Oral Histories

Interview of Grace Hu

Immigrant from Taiwan. Real estate agent and council member and mayor of Cerritos, California.
Series:
Suburban Chinatown: Chinese American Business and Political Leaders in the San Gabriel Valley
Topic:
Asian American History
Interviewer:
Cline, Alex
Interviewee:
Hu, Grace
Persons Present:
Hu and Cline.
Place Conducted:
Hu's real estate office in Cerritos, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Alex Cline, series coordinator, UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research; musician. Cline prepared for the interview by studying biographical information supplied by the interviewee.
Processing of Interview:
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. Hu was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.
Length:
4 hrs.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Audio:
Series Statement:
The Suburban Chinatown series focuses on political and business leaders in the San Gabriel Valley who came to the U.S. in the post-1965 wave of Asian immigration after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 abolished the quota system based on national origins. The series was undertaken as a collaborative effort between the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research and the American East Asian Cultural and Educational Foundation (AEACEF). AEACEF recommended the majority of the individuals interviewed and introduced the interviewer to the narrators. Many of the narrators are also featured in the AEACEF’s book Thirty Years of Chinese American Immigration in Southern California.
Family’s move from Taiwan to mainland China in 1948—Reflections on parents and upbringing—Family separations in China—Successes as a student—Simplicity of life on the Taiwanese island of Penghu—Personal philosophy and work ethic—Reflections on the influence of her mother—Reasoning for not running for political office in Cerritos, CA—Return visits to Taiwan—Preference for life in the United States—Thoughts on American politics and the importance of education—Meeting her husband, Bill Hu—Graduation from Fu Jen Catholic University with business degree—Relocation to Southern California for Bill Hu’s engineering career—Reflections on the Hu family’s life in the 1970s—Work as a flight attendant before relocating to the United States.
Review of work as a flight attendant—Studies at San Francisco State University Business School and decision to drop out—Bill Hu’s education and the couple’s relocation from San Francisco to Virginia and back to California—Experience as a waitress—Decision to buy a house in Cerritos—Purchase and subsequent profitable selling of Pioneer Chicken restaurant in Cerritos—Entry into real estate in 1979—Successes in real estate and growth of business—Relationship with Chinese community through her business—Reflections on real estate philosophy—Reflections on raising three children—Decision to run for Cerritos City Council and subsequent win—Commitment to time management—Parenting philosophy.
Reasons she feels grateful to be a woman in present-day America—Thoughts on equal pay for women in the workplace and discrimination—Importance of financially giving back to community, involvement with charities, and academic sponsorship—Influx of immigration from mainland China to Southern California—Relationship between mainland Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants in Southern California—Reflections on Chinese communities in the United States—Thoughts regarding current political situation in Taiwan—Thoughts on current elected California officials—Reasons for not considering retirement.