NextGen LGBTQ Leaders alum Hans How (San Francisco, 2019) is leading a coalition effort in the Bay Area to pass a ballot measure allowing foreign residents the opportunity to serve on municipal and county boards and commissions. The initiative was born earlier this year when How explored serving his community by volunteering on a local board but was told he was ineligible because he was not yet a citizen. A law-abiding, tax-paying, engaged and inclusive resident who specializes in impact investing, he realized that good talent was being under utilized. He recognized an opportunity to make a civic contribution and began to organize and advocate. In June, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously supported the effort to get a new, more inclusive measure governing the criteria to serve on local boards put on the November ballot. The measure then won enough votes to move forward and Hans and his colleagues are focused on ensuring a strong victory.

This isn’t Hans’ first contribution “from the outside”. In 2017 he joined up to co-lead, an award-winning web and app-based tech platform supporting LGBTQ people facing persecution and seeking asylum in the United States.

In 2018, Hans wrote an op-ed, published in home country’s Malaysiakini, titled LGBTQ Malaysians deserve a better future, in which he demanded that the incoming Malaysian government stop the criminalization, persecution and discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community. Two years later, LGBTQ+ Malaysians continue to be discriminated against and marginalised, and worse, violently attacked, arrested, caned, or imprisoned under the order of the Malaysian government…

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