By Kenny Sui-Fung Yim
Juliette Kayyem may be an underdog in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race, but she has big plans. On March 19, she spoke out about her platform at the Metropolitan community room with the citizens of Chinatown as part of the Asian American Pacific Islander “Corner Office” forum series. The series is hosted by Governor Patrick’s Asian American Commission/Advisory Council and a network of 25 Asian American community organizations.
Kayyem began with the basic belief that she “believes in government’s capacity to do good,” and that there will always be work to do. She then explained her family’s history, coming from a Christian Lebanese immigrant family. Her grandmother immigrated to the United States with her nine children, two of whom she outlived, and more than 32 grandchildren. She carried their naturalization and birth certificates in a Ziploc bag. Recently, Kayyem helped induct 400 new citizens at the State House, and she marveled at how she has become part of the old guard in helping a new generation of immigrants make the transition from their homelands to America.
Kayyem’s resume itself is impressive: notable accomplishments include being a CNN analyst, a Harvard School of Government lecturer as well as a Pulitzer finalist on female combatant exclusion.
Kayyem detailed a two-pronged approach to government: commitment to people and to infrastructure, mainly ports, as she believes the global maritime market provides Boston with important opportunities.
This post is also available in: Chinese