In 1993, when I was 16 years old, my family and I immigrated to the United States from Vietnam. We came empty-handed, fleeing turmoil and poverty, to a new land that offered us security and opportunity. Through hard work and perseverance, I simultaneously earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of Iowa and a cosmetology license from La James. After graduating, I chose to put down roots in Johnson County, where I have proudly lived in a mobile home community, a subsidized apartment, a duplex, and eventually saved enough to afford a house of my own.
I care deeply about Coralville, my home for the last 20 years. This is where my husband and I are raising four beautiful children and we cherish all this community has to offer. Together, we have spent countless hours playing in its parks, biking its trails, wading in its creeks, enriching our minds in its library, and devoting ourselves to its schools and community organizations.
I have held many roles in my community. Currently, I serve as the community projects coordinator with the Coralville Community Food Pantry, where I meld my passion for food, justice and relationship building. I have also spent my time as a paraeducator with Coralville Central Elementary School. I am an immigrant, a woman of color, a full-time mom and a dedicated community volunteer. In these roles, I have seen firsthand both Coralville’s strengths and shortcomings.
Together, we can create a better Coralville — where we prioritize development that puts everyday people first, improve community mobility for all our neighbors, advance racial and economic justice through bold action, and strategize a community plan to fight climate change.
Our leadership should reflect the community it represents. As a City Council member, I will bring a unique and needed voice to the discussion table that has been missing for too long.
If you share this dream for a better Coralville, I humbly ask for your vote on or before September 29th.
For more information, please visit www.haiforcoralville.com
Hai Huynh is a candidate in the special election for Coralville City Council on Sept. 29.