The results from the 2016 election were historic in more ways than one, especially for the Hmong American community. This year’s results presented a record amount of 17 elected Hmong American officials from across the country. These individuals range from local and state levels throughout the United States.
Included in this impressive list are 5 elected individuals from here in the state of California. This includes Elk Grove Mayor-Elect Steve Ly, Merced Councilman Noah Lor, Merced County Supervisor-Elect Lee Lor, Sacramento School Board Member-Elect Mai Vang, and Sanger School Board Member-Elect Brandon Vang (Source: Hmong American Experience).
Among this prestigious group stands out the country’s first ever Hmong American mayor, Steve Ly, who was elected in the city of Elk Grove. The only local city official elected was Brandon Vang, who won as Sanger School Board Member.
Other notable Hmong American elected officials from throughout the country include Minnesota State Senator Foung Her, Minnesota State Representative-Elect Fue Lee, Brooklyn Park Councilwoman-Elect Susan Kaying Pha, Minneapolis Councilman Blong Yang, St. Paul City Councilman Dai Thao, Maplewood Councilman Tou Xiong, Walnut Grove Councilman Xiong Yang, St. Paul School Board Member Chue Vue, Eau Claire School Board Member Charles Vue, Eau Claire Councilman Michael Xiong, Wausau School Board Member Mary Thao, and Marathon County Supervisor Yee Leng Xiong (Source: Hmong American Experience).
Yee Chang, chair of the Progressive Hmong American Organizers, shared that this is, “a historic record year for the Hmong American community of 300,000 who either came to this country as refugees or were born to parents of political refugees from Laos only 40 years ago with 17 elected officials in local and state offices.”
Though the results of the national election are up still for debate, it is safe to say that Hmong Americans are both proud and excited for their newly elected community leaders. For a group of people who have only been in this country for less than 50 years, this historical political accomplishment will continue to inspire future generations to come.