February 1, 2024
House Passes Pressley Bill Honoring Boston AAPI Activist Caroline Chang
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s (MA-07) bill, H.R.3728, to name the U.S. Postal Service office at 25 Dorchester Avenue in Boston after the late Caroline Chang (1940-2018), a community leader and lifelong AAPI activist in Boston’s Chinatown community. Rep. Pressley first introduced the postal renaming measure in May 2023.
“Who we honor matters, and today we’re one step closer to memorializing the incredible work that Caroline Chang has done as one of the greatest public servants that Boston, the Massachusetts 7th, and our Commonwealth have ever seen,” said Rep. Pressley. “I was proud to introduce and pass this bill in the House to pay tribute to Caroline’s legacy with the first post office in Massachusetts to be named after an AAPI individual. With nationwide attacks against the AAPI community, it is vital to commemorate leaders like Caroline whose contributions will have an impact on generations to come. I urge my Senate colleagues to pass this bill without delay.”
“We thank Representative Pressley and her staff for her recognition of Caroline’s legacy and support of Asian American Heritage, and the Boston’s Chinese Community for recommending Caroline for this dedication. We are very happy that Caroline is remembered for her hard work and dedication to her community as well as civil rights for all of us,” said the family of Caroline Chang.
“We in the Boston Chinese Community are proud to have Caroline Chang be the first Chinese American woman to have a post office named after her in recognition of her service and contributions to the people of Chinatown and Boston,” said Suzanne Lee, Founder of Chinese Progressive Association. “Thank you, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, for always recognizing and lifting up the hard work of those who paved the way for us to move our society forward.”
There are currently 617 postal facilities in Massachusetts. Of those facilities renamed, only one honors a woman and five honor a person of color. There is no postal facility – and no federal building – within Massachusetts that honors an AAPI person.
Caroline Chang spent her life serving the Boston Chinatown community. Born and raised in Chinatown, Caroline served as an interpreter in her early life for community members seeking medical care. In 1970, Boston Mayor Kevin White appointed Chang as the manager of Chinatown’s Little City Hall, where she advocated on behalf of residents. Chang went on to receive her law degree from Suffolk Law School in 1970 and spent more than 30 years with the United States Department of Health and Human Services as the Regional Manager for the Office for Civil Rights, making her the highest-ranking Asian American in the federal government in New England at the time.
Throughout her years of public service, Caroline Chang played a founding role in several organizations that continue to serve the Boston Chinatown community, including:
- The South Cove Community Health Center
- The Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC)
- The Chinese Historical Society of New England (CHSNE)
- The Harry H. Dow Memorial Legal Assistance Fund
- The Asian American Civic Association (AACA)
- The Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center