Proven Leadership in Lower Manhattan
Gigi was born in Hong Kong, and immigrated to New York City with her parents at a young age. Growing up, Gigi witnessed both her grandparents and parents run small businesses. Her grandmother worked for over 20 years in Chinatown’s garment factories.
In 2003, Gigi became the first in her family to graduate from college, earning her B.A. from Smith College. Motivated to serve her community, Gigi’s first job post graduation was at the NY Asian Women’s Center (now Womankind) as a counselor/advocate for children and families impacted by domestic violence. Frustrated with the policies and bureaucracy that made it difficult for her clients to get assistance in their time of need, Gigi obtained a Master’s of Science in Social work with a focus on policy from Columbia’s School of Social Work.
After graduate school, Gigi worked for a decade at Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, fighting for quality services for children, youth and families. Her primary responsibility was directing the Coalition’s work in youth development/afterschool services. This included organizing rallies, town halls, and policy briefings that resulted in tripling the SYEP jobs citywide, and doubling the number of Beacon school-based community centers. She was instrumental in the implementation of Mayor deBlasio’s UPKNYC and Community Schools initiative.
In 2009, Gigi was appointed to Manhattan’s Community Board 3 (CB 3), and became the first Asian American in New York City to be elected to serve as board chair in June 2012. As chair of CB 3, Gigi focused on community-based planning, and addressing recovery and resiliency challenges after Superstorm Sandy.
For the past two years, Gigi has devoted her organizing, policy, and community experience to public service, as a chief of staff to a NYC Councilmember. Gigi, her husband Wen Wei, their daughter Gemmy (and of course their pug, Vito), are proud residents of downtown Manhattan.