Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga was paid a surprise visit last week by state Assembly member Paul Fong, who honored her as "woman of the year" of the 22nd state assembly district.
Abe-Koga was talking to Human Relation Commissioner Chris Clark in the third floor office at City Hall when half a dozen Asian-American community leaders, staffers for Fong and Fong himself showed up with flowers to make the announcement. The mayor said she had no idea it was coming.
Fong says Abe-Koga is not just the first Asian-American woman to be mayor of Mountain View, but also an important leader in the local Asian-American community.
"I've been out in the community a long time," Fong said. "I know a star when I see one."
He said he's watched Abe-Koga since she got her start in politics in her early 20s, when he was campaign manager for Michael Chang, the first Asian American to be elected to the Cupertino City Council. Abe-Koga helped bring in the vote for Chang after Fong put her in charge of a precinct. She has continued to work with Chang as associate director of the Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute at De Anza College.
Fong says he plans to give the award every year in State Assembly District 22, which encompasses Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Saratoga, Santa Clara and Milpitas.