Skip to content Column: Meet Suely Saro, the first Cambodian American elected official in Long Beach history

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As the primary English communicator of her Cambodian American family, Suely Saro became accustomed to speaking up at a young age.

AdvertisementWhen she is sworn in Tuesday, Saro, 40, will become the first Cambodian American council member in the history of Long Beach, which has since the 1980s hosted the nation’s largest concentration of Cambodian American refugees.

She may also be, as she has stated, the first Cambodian American elected to office in California.

I can testify to the fact that that is not true.”Representation, in the Cambodian American community, can be a complicated subject.

They both have heard of nom kong; more important, they share the experience of growing up in cramped apartments with multiple families.

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