investing in lexington

As a small business owner, I’ve seen firsthand how INVESTMENT of time, talent, resources, and money creates more prosperity, equity, and justice for Lexington & ALL its residents.

Meet Dan

Dan Wu is a husband, father, small business owner, activist, and a proud Lexingtonian 


I was born in China and came to America as a kid with my parents. We first landed in Fargo, North Dakota, then made our way to Lexington. Growing up as a latchkey kid with two working parents scraping to get by, I spent a lot of time cooking for myself and watching lots of cartoons.

I went to school at Henry Clay and the University of Kentucky, then ventured out to the west and east coasts, before returning to Lexington, the place I call home. 


I have the great fortune to live and work in Lexington with my wife Lauren, a high school special education teacher, and our two teenagers. When I’m not running for office, I like to try out new recipes, binge Netflix, & do jigsaw puzzles. My favorite foods are fried chicken, Korean pickles, & any unusual flavors of potato chips.


When I lived in Brooklyn, New York, I ran a tiny neighborhood video store for almost 10 years. After competing on Fox’s MasterChef in 2014, I began my professional food career, first as a private events & pop-up chef, then opening my own restaurant Atomic Ramen in 2017, and eventually multiple locations on the campus of the University of Kentucky


As a passionate communtiy activist & advocate, I’ve partnered with dozens of local nonprofits & organizations over the years like GleanKY, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Greenhouse 17, FoodChain, and AVOL, just to name a few.

I am the creator & organizer behind public campaigns like “I Am A Kentuckian” & “Immigrants & Refugees Belong Here” and several podcasts & radio shows. I also serve on the boards of LexArts, Human Rights Commission, CivicLex, & KY Equal Justice Center.

I am running for Council-at-Large.

This means if you are a Fayette County registered voter, you can vote for me! (no matter what district you live in)

Don’t forget, Election Day is November 8, 2022!

Countdown to the Election








What Does Dan Stand For?

I envision a more prosperous, equitable, & just Lexington so that everyone can achieve their potential

Civil Rights

Equity, Social and Racial Justice are Fundamental – Justice must be baked into all of our ideas and policies if we want to make Lexington a better home for everyone.

People of color, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ+ folks & members of other marginalized communities are always disproportionately affected by local and national crises & budget cuts. Investing in equity and racial justice benefits not just marginalized people, but everyone.

The Economy

Small Businesses are the Backbone of our Local Economy – As a small business owner myself, I know how vital our contributions are to the economic health of this city and the wellbeing of its residents. I experienced firsthand the kind of lifesaving effect federal relief dollars had on the survival of small businesses and their workers.

I believe that we must continue to invest in our entrepreneurs and workers, especially those in marginalized communities who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and other crises. More successful businesses means more tax revenue for the city, more money for families, and a more vibrant Lexington.

Local Government

Your Government Works For You – When it comes to city government, I believe in being transparent and allowing access to vital information, being accountable to the people we serve, and truly connecting with our local communities.

As a business owner I believe in being efficient and effective with your tax dollars. Rather than reinventing the wheel to solve problems, I want to invest in our relationships with community organizations, private businesses, and residents to build a stronger, more equitable Lexington. 

The Environment

Our Environment Crisis Impacts Everything – Climate change is not some abstract thing far far away, it affects us right here at home. From extreme weather to the air we breathe, climate change is hitting us where we live.

I believe we must do our part to mitigate and adapt to it, everything from increasing and maintaining our greenspaces and improving our energy efficiency to reducing car traffic and urban sprawl. We must invest in our city now to make and keep Lexington beautiful and healthy for everyone for years to come.


Affordable Housing Is For Everyone – Lexington is facing a severe affordable housing crisis & we must be creative & bold to solve this important challenge.

Secure, stable housing is the basis of a productive life. We must invest in sensible infill redevelopment, multi-unit housing and zoning, and smarter regulations and work with developers & builders, using our Comprehensive Plan as a guide, to create livable, walkable neighborhoods where everyone has a chance to not only survive, but thrive.

Public Safety

Public Safety is a Partnership – When it comes to keeping our communities safe, we have to truly work together collaboratively.

We must give the needed resources to LPD & continue to create & support relationships with other city agencies and organizations along with other community partners (mental health, substance abuse, child welfare, etc) to share the responsibility of public

I support Dan because of his belief in positive change & growth in Lexington through communication & collaboration.
– Stephanie B

I am supporting Dan Wu for city council because he best represents the vision and integrity that you’d want in an elected official.
– Christopher C

Dan cares about equity for all people. – Alison K

Dan would bring a much-needed new perspective to council.

– Ruth M

Dan Wu, from the moment I met him, has always been about building community and strengthening relationships.

– Eamonn F

Dan’s run for Council-at-Large represents the American dream of serving those who are voiceless and powerless through empowerment and equity.

– Ashley S

Dan wants to make Lexington a better place for ALL its citizens.

– Liz H

I am supporting Dan for City Council because it’s important to have engaged small business leaders involved in decisions that affect us all.

– Robert G

I’m very eager to watch him put his positive and people-centered ideas into action for the community and city, and help Lexington to become the very best version of itself.

– Danielle G

Dan is a connector, a bridge builder, and a community advocate that works through a lens of compassion and empathy.

– Toa G

I’m supporting Dan Wu for city council because he cares about  the hospitality industry and those of us that work in it.

– Chris C

  • Dan Wu is a real life superhero who roots for the underdogs of Kentucky: BIPOC, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ+ folk, and women!

– Danni Q

  • Dan embodies everything one should look for in a council person – diversity, forward thinking, passionate about our city.

– Bangaly S

  • Dan listens.
  • – Holly B

  • Dan Wu has the intelligence, experience and insight to bring a needed diverse voice to City Council.

  • – Colleen H

  • Dan is a spirited entrepreneur, that seeks to improve the local community, and to include everyone around him.

  • – Greg B

  • I’m supporting Dan Wu because he understands the deeply-rooted, systemic issues in Lexington.

  • – Olivia W

  • I believe in Dan Wu as an extra-all-inclusive human being who plans to make the whole community count.

  • – Rachel S

  • Dan fights for the rights of the disenfranchised and I’m about that.

  • – Steve H

  • Dan isn’t afraid of hard work.
  • – Kelly B

  • Dan brings a new fresh voice to the city
  • – Lamin S.

  • I know Dan cares about small businesses and his community.
  • – Pat G.

  • Y’all should get to know my man, Dan.
  • – Rick B.

  • Dan’s amazing at listening to the community & translating that into action.
  • – Donna K.

  • Dan Wu knows the power of a diverse lexington.
  • – Elisha M.

  • I support Dan Wu because he can empower us to build a more inclusive Lexington.
  • – Ouita M.

  • Lexington needs new & diverse leaders like Dan.
  • – DeBraun T.

  • Dan is smart, he cares, and he gets things done.
  • – Billy Q.

  • Y’all! This man loves Lexington!
  • – Meredith R.

  • The city needs goods folks like Dan.
  • – Tim D.

  • I trust Dan’s heart and mind to be for people and for Lexington.
  • – Becky L.

  • I cannot think of anyone more qualified to be part of the LFUCG Council. Dan embodies everything that makes Lexington great.
  • – Natasha C.

  • Dan cares for you and the community, and will work to make this a great community for all.
  • – Sammy G.

  • Dan Wu is the best choice for Lexington!!!
  • Jennifer L

  • Dan Wu has been nothing less than a stand-up guy as long as I’ve known him.
  • Hendrick F

  • Whether on stage, in the kitchen, or in the neighborhood, Dan’s advocacy and enthusiasm has contributed so much positive energy and creative talent to community building and culture sharing.
  • Fausto S

  • Dan puts in the work for our community every day.
  • Mindy A

  • Dan will represent all y’all – not just some – and will build a better Lexington
  • Katherine M 


7/9/20 Lexington Herald-Leader Op-EdMcConnell can decide if laid-off workers sink or swim. Pass the HEROES Act to provide relief.
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9/17/20 WEKU Eastern Standard – Lexington chef and community organizer Dan Wu details a restaurant industry on thin ice.
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2/18/21 Lexington Herald-Leader Op-EdImmigrants like me are often entrepreneurs. But we face the biggest hurdles to success.
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3/18/21 Lexington Herald Leader Op-Ed – Americans love Asian culture and contributions. ‘But you do not value our lives.’
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4/11/21 KET Connections Host Renee Shaw continues her series of discussions about the increasing violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities with Lexington chef, restaurateur, and community activist Dan Wu who frequently speaks and podcasts on social justice issues.
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4/13/21 WTVQ Chef, activist, UK alum to talk on systemic racism toward Asians, Asian Americans.
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2014-2017 Culinary Evangelist Dan Wu interviews a who’s-who of food industry folks in Central Kentucky.
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2020-2021 Advanced D&D Dan Wu & DeBraun Thomas dive deep into politics & pop culture on WUKY.
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2021 Where Y’all Really From Hosts Charlene Buckles & Dan Wu chat with and share the diverse stories and perspectives of Asian American and Pacific Islanders living, learning, and loving in the bluegrass state.
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2/12/17 Lexington Herald Leader – Diversity of immigrant population focus of Kentucky video
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5/4/20 Smiley Pete Radiating Positivity.
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Join Team Wu!

Campaigns take money & people-power and that’s where YOU come in! I’m counting on your financial contributions & volunteer time & energy to propel me to city hall where I will bring a new voice & new ideas to city council.  Your investment in me will become our investment in a better Lexington for everyone.