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  • Senate victory another first for Dean Tran

    BOSTON -- Of the people who gathered in the crowded Statehouse auditorium to watch Dean Tran be sworn into the Worcester-Middlesex state Senate seat many were friends, neighbors or fellow politicians.

    But of the observers, a handful had never met the former Fitchburg City Councilor, or even lived in the district he represents.

    "They don't need to know who Dean Tran is, they need to know he was a refugee who came with his parents when he was little," said Vinnie Than, who joined other members of the Vietnamese community to watch the swearing in of Tran, who is believed to be the first Vietnamese-American elected to state Senate in Massachusetts.

    Than, a Newton resident, lives well outside the region Tran will represent, but as the president of the Vietnamese-American Community of Massachusetts he said Tran's win sends a message.

    "The most important thing, I want to send a message to younger people. Stand up and do something you think you could be good at," Than said. "You can be a voice for the people. You can stand up for people who cannot stand up for themselves."

    This isn't the first "first" for Tran, a Republican, who escaped Vietnam in a boat as a child and, after living in a refugee camp in Thailand, immigrated to Massachusetts with his family.

    His win follows an upward trend in the nation's Vietnamese immigrant population from 231,000 people in 1980 to 1.3 million in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Estimates from the Bureau based on 2016 numbers indicate about 47,000 Vietnamese-Americans live in Massachusetts.

    In 1992 Tony Lam was elected to a city Council seat in Westminster, California, becoming the first Vietnamese-born American to hold public office in the United States, according to the New York Times.

    However, it wasn't until 2014, that Janet Nguyen, another Californian, became the first Vietnamese-American to be elected to any state Senate, Nguyen's website claims.
    In Massachusetts, a bipartisan Asian-American caucus is working to advocate for common interests in a state where the first Asian-American state representatives weren't elected until 2010, according to a 2016 article in the Boston Globe.

    "I'm looking forward to joining the House Asian caucus and making it a joint caucus to provide a voice to those people who need me to represent them while representing my district," Tran wrote in a text.

    Sebastien Tran, the elected official's older brother, said he met a number of people in the Vietnamese-American community during the Statehouse ceremony.
    "He's also the voice of the Vietnamese (community)," Sebastien Tran said "They are so proud."

    In a speech Dean Tran said he is an "example of the American dream," later explaining he is proud of his heritage, but also interested in representing the people of his district.

    "I'm very proud of the fact that I am the first Vietnamese-American to be in the Massachusetts legislature and Vietnamese Community of Massachusetts are very proud that I'm representing," Tran said. "But I am looking forward to be coming to the Statehouse as a state Senator to represent everybody."

    Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com...#ixzz53WCtKo9K

    He is also the first person of color to hold an elected office in Fitchburg, according to the North Central Massachusetts Minority Coalition.

    Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com...#ixzz53WCksaRF

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Senate victory another first for Dean Tran started by EB88 News View original post

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