Letter from Lily

Nov. 3 is an important election date! First and foremost, my commitment is to improve the quality of life for everyone in our district and state.

The combination of my skills, experience, commitment, and who I am (as a mother of an autistic child, an immigrant, and a woman of color) aids my ability to better understand real life challenges and create solutions with you! I am, therefore, running to create positive changes for everyone, including people of color, people with disabilities, and working families.

As a proven disability and human rights advocate, when there were cuts to my son's special education school about six years ago, I transformed my attorney abilities to become a disability advocate. To fight back against the cuts, I created the Disability A-TEAM of West Michigan (currently a 501(c)3 nonprofit) and led the movement which resulted in nine special education schools changing managers from a single school district to the much larger Kent (Kent County) ISD. Since Kent ISD was able to provide more funding, thousands of students and teachers have been happy with the changes, which includes more therapists, computer equipment, extended school year, and much more. Therefore, can you imagine the positive, systematic changes which we can create together to meet the needs of anyone who is vulnerable?

In addition to my experience and skills, I am an immigrant who was born in Taiwan and came to the U.S. as a toddler with my family. Since my family and I have experienced prejudice, I never want anyone to experience prejudice, discrimination, injustice, or racism, because of the color of their skin. As a woman of color, I will fight fiercely for any person of color or anyone who is vulnerable. I understand growing up in a family in which English is our parents' second language. No one will fight harder for communities of color than an advocate who is also a person of color!

Since I have a track record for creating positive, systematic changes in greater Grand Rapids, a long list of diverse community leaders and public officials are endorsing me. Similarly, the Sierra Club, the Kent County Black Caucus, the Michigan Education Association, the Michigan AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers, the Michigan Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus and Rural Caucus, the West Michigan Plumbers, Fitters, and Service Trades Local #174, among a growing list of organizations, are endorsing me. I am grateful that so many people have recognized my work, my abilities, and my commitment as a human rights advocate over the years.

Since I have been asked if I would be the first woman of color to go to the State House from greater Grand Rapids, if elected, my answer is yes.

Thank you for envisioning what we can achieve together! We can move mountains together! But to achieve these goals, please vote for me on Nov. 3.