All posts filed under: Education & Politics

Hmong, Lao Americans running for public office in 2020

Tuesday marks the start of the 2020 primary election season, whose results will determine what names will appear on the general election ballot on Nov. 3 for many of the races. There are some Hmong and Lao Americans running for public office this year, and Little Laos on the Prairie compiled of list of candidates, from Congressional to municipal, to watch. While we see new faces from the municipal to the Congressional level, familiar names include Minnesota State Senator Foung Hawj, who is running for his third term, and Mayor Steve Ly, who also is campaigning for his third term for the mayoral seat of Elk Grove, California. Five Hmong Americans currently seated in the Minnesota State House are up for re-election.  CONGRESSIONAL RACES Bobby Bliatout Party Affiliation: Democrat Office: U.S. House of Representatives for California’s 22nd Congressional District This will be Bliatout’s second time running for California’s 22nd Congressional District. The first time he ran for this office was in the 2018 election, losing in the primary to fellow Democrat Andrew Janz. For more …

MIA Erasure, My Reflection

To much fanfare, the exhibit Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975 opened in Minnesota at the Minneapolis Institute of Art this month and will run until January 5th, 2020. It’s billed as a way to look at “the innovative ways artists talked back, often in the streets and other public venues. The exhibition presents nearly 100 works by 58 of the period’s most visionary, provocative artists.” For Southeast Asians of Vietnamese, Hmong, Laotian, and Cambodian descent, and active military veterans, you can even see the exhibit for free. It’s been a long time since I’ve been given free admission to an art exhibit to witness the complete erasure of my community’s perspective and reactions to the Vietnam War, the Secret War, and the Killing Fields. For Minnesotans, who arguably have one of the most deeply tangled relationships with Southeast Asia than almost any other US state, this ought to be a stirring and profound exhibit: one filled with so many heartbreaking memories and reflections on themes and issues addressed over four decades ago, …