Edgar Lin is challenging Rep. Leon Young in Assembly District 16, which stretches from the Northwest Side through Riverwest to Avenues West — and comprises a wide range of socioeconomic conditions. Lin, 32, told WiG he wants to bring “zealous advocacy and new solutions” to current problems.
Born in Taiwan, Lin and his family moved to California when he was a child. He earned an economics degree at Rutgers University and worked as a financial analyst. He discovered he did not “feel a passion for crunching numbers” and got itchy to have more impact on civic issues. So he decided to study law — which brought him to the University of Wisconsin. He completed a law-school internship in Sherman Park and moved to Milwaukee three years ago as an assistant state public defender, after working in that role in Appleton. He’s on an unpaid leave as he campaigns.
Lin says he is “pragmatic” and believes that by focusing on “common goals” it’s possible to be effective within a minority party.
Lin’s platform features detailed plans for economic development, including innovative approaches to encouraging startups and small businesses — a major source of stable local jobs. He told WiG “economic development — creating jobs — is the overarching theme in many, many sound policy issues.” He also wants to encourage the updating of job centers, hiring of local residents, and raising the minimum wage. He sees it as a moral issue that corporations pay workers enough that they don’t need government assistance.
Criminal justice reform is another priority. Lin advocates for those who have served time to be able to reconnect with their community through jobs and education, which reduces recidivism. He also said, “We need to treat addiction as a public-health issue, not a criminal-justice issue.”
Besides Young, Lin’s other opponents are Brandy Bond and Stephen Jansen. Lin is the best funded. He earned endorsements from the AFSCME, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Federation of Nurses and Healthcare Professionals, League of Conservation Voters, Wisconsin Jobs Now and Wisconsin Progress, as well as by Ald. Nik Kovac and County Supervisor Marciela Nicholson.
See these other WiG other endorsements for Aug. 8: