Miya Saika Chen


Miya Saika Chen is a Leadership in Government Fellow with the Open Society Foundations, building community governing power and developing a pipeline of legislative staff and civil servants who are working inside government towards policy and budgetary solutions that address the root causes of poverty and lead to a more equitable democracy.

Miya previously served as Chief of Staff for Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas where her team led the passage of a biennial city budget that shifted public investments towards violence prevention and healing and away from law enforcement and punishment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they authored the strongest eviction moratorium in the State of California, a grocery worker hazard pay wage bonus, and a progressive corporate gross receipts tax passed by voters in 2022. During her first year in office, they authored fair chance housing protections for people with conviction records and created a $13 million municipal fund for community land trusts.

Prior to this, Miya was a community lawyer in social justice organizations. She served in the Obama Administration’s White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and started her career as a researcher for the Service Employees International Union. She received her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law.