Background: Experienced & Accomplished
The son of immigrants, Leland developed a deep appreciation for American values and the importance of community participation. Guided by these principles, he ran for office on the platform of strengthening the community and creating opportunities for the next generation. He was elected to the Cambridge City Council in 2009. Leland carries out these beliefs as he advocates for job growth, government transparency and affordable housing across Cambridge each and every day.
Leland was first elected to the Council while pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He was the first currently-enrolled student to be elected to the Council as well as the first Asian American. Before assuming his role as City Councillor, Leland worked as a Senior Associate at Masthead Partners, a Cambridge-based venture capital firm focusing on digital media, mobile, and internet infrastructure. He has used this background to guide his efforts as a board member of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Democratic State Committee, and the National League of Cities.
Throughout his tenure on the Cambridge City Council, Leland has remained committed to maintaining a style of progressive and innovative leadership that is akin to the moral, cultural, and intellectual climate of the surrounding community. As City Councillor, Leland has worked to preserve Cambridge’s culture of entrepreneurship by facilitating an open dialogue between local businesses and community members throughout the development of Kendall and Central Squares. He has fought to maintain Cambridge’s long history of promoting justice and equality by supporting measures to expand the rights of women, immigrants, and LGBT members of the community. He has partnered with local innovators to make municipal data more readily available to the residents of Cambridge through mobile applications. Most importantly, he has worked to ensure that the City of Cambridge is built on a foundation of community input – one that listens to the suggestions, criticism, ideas, and beliefs of its constituents.
Leland is an Executive Committee Member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee and a member of the Massachusetts Democratic Platform Drafting Committee. He was a Commissioner on Governor Patrick’s Asian American Commission and is the Massachusetts State Chair of the Democratic Municipal Officials. Leland is a 2012 recipient of an Eisenhower Fellowship and a Partner of the Truman National Security Project.
Leland currently lives in Cambridge with his wife, Yin, and their infant daughter Lela Marie.