Russell Lowe

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Longtime San Francisco Bay Area activist Russell Lowe has deep and ongoing involvement with pro-China communist activists and organizations.

Began working for Feinstein

Russell Lowe began working for Dianne Feinstein in approximately 1993. Lowe was not a “driver,” as was widely reported, but served officially as “office director” and importantly, as Feinstein’s California liaison to the Asian-American community. Lowe, it is now known, even attended events at the Chinese Consulate on behalf of the senator.[1]

Illegal parents

Russell Lowe, office director for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) came to visit Angel Island to pay respect to his father, stepfather, father-in- law. Lowe’s family members came to Angel Island in the late 1930’s as teenagers and stayed for about a month until they made it to San Francisco with false papers.[2]



Russell Lowe was a member of the Chinese Student Association at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with Bill Jeong.[3]

Teaching American High School Students about 'Comfort Women'

Promoting social justice teachings

Video posted by Johnson Choi featuring Russell Lowe in May 2018:

"Comfort Women Sexual Slavery History And San Francisco Movement to build Memorial and develop curriculums for High school students. 慰安婦性奴隸制歷史,舊金山運動建立紀念像和為高中生製定課程. Russ Lowe 劉紹漢, Education for Social Justice Foundation May 5, 2018"[4]

Chinese for Affirmative Action

Russell Lowe joined Chinese for Affirmative Action as a volunteer with the Chinese Media Committee. Bill Jeong joined the organization later.[5]

Voter registration


Russell Lowe voter registration helps with voter registration Lincoln Square, early 1970s.

The Association of Chinese Teachers


In 1976 Phil Choy, Russell Lowe and Alan Wong were consultants to The Association of Chinese Teachers.

Access list


Russell Lowe's name is listed on a Department of Defense housing access list from 1997.

Meeting Consul Chen


Russell Lowe with Christine Fang.

Farewell party

Russell Lowe attended the farewell party in 2013 for China’s Consul General in San Francisco.


On March 12, Consul General and Mrs. Gao Zhansheng held a farewell reception in their residence. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu, Supervisor Eric Ma and Katy Tang, Mayor of Piedmont John Chiang, Mayor of Daly City Raymond Buenaventura, Mayor of Alameda Marie Gilmore, Councilmember Lena Tam, Councilmember of San Jose Kansen Chu, former Speaker pro Tempore of California State Assembly Fiona Ma, Office Director of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein Russell Lowe, director of U.S. Department of State Office of Foreign Missions in San Francisco Patricia Hayes, representatives of foreign missions as well as Bay area friends from all works of life which amounted to over 300 people were present.

Consul General Gao delivered a touching farewell speech, in which he recalled quite a few historical moments in China and China-U.S. relations during his post in San Francisco, such as the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay, the 30th anniversary of San Francisco-Shanghai sister cityhood, the devastating earthquake in Sichuan and the 40th anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy and President Nixon's visit to China. Gao said, "Over the past five years there has been an unprecedented expansion of interactions across the board between China and my consular district." What among he referred to were the visits of Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, State Councilor Liu Yandong, state Councilor & Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

In his remarks to Consul General Gao, Mayor Lee recalled when they got acquainted with each other and became friends and all the "historical and funny moments" they spent together. "China has changed a lot during the past five years, for the good. I look forward to more opportunities for he cooperation between San Francisco and China when I go to Beijing next month." Mayor Lee also announced that March 12 would be "Ambassador Gao Zhansheng Day of San Francisco".

Later on, Carmen Chu, Katy Tang, Marie Gilmore, Kansen Chu, Fiona Ma, Russell Lowe awarded proclamations in recognition of Consul General Gao's contributions to the friendly cooperation between China and Bay area cities.[6]

Comfort Women Justice Coalition

In 2016 Russell Lowe, and Sung Sohn, Former Unified Teacher SF School District,were the leaders of the Comfort Women Justice Coalition.[7]

Comfort Women Justice Coalition dinner

Comfort Women Justice Coalition dinner March 30, 2018.

Steve Zeltzer 4th from left Russell Lowe 3rd from right, Eric Mar right

Comfort Women Justice Coalition rally

Eric Mar May 7, 2017.


The guys of the Comfort Women Justice Coalition at the 5/6/17 rally in #SFChinatown Russ Lowe (S.F. Journal & Senator Feinstein's longtime Chief of her SF Office) & Michael Wong (Asian Americans for Peace and Justice and draft resistance leader from the anti-war movement). See Former Panther Kiilu Nyasha's segment on Michael's anti-war leadership: For CJWC see — at San Francisco Chinatown.

In Korea with Honda

Former US Congressman Mike Honda (right) and Russell Lowe, the Secretary General of the Education for Social Justice Foundation, spoke about their efforts to publicize the comfort women issue in the United States during a visit to the Hankyoreh’s office in the Gongdeok neighborhood of Seoul on Oct. 15 2017.


“I think the Abe administration’s policies and Abe’s remarks themselves are evidence of anti-intellectualism. They say there’s no [corroborating] evidence, but since there are obviously documents showing that the Japanese government systematically mobilized and kidnapped women, the Japanese government ought to take responsibility. That’s why the Kono Statement was released. It’s not so much that there’s insufficient evidence as that there’s a lack of moral leadership in the current Japanese government,” said former US Congressman Michael Honda, 76. Honda dismisses as “nonsense” the claims of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Japanese government that there was nothing compulsory about the mobilization of the comfort women for the Japanese Imperial army.

Also present at the interview was Russell Lowe, 62, Secretary General of the Education for Social Justice Foundation, a San Francisco-based civic group, who agreed with Honda’s view. This is how Lowe put it: “It’s not true that there aren’t any documents. One of the problems is that these documents aren’t able to be disseminated in American society because they’re written in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. That’s why one of the priorities of our foundation’s educational efforts is properly communicating the facts about the comfort women in American society.”

Honda paid a visit to the Hankyoreh on Oct. 15 2017 along with Lowe, who is working with Honda in California to improve how American society views education, minority rights and the comfort women issue, as well as Chang Lee, a planning commissioner for Glendale (a city in Los Angeles County), who joined Honda and Lowe, orchestrated the construction of a comfort woman statue in Glendale in 2013. Honda emphasized the importance of the fact that 10th grade students in the San Francisco Unified School District will be taught about the comfort women issue as of next March for “the first time in the US.”

“California is the first state in the US to include the comfort women issue in school curriculum, but classroom teachers are having quite a hard time because they don’t have any syllabuses or lesson plans. We have currently tested lecture material that we’ve developed,” Honda said. The development of these lecture materials is being handled by Education for Social Justice Foundation (ESJF), which works closely and successfully with San Francisco Unified School District. to development of these lesson plans . ESJF works with a social organization called the Comfort Women Justice Coalition.

Honda has often said that he took the lead on the comfort women issue because “it’s the right thing to do…I think that Abe may be letting his personal feelings get mixed up in these historical issues. Japan’s political history overlaps with his personal history, since both his maternal grandfather Nobusuke Kishi and Kishi’s brother Eisaku Sato served as prime ministers,” Honda said.

Noting that Abe “inevitably looks like a politician who is adept at lying considering how he keeps changing his story about the comfort women,” Honda added that it might be effective for Japan’s crown prince, who may change things up, to propose “a prudent and responsible solution to the comfort women issue.”

Lowe, a Chinese-American who spent 20 years as the aide to Dianne Feinstein (former mayor of San Francisco and chair of the US Senate Intelligence Committee), says that the Japanese government’s problematic treatment of the comfort women issue began in the 1980s. “That’s when the Japanese government started pouring millions of dollars into a lobbying campaign aimed at American scholars and researchers. Since the majority of whites aren’t aware of this, they’re confused by the claims of the Japanese government and the findings of fact-based researchers. The question is, how do we effectively deal with the Japanese government’s cash-rich scheme to disrupt efforts to bring the truth of the comfort women issue to the attention of the American public,” Lowe said.

“There are very old and stubborn anti-Asian feelings in the American political world,” said Honda, whose family was among the victims of the US government’s forced internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. “As I was growing up, I found myself thinking that the prejudice and the discriminatory behavior of mainstream whites against Asians was ultimately a way for the majority to isolate and control a minority. Minorities like us are faithful not to the regime but to the constitution. The freedom of political activity that is enshrined in the constitution is very important. The US is a fine country, but it’s not a perfect one. That’s why I’ve diligently participated in political activity to realize and protect our constitutional rights.” Honda’s activism for the comfort women is an extension of that. Lowe also criticized US policies that apply different standards to Japan and to South Korea. “The fact is that South Korea is being treated unfairly because the US has double standards. Americans don’t understand why Koreans are angry and what Japanese are secretly aiming for. In that sense, perhaps we should regard the US as angling for its own political and economic interests while manipulating South Korea and Japan as puppets,” he said.[8]

Education for Social Justice Foundation Santa Cruz lecture


On February 23, 2018, Eric Mar, Russell Lowe and Sung Sohn were invited to speak as guest lecturers for the “World War II Memories in the US and Japan” class at University of California, Santa Cruz. They delivered a lecture on issues related to military sexual slaves known as “comfort women.”

The class, co-taught by Professor Alice Yang and Professor Alan Christy, began 19 years ago and started with a small group of students. Since then it has grown and now has 250 students.

During the “comfort women” lecture, Eric discussed collective activism and his personal experiences working to install the San Francisco “comfort women” memorial, Russ addressed the uncertain sister-city status between Osaka and San Francisco as a result of the memorial installation, and Sung discussed the importance and power of joint educational efforts.

A group of students interviewed Eric, Russ and Sung to find out additional historical background about “comfort women” and sought further explanations for various issues relating to military sexual slaves. The students also asked Eric, Russ and Sung about their personal reasons for their involvement in the issue, and asked for advice on ways to get involved in activism.[9]


  1. [1]
  2. [ Island Reborn Urban Legend Celine BuehlJuly 14, 2009 •]
  3. [2]
  4. [3]
  5. [4]
  6. [ Home > Pictures in the News Consul General Gao Zhansheng Hosts Farewell Reception 2013/03/15]
  7. [5]
  8. Hankyoreh, Interview Mike Honda speaks about publicizing comfort women issue in the US Posted on : Oct.25,2017 17:42 KST Modified on : Oct.25,2017]
  9. for Social Justice FoundationE4SJF Delivers a Lecture on “Comfort Women” Issues at UC Santa Cruz Feb 26, 2018]