I often take the time to reflect on my life growing up in America. I feel that this is necessary as our country has become extremely political over the past decade, and as a result, we forget where we came from and what we really have in America. You see, I am a first-generation immigrant. My parent’s and my six brothers and sisters came to this country from China/Hong Kong in 1969 without a penny to their name and didn’t speak a word of English. Yet even though we spent the early part of our lives living in poverty, our family, because of the opportunities that the United States offers, now live amazing lives. Five of the seven children received college degrees and today, all seven children have become successful and are prospering in this great nation.
In my conversations on the campaign trail, the question comes up where else in the world is this possible? The answer, no where. It’s true! I look around the world and see so many places where people are struggling, some living on just a few dollars a day. And for that, I realize that we are lucky. My family could have easily ended up in some third world country and the life we have now would never have been possible. Instead, my dad and my mom, came here with a hope of a better life. They rolled up their sleeves to give their children a life that was better then their own. Was it easy? The exact opposite. There were many nights struggling to pay our bills, many days wondering if we were going to keep a roof over our heads. But we never gave up no matter how difficult life was for us. Even when my dad came down with emphysema in 1996 and diagnosed that he had only approximately 25% of his lung capacity, he never stopped working. He woke up every morning with an oxygen tank strapped to his shoulder and went to work to assure that his family had a path to a better life. He did that for another six years till he was 70 years old, and the only reason he stopped, is because his children made him. That is why I am running for U.S. Senate. Because I know that there are other people and families going through the same things my family experienced during our difficult times. And it is important to me that the children and grandchildren of this country have the same opportunities that our family had growing up.
As I express our gratitude, I just want to relay how I wish my dad, who passed in 2010 could be here to see me work to represent you as your next U.S. Senator. You see, my dad took maybe three days off a year, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 4th of July. He battled and worked to make sure that we didn’t let this opportunity in America go to waste. And from his hard work and sacrifices, all seven of his children succeeded. And that’s his legacy, never wealthy and always struggling, but he achieved a better life for his children and grandchildren. And I know that he would say to me right now, go defend this country and what it stands for. Because we are proud Americans and that means something. It’s more valuable than money, more important than where we came from. America is the place where the world looks to for hope, and that’s powerful. My mindset is to honor my mom and dad’s hard work, and to show our appreciation to all those that came before us and who allowed us to live in the greatest country in the world. Thank you America for welcoming us with open arms and we promise to make you proud!