Thursday , February 22 2024

Fresno Has The State’s Largest Hmong Population. This Group Is Making Sure Their Voices Are Heard

To get the “I Voted” sticker, you have to understand how the voting process works. And for some refugees in the Valley, it can seem really complicated. Take the Hmong community: Many of the elders fought for the U.S. in the CIA’s secret war in Laos. When they resettled in areas like Fresno, they lacked the tools to become civically engaged. But their kids and grandkids grew up here and now, a group of them are working hard to make sure their elders cast their ballots. To do that, they’re transporting voters and translating propositions. In the week leading up to the election, though, callers with Hmong Innovating Politics, or HIP, spoke to voters in Hmong, Lao and English. They’ve spent weeks contacting Fresno’s Southeast Asian American community to see if voters need any assistance. “The work that we’re doing is important because we speak the language that they do,” says Kathy Vue, who works part-time with HIP. ”There’s a lot of trust when somebody who, you know, speaks Hmong calls

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