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Annie Lam is Top 25 AAPI Change Maker in 2022


ANNIE LAM with her husband, Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon, was recognized recently as a Top 25 Asian American Pacific Islander Change Maker.


By Laurie Hanson

It was a proud moment for Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon to see his wife, Annie Lam, recognized recently as a Top 25 Asian American Pacific Islander Change Maker in 2022.

“My wife, Annie, was recognized by the Sacramento Bee as a Top 25 AAPI Change Maker,” Speaker Rendon said. “Annie’s work has made such a difference in so many people’s lives – I’m so proud of her, and I know Vienna is too!”

As founder and executive director of the nonprofit API Mobilize, and executive director of the California API Legislative Caucus Institute, Lam hopes to develop the next generation of change-makers. Both her organizations are on a mission to promote AAPI participation in public service and government through mentorship and programs. 

As the principal and founder of Lam Consulting group, she knows what it’s like to experience challenges and hardships. As a daughter of Chinese refugees from Vietnam, she understands a lot. 

“I grew up in public housing,” Lam explained. “I went to under-resourced schools.” 

While growing up in south Sacramento, Lam and her family worked in the farm fields. 

“I know the struggle because I have gone through it,” she said. “So, I want to help change lives by bringing back resources to our community.”

Eventually, she would begin her career in the California State Legislature for former Assembly Member Judy Chu, and from there, rise above circumstances to a life of service to others.

Like Lam, many Change Makers are impacting lives with their positive individuality towards a greater overall vision to better Sacramento. They are among the best leaders advocating change in medicine, science, public policy, economics, education, and the arts. 

In partnership with the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program, the Sacramento Bee strives to recognize these leaders and their contributions. Through the newspaper’s Equity Lab, which first introduced the Top 25 Black Change Makers in 2021-2022, the awards evolved to include the AAPI community by early 2022. A panel was created to select nominees who have done outstanding work to promote equality and bolster a sense of community in the region. 

“It’s important to have diverse representation, diverse people serving as role models,” Lam added. “Not just diversity, but also having people who have the lived experiences to serve as role models because that will allow young people to see themselves in those roles.”