Brooklyn Center Rep.-Elect Part of New Legislative Caucus
The mid-term elections in Minnesota made history. A total of four Asian-Americans won their races, including Rep.-elect Samantha Vang of Brooklyn Center.
They — along with two Hmong incumbents — recently formed the Minnesota Asian Pacific Caucus (MAP). Their mission is to shed light on Minnesota’s fast-growing Asian population and call attention to important issues and lay out top priorities for the 2019 session.
“The goal of this caucus is to be engaged in collected voice,” said Vang, DFL-Brooklyn Center. “To be visible, to be a platform for all Minnesotans and to really put concerns on the map, literally and figuratively.”
Minnesota’s Asian Population Growing
The Asian-American population in Minnesota has grown by 30 percent since 2010. Vang and her cohorts believe that Asian-Americans are a continuation of the immigrant story in the United States.
The group has voiced opposition to President Donald Trump’s stances on immigration. Their caucus believes it’s a push back to anti-immigrant stereotypes.
“We have contributed to the state of Minnesota,” Vang said. “The Hmong community has been here for over 40 years now and now we’re successful business owners, doctors and lawyers, who are educators and students. We’ve really become a core proponent of the state. We should look at immigrants as an asset and people who have contributed and really thrived here.”
There is a similar caucus in California and there are now Asian-American legislatures in 30 states.