About Blong Yang
Blong Yang is the first Hmong-American to be elected to the Minneapolis City Council. He is devoted to this new chapter in public service and has pledged to represent all of his constituents fully and fairly. His main objective is to improve the quality of life in North Minneapolis for all residents. His top priorities are:
- to make North Minneapolis safer and attract more economic development;
- to encourage greater prosperity and community in Ward 5 by expanding the number of and access to living wage jobs and affordable housing in North Minneapolis; and
- to eliminate racial gaps in employment, education, health, homeownership, and other areas.
Blong Yang was born in a refugee camp in Thailand as his family fled political persecution for aligning with U.S. forces during the Vietnam War. The Yang family immigrated to the U.S. in 1980 when Blong was three years old. They struggled to establish a new life for a growing family away from the ravages of war. For most of his childhood, Blong’s family received public assistance as his parents struggled to keep food on the table and the children out of trouble. His parents taught their six children that the American Dream is achievable through hard work and education.
Blong holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. Shortly after graduating from law school, he moved into the Jordan neighborhood of North Minneapolis and has lived there for over a decade. In his professional life, Blong most recently served as an investigator with the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR). Prior to joining the MDCR, he owned a solo practice in Minneapolis for eight years focusing on family law and other civil matters. While in private practice, Blong also served on the Commitment Defense Panel of the Hennepin County Bar Association where he represented people in danger of being committed for mental illness and/or chemical dependency. Before hanging out his shingle, he worked for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis as a staff attorney / Equal Justice Works Fellow advocating for limited English proficiency speakers in the areas of housing and social services.
Blong is married to Mai Neng Moua, a local writer who was hailed as the “midwife of the Hmong literary arts movement” by the New York Times. They are the parents of two young girls. Blong has served on several boards. One of the highlights of his public service / volunteerism was serving as a youth soccer coach in North Minneapolis for Hmong kids who had just arrived in America.
Last updated Dec 9, 2016