Disabilities: A Personal Story

“We have to harvest and cultivate our own stories not just to feel valid but to feel rejoiced.”

 

July is Disability Pride Month, observed since 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed on July 26, 1990, barring discrimination against people with disabilities. It is not about awareness, but rather celebration.

 

A public school teacher, Mrs. Leonard, identified my hearing loss. I remember her kneeling down, holding my hand and telling me, “Your hearing loss does not have to stop you from anything.” Over the last 33 years from that moment, I have learned to advocate for the support I need to be the student, employee, community member, and individual I want to be. To be my full self. 

 

My daughter Elise also has a hearing loss disability. When we told her the results of her hearing screening, she cried and asked, “Why does all the bad things have to happen to me?” I knelt down, held her hand, and told her the same message Mrs. Leonard told me. And I told her how my disability is something I am proud of, it has shaped me to be the person that I am.

 

I am running for school board to show Elise that a disability is to be celebrated. I am running for school board to advocate for the support that all of Seattle Public School’s 8000+ special education students need to “cultivate their own stories.”

Illustration by Lisa Quine

AAPI Representation

Seattle Public Schools serve a diverse range of students and families who come from a myriad of backgrounds, but unfortunately, much of this diversity does not extend to the school board. Part of what motivated me to run was the recent trend of anti-Asian sentiment in the wake of COVID-19. Seeing that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up about 14% of students, it seems wrong to me that there are no AAPI members of the school board. These students face struggles that the school board knows almost nothing about. They need someone who understands their experience giving them a voice in the decision-making process.
Similarly, about 13% of students have disabilities or are neurodivergent, and many of them are being left behind. The school board doesn’t know how to best support these students, and as a result, the budget is being utilized in inefficient ways.
As an Asian American and someone with a disability, I know through my personal experiences how important it is for that diversity to be represented in the decision-making process. I can represent both of these groups of students, and I have the financial experience to help distribute the budget in efficient, helpful ways that lift up our students. In a nutshell, this is what my campaign is about: Giving voice to the students of families who do not have one and using my practical experience to better the system for the benefit of us all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Voters Guide

This is the Seattle Video Voter’s Guide. In this video I broadly lay out some of my priorities, positions, and qualifications. It is only an overview however, so if you want more information, I suggest either looking at my interview with the 36th District Democrats (who endorsed me), looking at the Issues tab at the top of the page, or if you have questions that are not answered in either of those places, leaving a comment below or messaging me on Facebook here.

 

 

Meet the Candidates Event – July 14

Join me and mayoral candidate Jessyn Farrell for a conversation with Seattle Parents. Tell us your stories from the last 16 months. As Seattle Public School parents ourselves, we know the urgency in helping students and families recover from economic, social, and academic loss of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 14
3-4PM
Meridian Playground (4649 Sunnyside Ave N)

Endorsed: 43rd Democrats

I am pleased to announce that I received the sole endorsement of the 43rd District Democrats this week! Combined with my sole endorsement from the 36th District Democrats, I now have the full backing of the local parties that cover School Board District 4. It is incredible to be in community with voters who are so intentional in their consideration of candidates, particularly in local elections. Thank you 43rd Dems! I am humbled.

My speech starts at 2:08 — https://www.facebook.com/48653116585/videos/828355691435364