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City Landscape

What is going on in the Community?

I am on a journey to learn more about our community and I want to share what I learn. Check-in periodically to follow me on this journey of self and community discovery so I can better support our families in Portland.


I am so humbled by being with a group of leaders like Christine Chin Ryan, MCDA Mike Schmidt, President of the VNCO Thu Thao (in the picture here), Hao Nguyen from Trimet, Water Berry from Multnomah County Public Health Department, and other leaders in Portland (I apologize if I forgot to list you).


I still get star struck with awe when I see these folks in community celebrating with the people they serve. That's the type of leader I aspire to be. One that is a part of a community they are committed to serve. 


At the event, I couldn't help but reflect how their journey defending South Vietnam was similar to the journey of the Mien people who tried to fight for Laos. It is a true privilege for us to be able to fight using our votes here in the US. I urge everyone who can vote to exercise their right. Whether it is for me or someone else, it is our duty as American citizens. 


Of course, I prefer you vote for me though!


Thank you, President of the Vietnamese Community Organization President, Thu Thao for inviting me.

I had the opportunity to attend the Portland Police Bureau Asian & Pacific Islander Advisory Council event along with other leaders in the community and members of the Portland Police. It was great seeing many community leaders, community members, and state, federal, and local agencies collectively coming together.

Now, your first argument may be, "it is not trafficking because you had a choice to do the work" but let me share a little about choice. What if, you live in poverty and are at risk of losing your home, your electricity, can't feed your children, what choice do you have?  You see, choice is something that you have when you have luxuries and privilege. These are not choices. You don't have a choice when you must survive. 

Most people that are victims, don't even know they are victims. I learned that labor and sex trafficking is not always as easy to identify and that we need to be vigilant as a community to eradicate it. I learned that choice is not something that most victims have, whether it is safety and basic needs. We rely too much on our police officers to solve this issue.  It's being accountable; we need to participate in helping to ensure the well-being of members in our communities. I will commit to continuously learn about our communities to better serve everyone.

Learn more about trafficking and what you can do to help your community - 

Human Trafficking | Human Trafficking (

More on the event. Click link to watch the news coverage - 

PPB Asian and Pacific Islander American Advisory Council discuss human trafficking (


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I had the opportunity to meet with the Lents Neighborhood Association as they learned and asked questions about the new Portland government and had the opportunity to meet some neighborhood voters. I learned of the valid concerns about the new government in Portland. We are not the first to implement rank choice voting and we won't be the last. It is a voting system that makes every vote count. It may not be perfect, but it will give representation to the neighborhoods in the district. We have not had real representation in East Portland, now we will have 3. As a city councilmen, I will always listen to concerns, even when they are in opposition to mine. That's representation and that is what I will commit to do. 

                       LUNAR NEW YEAR                      FEBRUARY 2024

February is an exciting month for many Asian communities because that is typically the first month and beginning of the new year in the Gregorian calendar. The significance of the Lunar New Year is equivalent to our New Years, January 1. Based on the ethnic group, Lunar New Year may be celebrated differently but we all share the same hopes of peace, health, prosperity, wealth, and joy for ourselves and our families.

This photo is a group picture with some of my board of directors from the IU Mien Association of Oregon where I was fortunate enough to be elected as the President of the community. I have been blessed to work with these amazing folks that I otherwise would not have had an opportunity to do so. Together, our board and community have raised over 100k in grants and provided cash assistance, supplies, food resources, outreach and engagement to hundreds of individuals. 

To learn more about Lunar New Year - 

Lunar New Year 2024 - Animal, Dates & Celebrations | HISTORY

To learn more about the IU Mien community - 

Discover the Rich Culture of the Iu Mien People - This Week in Libraries

MARCH 2024

Gun Violence has disproportionately impacted communities of color. I am saddened to say I am not unfamiliar with the impacts of gun violence. Growing up, I have been exposed to my fair share of violence. My good friend was parlayed from the waist down because they were playing with a shotgun and it accidentally went off. Another shot himself in the leg while he was playing with a handgun. A few were shot as a bystander during a drive-by shooting. I even had a friend who shot and killed himself during a time of vulnerability. When we think of gun violence prevention, we often violence that people do intentionally. For me gun violence prevention means more. It means recognizing that as much as we want to disagree, guns will remain a part of our lives unless something significant changes. Until then, it means having responsible gun ownership. It means providing access to training and education so we can have responsible gun ownership. It means that we make sure that people who can be a potential threat to themselves and others do not have access to firearms' proposed and the Reynolds School District adopted Senate Bill (SB) 554 (2021) that allows school districts to prohibit even those with concealed carry licenses from carrying firearms by adopting a policy and posting. This is why I continue to advocate at events like the one Longevity Incorporated (Four Forces) put on with the Oregon and Gun Safety Alliance Foundation.

MARCH 2024

Community and Service has been an important part of my life. It is not everyday where you get an opportunity to help others. I had the honor of leading a project that built an elementary school to service over 250 students in rural Laos. It was an honor to work alongside the Lao Ambassador's Office in DC, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Director of Education and Sport of Moun Sing, Laos, Operation Jenda to build this school. It was not easy to navigate and coordinate halfway around the globe and through language barriers but we did it. This is an example of how small communities get together to accomplish something bigger. I believe that communities coming together for a single cause can find solutions to just about anything if they work together. In order for us to build a better Portland, we will need to work together. I may be just 1 person and 1 vote on the council but I am a member of the larger community Asain Americans that need to be represented.

                       ANTI-ASIAN HATE RALLY                    MARCH 2024

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It is sad that there are so many of those that continue to use hate and violence against people. I can't understand the mindset of someone who can hurt an elderly man, enjoying the natural beauty and recreation of Portland. I can't understand how people can be so consumed in hate that they want to hurt someone they do not know and have not met. I just don't get it. Although Asian Hate has been around and violence against Asian is finally being recognized, we are not doing enough to fight back and prevent it. I hear so many advocates in the community speak out against the hate only to be distracted by what is going on in their communities. Which is why I am so proud of the Chinese Friendship Association. They are speaking out and taking action. I was honored to be present with Mick Schmidt and other elected officials to stand in solidarity (in the rain) for the Asian Communities. It was an event that gathered leaders from different communities to stand in solidarity with Asian American's.



MARCH 2024

It was such an honor to attend the honoring of Christine's impact in our Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Communities. Both myself and May consider her as a mentor and most importantly a friend. It's not everyday you get someone that brings together all these great leaders. Chinese American Citizens Alliance got it right in naming you the Citizen of the Year award. Christine is someone I look up to and consider a mentor. I am so happy for her.

                       VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL                     APRIL 2024


I have a hard time understanding War but I understand the tragedies of war and what it does to people. From losing one's home to fighting for the right to survive to making a new home where people often spew hateful words at you. This is just one of many challenges that Refugee Immigrants encounter. I was honored to be invited and attend the Vietnamese Community Remembrance Celebration as a community leader. At this event, I got an opportunity to meet some of the people who fought for Democracy. Like the Vietnamese Soldiers who fought for what they believed in, we have to honor them by following them in their footsteps and engaging with our Democracy.


Be Sure to VOTE for me this upcoming election. I'll need all the votes I can get.

                       ZOMI NATIONAL DAY     MAY 2024

Celebrating the 76th Zomi National Day and the 20th anniversary of ZIPO ZOMI Inkuan Portland Oregon. The Zomi are an ethnic Minority Group from Myanmar. The National Day has similarities to independence day. Their communities, like many other refugee communities experience persecution and hate. I had an opportunity to learn more about the culture and traditions as they performed traditional dances. I also got to observe as they elected their ZOMI community President. Thank you for the invitation Khai.

                       LEAGUE OF MIONORTY VOTERS

     MAY 2024

I attended the League of Minority Voters event, and it was great seeing friends there. I even had the opportunity to geek out a little to former Governor Barbara Robert'. It was great talking to her. The ODHS building in Salem is named after her. Although everyone was gracious and welcoming, I can't help but feel out of place in front of so many prominent people. It reminded me of what feeling marginalized feels like. This is what many immigrants and #refugees feel like, feeling out of place. This is how underrepresented communities feel like, feeling out of place. As I look around the room, I looked to find someone that looked like me, but it was hard. I thought to myself, this was probably how the first Asian elected official must have felt too. Its not a good feeling. If it wasn't for these two gentlemen, I would have felt even more out of place. I don't know if they consider me as a friend, but it certainly felt like I belonged. When elected to represent #District 1 on the #Portland City Council, I intend on helping everyone feel welcomed no matter what their background is.



     MAY 2024

I had the honor and privilege to speak on behalf of Multnomah Counties Proclamation of Asian-American, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders Heritage Month. Here is a summary of what I shared.


I'd like for us to remember the hundreds and thousands of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders that sacrifice and serve in our armed forces to protect the lives of every man, woman, and child in Oregon and the United States. I would like to remind everyone of the rich culture and traditions that AANHPI contributes to the enrichment of Oregon.


I'd like to remind everyone of the AANHPI contributions as day laborers, shop keepers, bakers and cooks, to laborers in iron, wood, and paper mills. Asian American Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. 


I'd like reflect and appreciate the immigration journey of my people (the Iu Mien) and many other Southeast Asian groups like the Hmong, and the Lao that fought alongside American soldiers for freedom as Special Guerilla Units alongside our Allies from the United States in a forgotten and Secret War of Laos.


This month is also a month for us to learn about ourselves, our own culture, and our own traditions. I often joke about how my children are more American than they are Asian. They know very little about their own history. This month gives us an opportunity to rediscover our origins and teach our youth. As an Asian American, I am your friend and neighbor in the community.


We continue to be an integral part of life in Oregon and in America. We experience the joys and the hardships that Oregonians go through. We contribute to the well-being of Oregon. We do this by continuing to serve in our public agencies, serving fellow Americans that are struggling. We do it by becoming doctors, nurses, and caregivers to care for those that need help. We do it by serving as first responders; the fighter fighters, the police, the ambulance drivers. We do it by being a friend, neighbor, and community member.

                      MOTHERS DAY

              MAY 2024

During a time when many young women gossip, giggle, and hang out with their friends, my mom was surviving a war. I often talk about my mom's journey for freedom and how she was separated from her family when she fled America's Secret War in Laos. The experiences of her journey as she trekked from jungles of Northern Laos to the Thailand Refugee camp as a teenager. At times, it was on her own through the jungles. The trauma makes it hard for her to talk about till this day. On top of that, she had given birth to me during that period. I was a sickly little baby with liver disease. Many people didn't think was going to live but she cared and nurtured me. Even through times when I wanted to give up on myself, she doesn't stop. I can't imagine having to deal with life fleeing a war and caring for a child that was so ill. BUT she did. She is also probably the reason why I go fishing every chance I get. I don't tell her often, but I love her so much and I am so proud to have her as a mom.



                      IRCO ENGAGE COHORT     GRADUATION

    MAY 2024

Congratulations 2024 IRCO Engage Cohort. I am so honored to attend the graduation. I look forward to all the great work that you will do to support our Immigrant and Refugee communities. Shout out to An Bui for leading this wonderful group and IRCO and their commitment to empowering our immigrant communities.I am so proud of the work that IRCO is doing. We are helping immigrants and refugees adapt to their new life and giving opportunities and making dreams happen. I am proud to be a member of the IRCO board and guide the work that they are doing.

                      IRCO GALA

              MAY 2024

I am always so glad to see the Representatives of the Hmong American Community Organization at the IRCO GALA. They do really good work advancing the Hmong American Culture and Tradition. When you get a chance, go and see their traditional dance performances in the traditional Hmong attire. The Hmong are a group of refugees who made their homes here in Portland in the 70’s after being displaced from their homes in Southeast Asia and have been thriving here in Oregon.



MAY 2024

I am so honored to be the Chair of APICCO. I get the opportunity to help develop leaders in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities.I am also very lucky and proud to be a part of the #APANO family as their Civic Engagement Manager.



JUNE 2024

I am proud to be a member of our Reynolds School Board. We are graduating over 500 students today. We have a wonderful Superintendent and faculty. I look forward to next year. The best part of being on the Reynolds School Board is witnessing firsthand the beginning of our youths journey as they become our future professionals and leaders.



JUNE 2024

Although I am not a Buddhist, I was blessed with an opportunity to attend the induction of 2 new members. I believe we need to have an open mind and learn how people practice their religions. These Aunties have made the commitment to the temple. It is not an easy path but it is a worthwhile journey. I have always and will continue to encourage people to practice whatever they believe that gives them peace, joy, and happiness.



JUNE 2024

I'm so glad to support my friend Senator Chris Gorsek. He is an inspiration. I first met Chris as a SEIU PAC Region Representative nearly a decade ago. I learned of a police officer's days. What really drew my attention was his awareness of my Iu Mien Community. Chris was one of the few that knew of the Iu Mien Community before I started sharing about our culture. We talked about the days where we lived in Halsey Square, a place where many generations of refugees and immigrants started their roots. It is a great honor to have the Senators endorsement for my campaign to represent East Portland’s District 1. I look forward to continuing to work with him to improve the lives of East Multnomah County.



JUNE 2024

This is the first time I am attending the Bike 350 Pedalpalooza. This was a fun and wonderful event. There was free skating !!!! I would have loved to bike but my daughter doesn't know how to ride a bike yet. She was more interested in the playground. The event was at Kʰunamokwst Park. It had a skate park and covered areas for people to picnic. It was a well kept and nice park. It made me a little envious. Why isn't there a park like this around the Lentz, Wilkes, Parkrose area. Maybe there is and I am just not aware. Either way, I am just a little envious and would like to see more parks like this.

Thought to myself, wouldn't be nice to see our communities gather like this more often? People would enjoy each others company around festivities and joy.



JUNE 2024

I first learned of Juneteenth not too long ago. As I embark on this journey, I imagine I will continue to learn more. In history classes, we were taught that the Emancipation proclamation freed all slaves but it didn't. Confederate states continued and did not comply. Freedom finally came on “June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as "Juneteenth," by the newly freed people in Texas”. It served as a second independence day. 


Learn more at: 


Also notice the street where pedestrians walk. While most districts are advocating for bike lanes, we just want some good old fashion sidewalks here in District 1, so pedestrians are not sharing the street with vehicles.

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