Historically Diverse Legislature: The 82nd session of the Oregon Legislature is the most diverse in the state’s history, with 19 members hailing from communities 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 descent, and he is also the proprietor of a small business. He emphasised the significance of representation such as this.
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“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 she “felt seen” while she was in the Capitol. “In the past, you’ve only seen a select few individuals occupying this area.”
In the year 2020, Representative Khanh Pham became the first Vietnamese American to be elected to a legislative position. She expressed her happiness at being able to serve alongside four other individuals from her community.
“I believe it’s a genuine monument to the resilience of refugees and immigrants and also to the potential of Oregon to be a welcoming inclusive state,” Pham said. “I think it’s a real testament to the resilience of refugees and immigrants.”
— Bryant Clerkley (@bryant_clerkley) January 9, 2023
The newly elected congressman for Oregon’s 36th District, Hai Pham, expressed excitement about the prospect of seeing people who share his appearance working inside the Capitol.
Pham expressed his gratitude by saying, “It makes me feel a lot more comfortable.” “If you went back in time twenty years, it would have a very different appearance, yet I feel quite welcomed throughout this process.”
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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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