Oregon’s newest legislature is the most diverse legislature in the state’s history.
According to KGW8, the state’s 82nd legislative session has 19 legislators of color. The session also has the most Vietnamese American representation of any state legislature in the country, with five total Vietnamese American legislators.
This year’s swearing-in ceremony included a traditional Vietnamese lion dance. The dance made Representative Hoa Nguyen feel seen.
“I felt seen in the Capitol,” she told KGW8. “Traditionally, you only see certain people in this space.”
Representative Khanh Pham believes the success of Vietnamese Americans in Oregon politics is a testament to the strength of the community.
“I think it’s a real testament to the resilience of refugees and immigrants and also the capacity of Oregon to be a welcoming inclusive state,” Pham told KGW8.
According to Herald and New, this year’s legislature is controlled by the Democrats but they do not have the super majority they held previously.
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