A Viet Woman’s March to Elected Office

 

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, my story was featured in the #MinneAsianStories campaign. A fragment of my story was shared on the storytelling campaign. I wanted to share the full picture with you all. Enjoy and happy #APAHM!

 

My family Kendric and my then one month old daughter Luna attended the 2017 Women’s March of Minnesota (pictured left). The march was symbolic for me in many ways to voice my concerns with the current politics. There was comradery of Minnesotans banding together. However, it was clear this movement lacked intersectionality. Intersectionality is the need to acknowledge the full impact of disadvantages and discrimination from overlapping identities for a specific individual or group. Without acknowledging intersectionality and including disinvested communities in the conversation, we will not achieve justice for all. This march was critiqued as a protest for white women; the crowd lacked my yellow, brown, black neighbors. We were underrepresented in the crowd just as we are in our mentors, teachers, workplace, and elected officials.

 

A year later in 2018, I announced my candidacy for Ramsey County Commissioner in District 3. There is something major lacking in our current county board. We need representatives that are authentic and responsive, accountable to our constituents and in-tune with how to reinvest back into our community. I am the needed leadership with multifaceted perspectives from my lived experiences. I’m committed to challenge spaces that prohibit, silence or make people like me invisible. We need leadership who will no longer ignore our community.

 

As a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, I experienced challenges fitting into our new country, even though my father fought alongside American soldiers. My parents knew the value of connection and community, they still made time to help people with citizenship test, applying for jobs, preparing individuals for their job by providing clothes and driving them to work and interpreting for the Vietnamese community. Even though we didn’t have financial wealth, we knew to pay attention to a different kind of wealth, the gifts that people have inside of them. We sought support from Ramsey County to to stay afloat. As a child, I remember drinking powdered milk and making meals from the “government [block] cheese.” I remember how difficult it was for my mother who spoke limited English to navigate the County application process. As an environmental justice advocate, I bring the lens needed to identify and address racial disparities to ensure we live healthy lives. As a new mother and a professional working full-time, I bring forth the perspective needed to ensure young families are flourishing.

 

When elected, I would be the first Vietnamese person elected in office in Minnesota and the first Asian Ramsey County Commissioner. The Vietnamese community settled in Minnesota for over forty years and the Asian community is a large population within Ramsey County, yet we haven’t had representation. Becoming the first Vietnamese elected official would come with many challenges however, it will open even more opportunities. This election goes beyond me; I’m running to pave the way so that more women of color run and are elected. When elected, I would have the opportunity to amplify the voices of all residents. To apply my lived experiences to lead and make impactful decisions for our community. Most importantly, I would reflect our community and my daughter will see her possibilities.

 

#AVietWomansMarchToElectedOffice #Trailblazn #WinMoreWithNguyenMoore on #August14

 

 

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