Hello, my name is Tou Xiong and I am running to be the next State Representative for House District 53A! For our campaign, my motto is “A Vote for Tou is a Vote for You! And I believe this holds true because it represents all the values that I learned while growing up here in 53A. And I believe that the work I will do as your next state representative will reflect the needs and concerns of our neighbors here.
I believe that slight changes to policy priorities and bipartisanship can create more opportunities, bring more jobs and bring progress for all Minnesotans here. For this election, my campaign aims to promote education, affordable healthcare and opportunities for all Minnesotans! I want to be the next voice for House District 53A because I want to continue the work that I have been doing for our district. For the past 14 years, I worked as a community volunteer, a city councilmember and now as a state house candidate.
Today I am proud to receive the support of teachers, laborers and healthcare workers. And I look to fight for everyday Minnesotans at the State Capitol. And I intend to work with individuals from both political parties. Our district and our great state of Minnesota is more important than being about red or blue. It is about coming together and getting work done to create a better tomorrow.
Therefore, I hope to earn your vote on Tuesday, November 6. Thank you.
- Stronger funding for our schools
- College and career readiness for our youth
- Long-term commitment to early childhood education
- Higher education affordability and opportunities
IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION
If we really want to strengthen our Minnesota economy and live up to really nurturing the WORLD’S BEST WORKFORCE, then the key is to educate our students forward.
As a person coming from a low-income family, I always understood that I did not want to live the life of poverty and repeat this cycle of poverty that plagued many kids in our poorer communities. I knew that a quality education and a dedication to learning skills were my tickets to a better life.
And a quality education doesn’t just mean more testing. School environment and climate matters too. I learned these things in great detail as I worked on several education bills at the Minnesota state capitol as the Legislative Liaison for the State Ethnic Councils. A quality education means strong community-oriented schools and well-trained teachers who are integral parts in preparing our children for college, for careers, and for life. We need to empower teachers like the professionals that they are. We can show them that we value them at the state capitol by working on loan forgiveness for teachers and investing in pathways to teaching.
We know that in today’s economy, a high school diploma isn’t enough. College is essential. And more than ever, it’s expensive. The average Minnesota student graduates college today with more than $30,000 in debt (MN Office of Higher Education). So here’s one goal that we can do to make Minnesota’s educational system work for everyone — We can make sure that every student in Minnesota has the opportunity to get a community college degree for free. The U.S. Congress may not have the political will to do this due to it’s political bickering, but I believe that I can work with like-minded Minnesotans to get this goal through as your next MN State Representative for the state of Minnesota.
And we can make sure that students who do take out loans can get the same low rates the big banks and corporations get when they borrow money from the government.
- Invest in high-skilled jobs
- Fair and Living Wages
- Small business support
- Equity in Pay to close gender wage gap
The struggles that my parents went through as refugees fleeing a war-torn country and restarting their lives in America had shown my siblings and me to take nothing for granted. I grew up watching my father wake up at 4:00 a.m. every morning for a low-paying job that he was still determined and proud to go to work for. My parents worked their way to come live in House District 53A to give us a strong community and excellent educational opportunities.
I took from the lessons my parents taught me, and I cherished all the opportunities that I received. I worked through college, fought for every scholarship I could get. And when I decided to pursue my law degree, I knew my parents and I could not pay for it. I worked hard to get the best grades and relevant experiences, which resulted in finally getting a full-ride scholarship to William Mitchell College of Law. After I left law school, I wanted to live up to the example that my parents showed us. I knew that I would not have been content just working for the betterment of myself.
As soon as I graduated, I ran for Maplewood City Council in 2015 and won. For the past 2 years, I have worked as the City Council Member representing the residents of Maplewood and at the same time worked full-time for a state agency. I know residents of 53A (Maplewood, Oakdale, Landfall, and Woodbury) are hardworking people, and I believe I am the best candidate to represent their work ethic at the state capitol.
In City Council and at the state capitol, I have fought for raising the minimum wage. On May 8, 2017, I voted for a resolution calling on Governor Dayton to fight against the Republican-led legislature’s attack on local governments raising the minimum wage.
Furthermore, more work needs to be done at the state capitol to help foster the growth of small business start-ups in Minnesota. As a City Council Member in Maplewood and as a community leader, I have fought hard to encourage first-time small business start-ups in Maplewood. There are many resources at the state legislature, such as the State Equity Grants or Small Business Grant that can be used to train, provide capital, and educate entrepreneurs in Minnesota. Entrepreneurs that come from all walks of society in Minnesota!
Such an investment from the state capitol will truly capitalize on the hardwork that is a given when it comes to Minnesotans.
- Support local environmental standards
- State-wide Paid Family Leave
- Affordable healthcare access and education
- Protection and support for seniors
HEALTH AND SAFETY FOR THE FUTURE:
The role of politics is to propose a future and then make it possible. That’s what I have set out to do as your candidate for the MN State House of Representative for 53A.
I see a future where the children and youth of Minnesota gets a quality education and career readiness preparation that would help them compete with the best.
I see a future where we have safety nets that will endure for the long haul ensuring a peaceful and enjoyable retirement for our seniors.
I see a future where we have reasonable gun control laws that would not let tragic events like those in Orlando and Sandy Hook happen anymore.
I see a future where families will no longer lose a promotion, a job, or their entire life savings because a loved one is sick.
I see a future where we have affordable access to healthcare for all Minnesotans.
I see a future where our parks and natural environment are still available and clean for endless generations to come.
And I see a future where we have a seat at the table for everyone regardless of their race, age, sexual orientation, religion, and/or political beliefs.
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