Lydia Lowe

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Lydia Lowe

Lydia Lowe is a Boston-based activist who works as Co-Director of the Chinese Progressive Association (Boston) and is a former member of I Wor Kuen and the League of Revolutionary Struggle.[1]

CORI reform/Ballot changes

Access is proud that our grantees engaged in two campaigns that ended in victory at the State House thanks in large part to grassroots women leaders who organized alongside men to make major gains for ballot access and CORI reform.

After years of organizing, voter engagement, grassroots advocacy, marches, and community events, grantees Boston Workers Alliance, EPOCA, Neighbor to Neighbor, and Union of Minority Neighborhoods got policy enacted to remove questions about arrests and convictions from job applications. The policy also allows criminal records to be sealed after ten years (was 15 years) for felonies and five years (was 10 years) for misdemeanors. Law enforcement will still have access to CORI records for sex and homicide offenders.

For many years, grantee Chinese Progressive Association (Boston) has fought for Asian American voting rights by advocating for bilingual ballots to improve access to voting. Thanks to their strong leadership, on July 31st, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law legislation requiring the City of Boston to prepare ballots in Chinese and Vietnamese for all federal, state and local elections. The measure, a Boston home-rule petition, also calls for Chinese ballots to be transliterated by the Boston Board of Election Commissioners to include Chinese characters that represent the phonetic equivalent of the syllables of an English name.

We applaud the efforts of the many women that worked on these campaigns and we name a few of our grantee leaders in recognition of their outstanding leadership:

CORI Reform:

Ballot Access for Chinese and Vietnamese Voters:


In 1978 Lydia Lowe was at the founding of the League of Revolutionary Struggle in Oakland California.


In 1983 Lydia Lowe was a student at UMassBoston and active in the East Coast Asian Student Union/New England.[3]


For more than twenty-five years, Lydia Lowe has been part of building the Chinese Progressive Association (Boston) , a grassroots organization that works for full equality and empowerment of the Chinese community in Greater Boston and beyond. CPA works to raise the living and working standards of Chinese Americans and to involve ordinary community members in decision-making. During her tenure, Lydia has co-founded CPA’s Workers Center for immigrant workers to organize for their rights, secured bilingual job training for displaced garment and electronic workers, helped tenants preserve more than a thousand units of affordable housing, and secured bilingual ballots for Chinese and Vietnamese speaking voters in the City of Boston.

Lydia is a founding member of the Chinatown Master Plan Committee, the Immigrant Worker Center Collaborative, and Right to the City Boston. She also currently supports an effort to build a Chinatown Community Land Trust.[4]

Helping the Rainbow


"A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond"

Unity, January 28 1991, issued a statement "A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond" on pages 4 to 6.

This group was a split in the League of Revolutionary Struggle which soon became the Unity Organizing Committee.

Those listed as supporters of the call included Lydia Lowe, chair Massachusetts English Plus Coalition, Boston. .

Unity Boston

In 1991 Lydia Lowe was a member of Unity Boston, and director of the Chinese Progressive Association (Boston).[5]

East Wind

In 1985 Advisors to the League of Revolutionary Struggle Asian journal East Wind included:

BOSTON: Siu-wai Anderson, songwriter/musician; Suzanne Lee, Chinese Progressive Association (Boston); Sandy Leung, student Boston College Law School; Lydia Lowe, Asian American Society, University of Massachusetts at Boston.

Boston Social Forum

At the 2004 Boston Social Forum Bringing the Movement into Electoral Politics . Panelists were Mel King, Chuck Turner, Felix Arroyo, Steve Backman, Lydia Lowe, Patrick Kearney, Judy Roderick.[6]

WY Gallery Committee

Chinese Progressive Association (Boston) WY Gallery Committee, 2006: Thomas Chen, Jane Jung, Peter Kiang, Lisette Le, Giles Li, Helen Liu Lewis, Pong Louie, Lydia Lowe, Sam Lowe, Wen-ti Tsen, Valerie Wong. [7]

48th anniversary of PRC

Lydia Lowe at the podium

October 1 1997 Chinese Progressive Association (Boston) Executive Director, Lydia Lowe, gave a speech at an official Massachusetts celebration commemorating the 48th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.[8]

Lui Cheng 2007 American tour

The American Center for International Labor Solidarity and the National Labor College recently hosted Professor Liu Cheng for Shanghai Normal University to discuss the evolution of the new draft contract labor law in China. Cheng’s visit to the NLC on March 27th was the culmination of a multi-state tour meeting with union leaders and members of Congress.

For the report by Global Labor Strategies analyzing the impact of transnational corporations on the first draft of the Contract Law go to: UNDUE INFLUENCE: Corporation Gain Ground in Battle Over Chinas New Labor Law

Liu Cheng's tour included nearly 45 events over 17 days, in the Bay Area, Boston, Amherst, New York and Washington DC. A partial list of the many sponsoring organizations, and their key contact, includes:

Chinese Progressive Association (Boston) - Lydia Lowe.

Barr Fellows

Mariama White-Hammond July 13, 2009 ·


The Barr Fellows at the airport waiting to depart for Brazil — with Lydia Lowe and Andy Kendall in Brazil.

Backing Marty Walsh, 2013

Right to the City VOTE is proud to join leaders from Boston’s communities of color, Oiste and Chinese Progressive Political Action to stand with Martin Walsh for Mayor.

A diverse group of civic leaders from communities of color have come together to unanimously endorse Marty Walsh in the race to become mayor of Boston.
We will be working to support the campaign in the upcoming weeks and we urge people in our communities to elect Marty Walsh as the next mayor of Boston!

Individuals (as of 10/12/2013)

Mukiya Baker-Gomez, Kelly Bates, Diana Bell, Doris Bunte, Karen Chen, Sean K. Daughtry , Paulo A. De Barros, Cindy Diggs, An Duong, Eric Esteves, Rev. Gregory Groover, Rev. James W. Hills, Gilbert Ho, Maude Huard , Samuel Hurtado, Robert Kinney, Baolian Kuang, Lauren Jacobs, Jenny Lau, Lisette Le, Will Lee, Mark Liu, Darlene Lombos, Tom Louie, Lydia Lowe, Julia Mejia, Gloribell Mota, Noemi Mimi Ramos, Tarso Ramos, Ivan Reyes , Danny Rivera, Talia Rivera, Daysa Santana, Khalida Smalls, Alejandra St. Guillen, Aaron Tanaka, Jian Hua Tang, Mario Teran, Natalicia Tracy, Veronica Turner-Biggs, Gladys Vega, Mariama White-Hammond, Ann Har-Yee Wong, Joseph Y. Wong, Charles Wynder, Jr., Henry Yee, Tony M. Yee.

Organizations:¿Oíste?, Chinese Progressive Political Action, Right to the City VOTE.[9]

Supporting Suzanne Lee

Chinese Progressive Political Action, November 2, 2013:


Community members and South Cove East Residents standing with Suzanne Lee for District 2 City Councilor! — with Celine Chin, Michael Liu, Anna Lei, Colin Chan, Karen Chen, Mark Liu, Lydia Lowe, Jenny Lau, Kimberly Situ and Chuanling Chen.

TCC Leaders

The Chinatown Coalition founders.

Tcc-founder (1).gif

(Left to right, front row): TCC founders: Steven Chin, Carol Lee, David Moy, Lydia Lowe, Chau-Ming Lee. (Second row): Tom Lee, Richard Chin, Stephanie Fan, Barbara Rubel, Beverly Wing, Lawrence Cheng.


Lydia Lowe is a member of LeftRoots.

Role of Asian American and Pacific Islander Movements

LeftRoots journal Out to Win! issue 1, February 2019: The Role of Asian American and Pacific Islander Movements: Race, Nationality Oppression and Revolutionary Strategy.

Out To Win: Issue 1, page 7

By Carolyn Chou, Cecilia Lim, Lydia Lowe, Don Misumi, Miranda Singh OFaolain, Jensine Raihan, Helena Wong.