ABOUT ME

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Hi, I'm Mai Chong Xiong!

I'm your candidate for Ramsey County Commissioner District 6. More than 10 years ago, as a first-generation college student, I committed my life to racial justice work. As a Hmong daughter of refugees who grew up living in poverty, I saw how my family and many in our community bore the brunt of a system that was not built to put equity, working families, and Black, Brown, Indigenous, People of Color at the center of it. I knew this needed to change.

 

I know building a future rooted in racial, social, & gender justice for all requires us to build a people-powered movement from the ground up. It needs to reflect our deepest hopes and dreams with leaders at the frontlines who lead with boldness and courage.

I have lived every day of my life seeing this vision through.
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My journey began with painful but powerful lived experiences in my upbringing -- experiences that are far too common for many on the East Side. 

Poverty and the cultural incompetency of systems we live in forced me to grow up at a young age. When I was 12 years old, I helped my Hmong-speaking parents get food stamps and other social welfare benefits because there was little to no help provided to us. The endless paperwork and documentation required for the social programs were overwhelming, and we were constantly threatened with losing our benefits for missing one document or an incomplete form. I’m running for office because I want everyone to get the most basic social services they need without having to jump through hoops and living through economic insecurity and instability.

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 ​Shortly after this, my family became homeless. My dad lost his manufacturing job. We were on the waiting list for public housing, and we couldn’t find any housing that could accommodate our large family size. It was one of the most devastating moments in my life and my family’s. We crammed into a small 4-bedroom home on the East Side with my step-mom’s family.

 

I shared a full-sized bed with my two step-sisters and my brothers slept in the hallway. We hoped that it would be temporary, but my family continued experiencing housing instability for the next 8 years. This is why I believe housing is a human right and that everyone deserves to live in safe, dignified homes; this is why I will fight for affordable housing for all.

During my college years, I lost my health care because I was over 18 and no longer in my parent’s household due to living on campus. For years, I endured poor health care, and as a result, I was not diagnosed with hypothyroidism early enough which deeply impacted my college success.

 

I was always tired, often felt depressed, and thought this was all normal until I finally got consistent health care coverage through my workplace at the age of 25. This is why I believe health care is a human right and needs to be a convenient and accessible process for all people.

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There’s still so much work for us to do to achieve care, dignity, & justice for all East Siders.

As a mother of two, as a caregiver of my elderly parents-in-law, as a woman of color, as a wife, and a proud advocate for the East Side, I am taking my leadership as an organizer, current legislative aide to Saint Paul Councilmember Dai Thao, Co-Chair of TakeAction Minnesota, and much more to the next level to fight for the future we deserve -- a future where all people regardless of race, class, gender, and age can live dignified lives in joy, hope, and love.

Accomplishments

Roles & Organizational Work:
  • Current legislative aide to Saint Paul Councilmember Dai Thao

  • Current TakeAction Minnesota Board Co-Chair

  • Former Board Member of the Victoria Theater Arts Center

  • Capital Campaign Co-Chair for the Victoria Theater Arts Center

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Community Organizing & Legislative Policy Wins:

  • Secured median to create pedestrian safety at county road on Johnson Parkway and Ames Ave E.

  • Secured City-funds for Hmong Village’s Parking Lot

  • Secured MN state recognition of Hmong American Day as May 14, 2013.

  • Removed police officers from Saint Paul’s Police Civilian Review Board

  • Secured affordable housing in Saint Paul

  • Passed Earned Sick & Safe Time in Saint Paul, testified and advocated for Statewide Earned Sick & Safe Time and Paid Family Leave

  • Passed $15 Minimum Wage in Saint Paul, testified and advocated for Statewide $15 Minimum Wage

  • Fought and won MN state minimum wage increase in 2014

  • Passed Tenant Rights Ordinance in Saint Paul

  • Funded Community First Public Safety Initiatives in Saint Paul that shifted away from traditional policing and invested in domestic violence prevention, gun violence prevention, and youth empowerment

  • Defeated Voter ID and Marriage Amendment in Minnesota