First elected Hmong Official visits NC, makes NICE with local Hmong community



Photo taken from Steve Ly’s facebook.


First elected Hmong Official visits NC, makes NICE with local Hmong community

North Carolina is home to the 4th largest Hmong population in the United States—after Minnesota, California, and Wisconsin. While this year has been a historic year for the Hmong community across the country with 15 elected Hmong officials; none of them are in North Carolina. Although the lack of Hmong representation in the North Carolina’s local and state government can be discouraging, it is viewed as an opportunity by Steve Ly, a Hmong elected School Board Trustee in California, to make a difference in the NC Hmong community.

Trustee Steve Ly is the very first elected Hmong official to visit North Carolina, with the mission to help promote and engage the NC Hmong community in the political process. Steve shared his passion for civic engagement and how this can garner the power to make changes in NC’s communities. Through Steve’s message, young professionals and elders in the North Carolina Hmong community were inspired to form the NICE committee.

The North Carolina Hmong Improving Civic Engagement (NICE) Committee was initiated to promote civic engagement and gauge the political interest of the Hmong community in North Carolina. The committee is dedicated to participating in opportunities and leveraging experiences that will call the NC Hmong community to political action.

The NICE committee will be present at the Memorial Day Weekend Tournament, located at the Hickory Fairgrounds on May 24th and 25th. Committee members and volunteers will distribute information on citizenship, register new voters, and speak about the committee’s mission. In addition, the NICE committee is organizing an event to be held on August 2, 2014. This event will bring Trustee Steve Ly back to North Carolina so that he can speak on the importance of political action, leadership, and education as the keys to improving the Hmong community in North Carolina. The August event will be free and open to the public.