AAPIHM Spotlight: Mai Vang, Councilmember, City of Sacramento

Sacramento City Councilmember Mai Vang has been hard at work since the last time the SacAsian Chamber checked in with her. Back in 2020, her campaign to help the South Sacramento area (District 8) focused on providing every citizen with access to jobs, affordable housing, and clean, safe public parks and neighborhoods- “No matter a person’s race or ethnicity, gender, age, social-economic status, mobility, or identity”. Now, over a year in the pandemic later, it seems that the Councilmember is staying true to her word as evidenced in her “people-powered” COVID-19 vaccine clinic in her district’s Pannell Community Center and more.

We took a moment to reach out to Councilmember Mai Vang to hear about her reflections as an AAPI Sacramentan and what AAPI Heritage Month means to her below.

If you want to hear more from Councilmember Vang, make sure to register for our Meet & Greet with her on May 20th by clicking here

How have your experiences as an AAPI influenced your leadership journey and how you lead?

So often throughout my career as an organizer, I saw conversations being held about AAPI folks, our needs, our community — but not nearly often enough did I see actual AAPI folks participating and leading those discussions. I knew that our voices needed to be heard at the highest level rather than being kept to the side. This was part of my decision-making process as I decided to run for office, and every part of my work on the City Council has focused on incorporating the voices of every marginalized community.

Why is it important for us to embrace the incredible diversity in our community?

Our strength as a City and as a community comes directly from our diversity. It makes us resilient, compassionate, understanding, and respectful of one another. And right now, as we’re able to see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in the distance, this togetherness is more valuable than ever. Folks have so much pride in Sacramento and what Sacramento represents: a closely-knit coming together of disparate groups that creates a happier and healthier environment for all.