A theoretical physicist by training, Mr. Unz is the Chairman of Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a Palo Alto-based financial services software company that he founded in New York City in 1987. Mr. Unz holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University, and is a past first-place winner of the American Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He was born in Los Angeles in 1961.
He has long been deeply interested in public policy issues, and serves on the advisory board of the Reason Foundation. His writings on issues of immigration, ethnicity, and social policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Commentary, The Nation, and various other publications.
In 1994, he launched a surprise Republican primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson of California, running on a conservative, pro-immigrant platform against the prevailing political sentiment, and received 34% of the vote. Later that year, he campaigned as a leading opponent of Prop. 187, the anti-immigration initiative, and was a top featured speaker at a 70,000 person pro-immigrant march in Los Angeles, the largest political rally in California history.
In 1997, Mr. Unz began the "English for the Children" initiative campaign in California after learning of boycotts by Hispanic parents against Spanish-language programs in the Los Angeles area. He drafted Proposition 227 and led the campaign to qualify and pass the measure, culminating in a landslide 61% victory at the polls on June 2, 1998, effectively dismantling over a third of America�s bilingual programs. In less than two years of the new English immersion curriculum, the mean percentile test scores of over a million immigrant students in California have now risen by an average of 40%.
Following the passage of the California measure, he assisted Hispanic activists in Arizona in preparing and passing their own anti-bilingual education initiative, Proposition 203, which won by an even wider 63% landslide in November 2000. He has now established a national advocacy organization, English for the Children, to replace bilingual education with English immersion throughout the country.more » « less