What position are you running for?
Washington State Senate in the 34th District
(Burien, Vashon & Maury Island, West Seattle, White Center)
What motivated you to run for this particular position now?
Representation matters. Washington State has one of the most robust economies in America, yet many of us don’t have access to this prosperity. One of the underlying issues I see is the lack of representation from all communities. Having diversity is important because just talking about serving communities of color, refugees and immigrants is not enough, we need leaders with the lived experiences and shared values to properly inform legislation to truly serve the people.
What strengths/qualifications do you bring to this position?
I’m a tireless advocate and have been ingrained in the community. I’m born and raised in the district I’m running to represent and come from humble beginnings as the son of Vietnamese refugees who escaped by boat. Those experiences inform my work today and are necessary to ensure the voices of people in our community get heard. I’m the Associate Board Chair of a non-profit that works on issues of family homelessness. I am also an advocate for affordable housing and have been working to build trust between law enforcement and the community. Professionally, I’m a senior manager at Microsoft working to build job training resources to empower people with the skills needed to succeed in this technologically driven economy. My well-rounded background and experience would be an asset as a legislator.
What do you hope to accomplish if elected?
I believe that leadership isn’t so much about what an individual can accomplish, it’s how they can empower the people around them to succeed as well. My goal is that we build an infrastructure and pipeline that allows other young people of color to gain access and equity in leadership roles.
What are your hope for the Vietnamese community and how do you plan to contribute to making that hope a reality?
We need a physical space that can be shared with all generations and backgrounds within the Vietnamese community. We’ve been in the United States for over 40 years and still don’t have a community center. For whatever reason we haven’t been able to unify as a people, but having a shared space that is open to everyone would be a good start.