and the Los Angeles County Library Commission.

Before he was elected to the council, Chi has demonstrated a deep affection and commitment to the community for more than 24 years. He was instrumental in the development of 600 units of affordable and senior housing for Chinatown and taught citizenship to help hundreds of legal residents become U. S. citizens.  He led the effort to save the 50-acre “Cornfield” in downtown Los Angeles as open space.  He was instrumental in organizing the Chinatown Yard Alliance and successfully obtained $35 million from the state in 2001 to build the first urban state park and community facilities on the Cornfield.  Now it is Not A Cornfield.

He co-founded the Los Angeles Chinatown Athletic Association Volleyball Club where he coached young people in teamwork and sportsmanship.  He also worked to expand existing recreational facilities in the Chinatown community.

 In recognition of his leadership, he was elected president of the Los Angeles Chinese American Citizens Alliance twice.  The Alliance was founded in 1895 to advocate for equal political, economical and educational opportunities for Chinese-Americans.

Chi has not only expressed his community focus through volunteer and civic activities, but in his employment as well.  He has served as a field representative in the office of Assembly Member Lucille Roybal-Allard, now the Congresswoman.  He later joined the office of Assembly Member Richard Polanco, becoming his senior field deputy and, later, assistant chief deputy, when the Assembly Member was elected to the State Senate.  Senate majority leader Gloria Romero appointed Chi to serve as senior field deputy in September 2003.

Chi passed away on April 27 after a courageous battle with cancer. The loss has been felt by everyone who experienced Chi’s kindness and friendship.

Congressman Adam Schiff introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to pay tribute to Chi, by naming the San Gabriel Post Office after him.    

Chi was born in Guangzhou, China and emigrated from Hong Kong with his family to New York City at the age of 10.  He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York in 1980.

This is the man I love,  This is the man I married. This is the man always in my heart.


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