The election results were finalized this past week, and with them, 34th District State Sen.-elect Joe Nguyen‘s historic victory:
He and 41st District State Rep.-elect My-Linh Thai are the first Vietnamese-Americans elected to the Washington State Legislature, and both were the guests of honor at two celebrations Sunday afternoon. Above, the two are shown in scarves presented by the Vietnamese Representative Council of Washington at the NewHolly Gathering Hall.
Some of the elders pointed out this day has been long coming – a sizable wave of people from Vietnam arrived in this area in 1975. Among those who fled Vietnam: Sen.-elect Nguyen’s mom, who was there to celebrate with her son:
Also there for the celebration, the director of West Seattle’s Vietnamese Cultural Center, Lee Bui:
After speaking briefly to the VRC, Sen.-elect Nguyen and Rep.-elect Thai headed this way for a party in White Center, where Nguyen’s family lived when he was born:
The crowd gathered at Diamond Hall, a new event space in downtown WC. The senator-elect told them in a short speech of thanks that he considered the multigenerational gathering inspiring and hopeful:
The youngest partygoers included Nguyen’s own children:
In the results certified this past week, Nguyen won the State Senate seat with 58.3 percent of the vote. He’ll be back in White Center next Thursday night (December 6th) as one of four local elected officials speaking with the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (7 pm at NH Fire District HQ, 1243 SW 112th). He will be sworn in January 14th in Olympia.