The rainy New Year in Northern California brought an overflow crowd of SPARC-ies to the Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills, January 20, 2016, for the South Peninsula Area Republican Coalition’s first event of this presidential election year.

GOP stalwarts from around Silicon Valley gathered to hear Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang, representing California Assembly District 55, gave a talk entitled “What’s Right With America.” Born in Taiwan, Ms. Chang immigrated to the United States with her family when she was three years old.

Before she made her address, SPARC’s first Vice President, Peter Coe Verbica, took the time to honor outgoing president, John P. McDonnell, with the SPARC’s first annual Ralph Cowden Memorial Award. Cowden, who died in 2015, was a founding member of SPARC. In McDonnell’s absence—he’s in the Mid-West, visiting his first grandchild—the award was accepted for him by Ralph Cowden’s daughter, Debbie Cowden Pierce.

Peter Verbica also announced the slate of 2016 SPARC officers, who will be voted on during the upcoming January SPARC board meeting. We will announce the results of the election right here, so watch this space.

Assemblywoman Chang spoke to the group about her strong belief in American freedoms and a democratic process unheard of in so many parts of the world. She stressed the need for California candidates to represent a wide range of diversity representative of the many Republicans participating in the California GOP of the 21st century. Chang, a former mayor of Diamond Bar, California, is now a candidate for the California State Senate’s 29th district.

Enjoy pictures from the event below: