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Meet Yến

I am a longtime Olympian with strong ties to this community. Born and raised in the area, my family owns a small business in downtown Olympia. I attended South Puget Sound Community College, where I earned my Associate in Business. I also earned my Bachelor of Art, with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and Business Management as well as my Master of Public Administration, with an emphasis in Public Policy, at The Evergreen State College.

I serve as an Equity and Social Justice Consultant at the Washington State Department of Corrections, working to enhance organizational culture and processes, with the ultimate goal of increasing re-entry and reducing recidivism. My prior public service experience includes increasing equity in public contracting for small and diverse businesses at the Washington State Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises, lobbying for national poverty lifting tax policies and global health initiatives, and working with marginalized youth for GED attainment and college access.

I was appointed to the Olympia City Council in January 2021, selected from a field of 28 candidates. I currently serve on the Council's General Government Committee and the Land Use and Environment Committee. My intergovernmental assignments include: the Thurston Economic Development Council Board, the Thurston Climate Action Steering Committee, and the Regional Fire Authority Committee. I also serve as the Council liaison to the Coalition of Neighborhood Associations. 

I care deeply about our City's future -- its natural resources and residents. I wholeheartedly believe that our City government has the most impact on peoples’ daily lives. I feel a genuine civic responsibility to contribute my skills and experiences to Olympia’s long-term growth and success. All of the things I enjoyed about my service on the Planning Commission - representing our community’s voices, learning about land use planning, diving into community issues - are what I’ve brought into my service to the people of Olympia as a member of the City Council. If retained, I will continue to work on these essential issues, and together we will help Olympia move into the future, realizing its full potential. 

As a young woman of color, and the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, I add a perspective that is historically under-represented and needed. 

As a first-generation college graduate, I understand the impact that a lack of accessibility and resources has on a person’s ability to navigate complex systems. 

As a renter, I experience first-hand the challenges of rising housing costs surpassing wages, making homeownership dreams a distant reality. 

My multicultural upbringing has helped me to understand the importance of recognizing, welcoming, and celebrating differences. I bring an equity lens and a human-centered approach to city hall. Providing more diversity within the Council should encourage more robust conversations, creative solutions, and more informed decision making.

People who come from backgrounds like mine are often told by society to keep their heads down, be grateful for what we have, work hard, don’t make any waves, and rarely see ourselves represented in public office. I would like to help change this narrative, address these barriers at the city level, and govern with empathy for Olympians of all backgrounds.

Paid for By Friends of Yen
120 State Ave NE #1424
Olympia, WA 98501
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