Chong Yang Thao, is a long-time adopted Saint Paulite. She was born in Laos and part of the 1.5 generation of Hmong refugees who came here to make good on America's promise of the dream in exchange for the Hmong's service in the CIA's Secret War.
Chong's family and she set down their bags and made Saint Paul, Minnesota home 39 years ago. She lives in Como Park with her family, where she works as a long-time high school English teacher in the Saint Paul Public School district. One of Saint Paul's strengths is its shared value in the common good, which is expressed in its strong civic engagement grounded in pluralism rather than any singular approach. It is a city that has changed and is open, albeit reluctantly at times, to being changed by new home comers like Chong for the better.
Chong brings this perspective as a steering committee member of Saint Paul STRONG, in its work to ensure processes in city government are open, honest, fair, and inclusive. Saint Paul is strong when it welcomes and works for all.