Orange County News
1st Vietnamese mayor in Westminster, US elected
WESTMINSTER, Calif. (KABC) -- At 39, Tri Ta says he's living the American dream.
"I'm really honored to be a public servant," he said.
Ta is not only the first Vietnamese American to be elected mayor in Westminster, but he's also the first to achieve that position in the country.
"I'm very proud. That would tell the people in the U.S. and all over the world that the Vietnamese can do what other people can," said Leslie Le with the Vietnamese Community of SoCal.
Westminster is home to the largest little Saigon in the U.S.
"The whole Vietnamese community here voted for him, and somehow I think his voice would be representing for all of us," said Westminster resident Raymond Addington.
Ta, his parents and sisters left Saigon in 1992. He was 19-years-old when he arrived in the U.S.
"We came to this country and we understand, we value the freedom," he said.
The husband and father of two works as a managing editor for the trade journal Vietsalon Magazine. Over the years, Ta has worked with several community organizations and two city committees before being elected to City Council in 2006. He was re-elected in 2010.
He knows as mayor the city faces financial difficulties. The City Council laid off nearly 70 people this year.
"We need to deal with the city budget," he said. "I'm really committed to work with the whole City Council to bring more revenue to the city."
Ta is grateful to those who voted for him and grateful for the opportunity to serve others.
"This is the country of equal opportunity," said Ta. "As long as you're willing to work hard, you're going to make it."
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