Sunday, November 12, 2006

In Fresno, Blong Xiong Makes a Little Bit of History

Hmong American businessman Blong Xiong prevailed in his run-off effort against Scott Miller to become the first Asian American to serve on the Fresno City Council. The election was a run-off after an extremely tight primary this summer in which Miller led by a mere seven votes.

According to the Fresno Bee newspaper, the Nov. 7 win also makes Xiong just the third Hmong elected official in California.

Xiong's victory is being heralded as an important step for Hmong and other Southeast Asians not only locally, but nationwide. Hios campaign is credited with providing inspiration for increased political participation by members of small communities with generally low turnout and little representation in local governments.

In results published by the city, Xiong was elected by 54.17% of voters, or 5,171 votes.