Compiled by Staff
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
We asked newly elected and re-elected Asian American officials how they intend to use their role to benefit the Asian community.
Here are some responses.
David Chan, Snohomish County South Sno. Co. Fire & Rescue RFA
I was elected as a fire commissioner to represent all residents who live within the area we serve in Snohomish County. One thing we cannot ignore is that 20 to 30 percent of our residents are from the Asian community. I am the chair of our Diversity Committee and will continue reaching out to all underrepresented and underserved communities by focusing on:
Finding out Asian community’s special needs
- Maintaining close contact with community leaders
- Hiring more firefighters from Asian communities
- Using the major languages in our education program for fire and medical emergency prevention
- Visiting schools to educate all students early about opportunities for fire service in our community
Dr. Tam Dinh, Mercer Island School Board
For over 25 years, my professional and volunteer work has centered around education, mental health, and improving accessibility and equity in the API community. As a school board director, I am committed to using the diversity, inclusion, and equity lens to ensure that our Asian American experience is embedded within the core curriculum. I am excited to lead the discussion on the implementation of the Ethnic Studies Curriculum and look forward to engaging the Asian community in this process. I am also committed to ensuring that the diverse needs of our Asian students are met in a culturally responsive manner.
Maggie Tai Tucker, Mercer Island School District
I hope to help increase awareness of all the diverse cultures represented within our district, and to make sure we are doing our best to meet the needs of immigrant students and of those for whom English is not their first language. I have been pleased to see our district lately working to introduce more books with historical perspectives from groups, including Asians and Asian Americans, that have historically been underrepresented. I just got to sit in on a high school class discussing “The Best We Could Do,” a memoir in graphic novel form by Thi Bui about her family’s journey from South Vietnam in the 1970s. Books like this are helping to provide a richer curriculum experience for all students.
Dr. Francine Wiest, Bellevue School Board
As an elected official in education, I serve as a role model for youth in a school district where the plurality of students identify or are identified as Asian. Within this category, there are many different cultures and perspectives. We need to celebrate both the diversity and commonalities among Asians, as well as with other groups. In our schools, we seek to nurture students as individuals. As a representative, my presence challenges historical assumptions about leadership. Our collective work is to challenge historical and contemporary assumptions about Asians, while promoting a vibrant and welcoming community.