Fremont City Council candidate Yang Shao has faced a gauntlet of criticism, almost unmatched in its ferocity in the East Bay this election season.

Beginning with his vote as a Fremont school board president earlier this against a sex education program that includes curriculum intended to teach elementary school children about LBGT family dynamics to involvement with a South Bay church that strongly opposed gay marriage, comes an attack mailer that unearths another Shao comment bound to outrage his opponents. This one disparaging civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ohlone Area United Democratic Campaign sent a mailer this week highlighting Shao’s remarks from a Sept. 14, 2016 Fremont school board meeting.

“Dr. King was a great guy, but you know, he uh, you know, he bought sex,” said Shao. The remark was made during a conversation over a policy on school district ceremonies and observances, according to the mailer.

“We all know Dr. King is a Hero… Does Shao?” the ad continues.

There had been rumors in Fremont that the two-year-old MLK comment would eventually be used against Shao, and in fact had been readily passed around verbally.

Shao belongs to the River of Life Christian Church, a Chinese evangelical megachurch in Santa Clara where he also holds a leadership position.


At a candidate forum on Oct. 7, Shao more than hinted the controversies are indeed hurting his campaign when he read a lengthy statement, seemingly out of place, declaring opposition to all forms of discrimination. The statement was delivered prior to answering a question about affordable housing in Fremont.

Prior to the only Ohlone UDC mailer, the only other attack against Shao came in the form of a pamphlet-like graphic shared extensively on Facebook. It’s unclear who created the graphic.

The same group has also used a similar style of mailer to attack another Fremont school board member in recent days. School Trustee Larry Sweeney, who like Shao, voted against the controversial sex education guidelines earlier this year. The ad against Sweeney, though, is far more conventional, criticizing his voting record, and saying “He no longer supports the best interests of students.”

According to finance records, the Sweeney mailer cost the Ohlone UDC $6,122. No filing for the Shao mailer has been posted.