ជនជាតិ‹ហម៉ុង›ម្នាក់ឡើងជាអភិបាលក្រុង‹ឯកហ្គ្រោ›រដ្ឋកាលីហ្វ័រញ៉ា Elk Grove makes history: Meet America’s first Hmong mayor


ស្ទីវ លី Steve Lyអាមេរីកាំងដើមកំណើតជាជនជាតិ‹ហម៉ុង›នឹងត្រូវធ្វើសច្ចាប្រណិធាននៅថ្ងៃទី១៤ធ្នូខាងមុខ នៅទីក្រុង‹ឯកហ្គ្រោ›នៃរដ្ឋកាលីហ្វ័រញ៉ា ដើម្បីទទួលដំណែងជាអភិបាលក្រុងដែលមានពលរដ្ឋ167,000នាក់ ជាទីដំបូងបង្អស់របស់ប្រវត្តិសាស្ត្រជនជាតិ‹ហម៉ុង›ដែលបានមករស់នៅសហរដ្ឋអាមេរីកនេះ។

គ្រួសារ ស្ទីវ ជាជនជាតិ‹ហម៉ុង›រស់នៅជាជនជាតិភាគតិចរបស់ប្រទេសឡាវ និយាយភាសាខ្លួនឯង មានវប្បធម៌ប្រចាំជនជាតិ ប៉ុន្តែមិនមានប្រទេសទេ។ ជនជាតិ‹ហម៉ុង›រស់នៅជាទាហ៊ានសម្ងាត់របស់សហរដ្ឋអាមេរីក ប្រយុទ្ធប្រឆាំងនឹងកុម្មុយនីស្តដែលរាតត្បាតនៅអាស៊ីអគ្នេយ៍។

ស្ទីវ លី បានមកដល់សហរដ្ឋអាមេរីក កាលពីជាង៣០ឆ្នាំមុន គេចផុតពីការគម្រាមកំហែងរបស់កុម្មុយនិស្ត្ នៅប្រទេសឡាវដែលខ្លួនរស់នៅ, ពេលនោះមានអាយុ៤ឆ្នាំ គ្រួសារគ្មានលុយ ហើយក៏មិនចេះភាសាអាមេរីកាំងថែមទៀត។ ជាទូទៅ ជនជាតិ‹ហម៉ុង›នៅពេលមកដល់សហរដ្ឋអាមេរីក ច្រើនមករស់នៅជុំគ្នាជាសហគមន៍ជនជាតិធំនៅឯ‹មេនីសុតា› នឹង‹កាលីហ្វ័រញ៉ា›។

ស្ទីវ លី មុននឹងមកដល់ពេលកាន់សាលាក្រុង‹ឯកហ្គ្រោ›នេះ មានតួរនាទី ជាអ្នកគ្រប់គ្រងកុមារ នៅមន្ទីឃុំឃាំងកុមារ នឹងពេលយប់ធ្វើការនៅក្នុងសាលក្រុង‹ឯកហ្គ្រោ›តែម្តង ។ ស្ទីវ បានក្លាយជាសកម្មជន‹ហម៉ុង›នៅតំបន់របស់ខ្លួន ចាប់តាំងពីចេញពិមហាវិទ្យាល័យ, ចំពេលគេចោទប្រកាន់ឧត្តមសេនីយ វ៉ាន់ ប៉ាវ ជាវិរបុរសជាតិរបស់ខ្លួនថា ‹បានឃុបឃិតដើម្បីទម្លាក់រដ្ឋាភិបាលកុម្មុយនីស្តឡាវ ឆ្នាំ២០០៧› ក៏រៀបចំតវ៉ាធ្វើប៉ាតុកម្ម រហូតដល់បានរំដោះលោក វ៉ាន់ ប៉ាវ ពីការចោទប្រកាន់របស់រដ្ឋអាជ្ញាទាំងអស់បាន។

After college, he became active in the Hmong community.

After college, he became active in the Hmong community.

ស្ទីវ នឹងកាន់មុខងារថ្មី ជាអភិបាលក្រុង បន្ថែមពីមុខងារពីមុន បានប្រាក់ខែ ៩,៦០០ដុល្លាក្នុង១ឆ្នាំ ហើយនិយាយថា‹ធ្វើជាអភិបាលក្រុងជាកាងារពេញម៉ោង តែបានប្រាក់ខែអ្នកធ្វើការពេលតិចម៉ោង› ស្ទីវ នឹងនៅតែធ្វើការដើម្បីគម្រោងបង្កើនកាងារ៦,០០០បន្ថែមនៅក្នុងក្រុង, រកលុយសម្រាប់អភិវឌ្ឍន៍តាមចំណូលឱ្យបានសមរម្យពីកាស៊ីណូដែលត្រូវបង្កើត, នឹងកែរទម្រង់កុំឱ្យធ្វើដំណើរក្នុងក្រុងវាចង្អៀតពេក…។

The city of Elk Grove is making history with the election of the first Hmong mayor in the nation. Steve Ly was a refugee, who came to the United States as a child with no money and not knowing how to speak English.

Now, Ly is an American success story and about to be sworn in as mayor on Dec. 14.

By day, Ly is a juvenile hall counselor. “Eight hours a day, I come in and work with kids who have gotten in trouble,” he said. Ly said he is “trying to make sure that they stay on the right track.”

But at night, Ly is an Elk Grove city councilman. Next month, he assumes his historic role -– but one that he is downplaying.

Steve Ly smiles for KCRA on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. He is Elk Grove’s mayor-elect and the first Hmong mayor in the country.

“It doesn’t matter whether you came here 200 years ago or two months ago,” Ly said. “I think what’s important is that we — as Americans — bring a story.”

Ly’s story is an important chapter in American history.

It’s the story of people escaping persecution. The Hmong were America’s allies fighting against the Communists in the secret war in Laos. Ly’s family fled the refugee camps of Southeast Asia and landed in America.

The Hmong people are an ethnic group with their own language and culture –- but without a country. Most of them hail from Laos, but they fled to the U.S. when the Communists took over and now Minnesota and California have the largest Hmong communities in the country.

“I happen to be of Hmong decent, yes,” Ly said. “Thirty-plus years ago, I came here as a refugee as a 4-year-old. And I was very fortunate to take advantage of a free public education. And I was very fortunate to attend UC Davis.”

Back in 2007, when General VangPao, a hero in the Hmong community was falsely accused of plotting to overthrow the Communist government of Laos, Ly served as a rally organizer. In the end, Pao was vindicated when the U.S. Attorney’s Office dropped all the charges against him.

That was then.

But now, Ly said he wants to make sure Elk Grove is properly compensated if state and federal authorities approve the controversial Wilton Rancheria Resort and Casino.

“The jurisdiction of the city council is not that of bringing a casino in,” Ly said. “It was to make sure that the constituents of the city of Elk Grove get their fair share in the event that it did come.”

Ly said he’s focused on bringing jobs to Elk Grove and to help ease traffic congestion.

“The council has done a tremendous job this past year alone,” Ly said. “We’ve identified and brought in about 6,000 jobs — but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

As Elk Grove Mayor-elect, Ly will make only $9,600 a year, which explains why he’ll continue to work two jobs.

As one city hall insider told KCRA, “Being mayor is a full time job with part time pay.”

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