All posts tagged: Hmong

2018 Midterms: A breakdown of SEA state legislative candidates

The 2018 U.S. midterms saw the election of five Hmong candidates and one Laotian candidate to the Minnesota and the Ohioan state legislatures, respectively. More than 6,000 seats were up for reelection as 87 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers held regularly-scheduled elections, according to Ballotpedia. Overall, five Hmong and two Laotian candidates made it onto the general election ballot across the country. All five Hmong candidates and one Laotian candidate are Democrats. About 23 percent of the state legislative candidates nationwide are Southeast Asian. Twenty-three percent of that group are Laotian or Hmong, which means that only 5.3 percent of state legislative candidates on general election ballots are Laotian or Hmong. In Minnesota, Democratic Farmer-Labor House District 59A incumbent Fue Lee won reelection, and DFL challengers Samantha Vang, Tou Xiong, Khaly Her, and Jay Xiong all emerged victorious on Nov. 6. The lone Laotian Republican candidate for a state legislative seat, Yele-Mis Yang, lost his bid for Minnesota House District 42B. After weeks of ballot processing, Democrat Tina Maharath was finally declared the …

RECAP: 2017 Southeast Asian American Studies Conference in Little Cambodia

For many, Lowell might not be the first city that comes to mind when it comes to the Southeast Asian diaspora that began over 40 years ago with the end of the Vietnam War. But this industrial town is home to the second largest Khmer community in the United States as well as many Lao, Hmong, and Vietnamese. And it’s here that hundreds gathered recently for the 2017 Southeast Asian American Studies Conference at the University of Massachussetts Lowell. This was my first visit ever to Lowell in my 26 years as a poet, and it was eye-opening to see what a thriving Khmertown can look like, with well-kept shops, restaurants and community organizations such as the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association rebuilding their lives and preserving their traditions as best they can. This isn’t to say there aren’t challenges. The community has very clear stakes in immigration reform and education reform, as seen in many of the topics that drew the most attention during the conference. Stretching over three days, the conference has been working …