Oregon Legislature is Historically Diverse
Oregon Legislature: The 82nd session of the Oregon Legislature is the most diverse in the state’s history, with 19 members of colour, including African Americans, Latinos, and Asians.
On Monday, January 9, five Vietnamese American legislators were sworn in, which marked a significant milestone in the country’s history. The number of Vietnamese Americans serving in Oregon’s state legislature is now the highest of any other state in the country.
Oregon Has A Historically Diverse Legislature
Representative Daniel Nguyen is of Vietnamese and American ancestry and also owns a small business. He emphasised the significance of such a representation. “All five of us come from refugee families,” Nguyen added, explaining how we have a shared background and experience. “Each one of us is employed in a different field.”
Representative Hoa Nguyen stated that she had the distinct impression of being “completely at home” at the swearing-in ceremony, which included an authentic Vietnamese lion dance. She stated that there should be a greater variety of people working in the government.
Nguyen stated that while in the Capitol, she “felt seen.” In the past, only a select few individuals have inhabited this area. Representative Khanh Pham became the first Vietnamese American to be elected to a legislative position in the year 2020. She expressed her delight at being able to serve alongside four other community members.
“I believe it is a genuine monument to the tenacity of refugees and immigrants, as well as to Oregon’s potential to be a welcoming, inclusive state,” said Pham. I believe it demonstrates the resilience of refugees and immigrants.
5 new Vietnamese American reps were sworn in today in Salem. This is the most diverse legislature in history in Oregon. @KGWNews pic.twitter.com/m6spd3hHKf
— Bryant Clerkley (@bryant_clerkley) January 9, 2023
Hai Pham, the newly elected representative for Oregon’s 36th Congressional District, expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of seeing people with his appearance working in the Capitol. Pham expressed his gratitude by stating, “I feel much more at ease now.” It would have a very different appearance if you travelled back in time twenty years, but I feel quite welcome throughout this process.
Thuy Tran is the representative for Portland’s Northeast neighbourhood. She stated that being a part of history makes her feel both honoured and privileged. Tran stated that diversity will bring very lived experiences as well as different perspectives to the table.
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