AAPI Run: Helen Gym, Philadelphia City Council Member

Once again, a record number of Asian Americans and a growing number of Pacific Islanders are running for public office at the local, state, and national level.

Every week, Reappropriate will profile progressive AAPI candidates for higher office, as well as officials serving in public office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2020 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.


What is your full name?
Helen Hae-Liun Gym

What office are you seeking and/or what office do you currently hold?
I was seated in 2016 as an at-large member of Philadelphia’s City Council and the first Asian American woman on Council. I was re-elected to my position in 2019 with the largest margin of victory in three decades.

When is the election date and/or when is the end of your term?
I serve a four year term which concludes Dec. 31, 2023.

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democrat

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GAPIMNY Statement on the Murder of George Floyd

A graphic created by Kalaya’an Mendoza for #Asians4BlackLives.

By Guest Contributor: GAPIMNY

This post was originally published on the GAPIMNY website and is reproduced here at the authors’ request.

GAPIMNY condemns the murder of George Floyd and stands in unyielding solidarity with the Minneapolis protesters who rise up in his memory. We also join those who argue that Floyd’s murderer, officer Derek Chauvin, is not just one bad cop in an otherwise redeemable system of policing, but further proof—like Darren Wilson, Daniel Pantaleo, Peter Liang and others before him—that the institution of policing in the United States is irredeemably anti-black and must be abolished.

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Navigating Intergenerational Trauma Amidst Quarantine

A woman looks out the window, with her back against a bed.

By Guest Contributor: Jenny Lee

My family and I do not agree on much — whether that is what food tastes good, how good of a daughter I am, or if I intend for my words to carry so much bitterness as they escape through my lips.

I have always sought a justification for this dissonance — a quick and easy answer as to why our family feels so divided. I blamed our immigration, the cultural and experiential gap that it has created between mother and daughter. I blamed Korean society, whose standards and expectations entrap me when I stray away from its conventions. I blamed White American society, which has upheld these systems of power and has thrust such an inferiority complex onto this family — both as a collective and as individuals — that it has pushed us from assimilation to preservation, from love to hate.

There is both love and hate in this family.

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The Triumph Beyond Sandra Oh’s Trophy

Sandra Oh at the 2019 Golden Globes.

By Guest Contributor: Jacqueline Wong

Sandra Oh recently made history three times at the 76th Golden Globes Awards as the first Asian American host, the first Asian American woman to win multiple Golden Globes, and the first Asian American woman in nearly 40 years to win for Best Actress in a TV Drama for her role in Killing Eve

Yet it was not just her hosting duties or her receipt of a Best Actress award that made the night so special for Asian Americans.  Rather, it was how Oh unabashedly celebrated her Asian-ness on live TV.  Asian Americans have rarely been given the opportunity to have their faces or voices broadcasted live on such a large platform.  By owning her Asian identity on stage, Oh took back control of the Asian American narrative.

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Harvard Offers to Share Admissions Records with Justice Department in Affirmative Action Inquiry

Following a legal showdown between the Department of Justice and Harvard University over access to confidential student and applicant information requested through an affirmative action probe of the school, The New York Times reports that Harvard administrators have offered a compromise that would grant Justice Department investigators nearly full access to the school’s admissions records.

However, Harvard has stipulated that investigators would only have access to those records — which includes access to the school’s electronic database for admissions records — in Harvard’s offices and with some personally identifying information redacted; this is to protect confidential student and applicant information from being leaked to the public. Harvard’s fears of a security breach of students’ personal information come in the wake of other high-profile examples of the Trump administration leaking sensitive information of private citizens on the internet.

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