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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Creating great communities for all

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who’ve shaped our cities

By Taylor Moore, Planning Magazine, Spring 2021

“In (roughly) chronological order, here is a selection of the many Asian American and Pacific Islander urbanists you should know about:

  1. Norman Yoshio Mineta (1931 –)

“In his 90 years of life, Mineta has achieved a lot of firsts: first Japanese American mayor of a major U.S. city, San Jose; first Asian American in a presidential cabinet, as Clinton’s commerce secretary; and the longest-serving Secretary of Transportation, as the only Democrat in President George W. Bush’s cabinet.

  1. Paul Ong (1949 –)

“As professor emeritus at UCLA specializing in urban planning, social welfare, and Asian American studies, Ong is an urbanist with wide-ranging interests. … At UCLA, he’s the founder and director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge and editor of AAPI Nexus, a journal that explores community development, education, and other topics in relation to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

  1. Manjusha P. Kulkarni (1969 –)

“Kulkarni is a racial justice attorney with a long history of advocacy. She’s worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU of Southern California, and the South Asian Network, and is currently the executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON), a coalition that advocates for mental health services, environmental justice, and other issues for AAPI residents of Los Angeles. She also cofounded Stop AAPI Hate, a hate crime reporting center that’s taken on new resonance as anti-Asian attacks have increased across the country.

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