Trahan Named Co-Chair of Congressional Cambodia Caucus
Washington, January 27, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) was named Co-Chair of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus. A member of the caucus since she was first sworn in as a member in 2019, Trahan takes over this new leadership role following the retirement of the caucus’s Co-Founder, former Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47).
“Growing up in Lowell, I’ve seen firsthand just how much Cambodian families have contributed to our city and our region. Many escaped unimaginable violence in their home country and settled here in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones. Lowell is a better place because of their cultural, educational, electoral, and economic successes,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “As their representative, I have always made it a top priority to ensure their voices are heard in the halls of Congress, and I’m honored to take on this new role as Co-Chair of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus to continue those efforts.”
Lowell is home to the second largest Cambodian community and the largest Cambodian population per capita of any city or town in the nation. The strong Cambodian American community in the region has strengthened the local economy and contributed mightily to Lowell’s cultural resurgence. It has also been essential in the election of the first Cambodian American mayor, Sokhary Chau, the first Cambodian American elected to a state legislature, Rady Mom, the first Cambodian American woman elected as a state representative, Vanna Howard, and Cambodian American members of the Lowell City Council, Vesna Nuon and Paul Ratha Yem.
“I welcome such good news for the Cambodian-American residents of Lowell,” said Mayor Chau. “Congresswoman Trahan works tirelessly for the district and our concerns. She is fair and supportive for all our Khmer Diaspora in America. Her new position will give her a deeper perspective between the US and Cambodia.”
“Congresswoman Trahan has been a proactive advocate for the Cambodian community since day one of taking office representing the Third Congressional District in DC. I am pleased that she has been appointed to take on this important leadership role,” said State Representative Mom. “As Co-Chair of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus, I know she will successfully push forward our concerns and continue to work diligently to promote the social, economic, and cultural growth of Lowell’s Cambodian citizens.”
“I am pleased that Congresswoman Trahan has been named Co-Chair of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus,” said State Representative Howard. “She has been an ally for the Cambodian population in the 3rd Congressional District and has always been a leader in Congress when it comes to advocating for Cambodian Americans’ best interest. There are many issues that affect our population specifically which have not always been widely discussed, so I’m glad to have such a strong advocate in Congress advancing and cultivating for our recognition.”
“From joining our U.S. Senators in demanding the Cambodian government respect human rights and the rule of law, to demanding free and fair elections in Cambodia, to securing funds for Lowell Community Health Center, which serves a large Cambodian-American community, Rep. Lori Trahan has proven to be a true ally of Cambodians everywhere,” said Councilor Nuon.
“This is great news and congratulations to Congresswoman Trahan for being named Co-Chair of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus. I hope Congresswoman will use her position to strengthen the relationship between Cambodia and the United States particularly the City of Lowell MA with the second largest Cambodian Americans outside of Cambodia, in the areas of Commerce, Education, Trade, Human Rights, Democracy and to ensure the implementation of the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus (5PC) agreed upon a year ago at their annual meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia,” said Councilor Yem.
“As a Cambodian American I am very happy to have Congresswoman Lori Trahan Co-Chairing the Cambodian Caucus because she represents a large amount of Cambodian American population in our city,” said Lowell School Board Member Dominik Lay. “It is beneficial for Cambodian American in our district because a person who has heavy influence on issues about Cambodia is our Congresswoman.”
Since first taking office in 2019, Trahan has committed to ensuring that Cambodian Americans in Lowell and communities across the Third District are heard in Congress. She immediately joined the Congressional Cambodia Caucus shortly after being sworn in and has been central in multiple efforts to protect human and civil rights in Cambodia and preserve Cambodia’s cultural artifacts.
The Congressional Cambodia Caucus was founded by Lowenthal and former Republican Representative Steve Chabot (OH-01) in 2016. The mission of the caucus is to aid bipartisan members with interests in Cambodian politics and culture, and strengthen America’s relationship with the nation. Previous caucus actions include meetings with U.S. diplomats to Cambodia, letters to the Cambodian government about various concerns, and the drafting of bipartisan legislation on issues of importance to Cambodian Americans.
Additional leaders of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus will be announced in the coming weeks.