The San Francisco Chronicle Magazine ran a profile of Eric Mar in April 2005:
Mr. Education Helping S.F. students learn is a full-time job -- and then some -- for Eric Mar
Sunday, April 10, 2005
by Sam Whiting
Tuesday night is meeting night at the San Francisco Board of Education, so Eric Mar will be there until midnight or later. That's no surprise as Mar, 42, is the board president. The surprise is that at 8 a.m. Wednesday, he'll be lecturing 50 or 150 undergraduates at San Francisco State University.
Where'd you grow up?
Sacramento. My parents both worked for the state of California.
Public or private school?
Public schools through UC Davis.
What is your day job?
I teach Asian American Studies and Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State. Usually I have four classes a semester with a grading load of 240 students, and it's piles of papers. I also advise undergrads who want to be teachers.
Do you tell them it's still a career worth going into?
Yeah. I tell them that because my wife, Sandra Chin-Mar, is a teacher and I'm a teacher, that it's a noble profession.
This was an older profile of me from the SF Bay Guardian when they selected me as a "local hero" back in 1998 when I was a leader of the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights:
Profile by Daniel Zoll
ERIC MAR was a sophomore at the University of California, Davis, in 1982, when he heard about the Detroit murder of 27-year-old Asian American engineer Vincent Chin. Chin was killed by two white, unemployed auto workers who blamed Asians for the decline of the U.S. auto industry. Chin's killers were let off, Mar recalls, with three months' probation and $3,000 fines.
Mar, now associate director of the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights, says it was then that he started making connections between the Chin murder and this country's historic scapegoating of immigrants and Asians as a whole for economic problems. It was a major turning point in his political life.
"What struck me was, you could be of any class and be an Asian and could still be blamed ‹ and even killed ‹ for economic problems in this country," Mar recalls. "And I found it ironic that Chin was killed with a baseball bat outside of a McDonald's."
These days if you get involved in grassroots politics in San Francisco, it won't be long before you run into the 35-year-old Mar, who has been at the forefront of local, state, and national battles to save bilingual education, reform local elections, and protect the rights of immigrants, among other issues.