Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP) is a grassroots group of young people who want to strengthen the civic participation of the Hmong people and other underprivileged communities. HIP, which was established in July of 2012, began as a group of young professionals who had the idea of shaping local politics to positively impact underprivileged communities in Sacramento.
HIP held two voter education forums during the 2012 election season to register voters and educate the community on the electoral process and propositions. The forums drew in over 100 Hmong community members who were excited to be voting for the first time.
Recently, HIP decided to organize the community around is the Sacramento City Unified School District school closures. This was the first local issue HIP decided to take on.
“We met with Hmong parents to listen to their concerns and presented the SCUSD’s proposal, “District Right-Sizing Report”, to the parents in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.” said Seng Vang, HIP Organizer. “We realized other parents, regardless of their racial and ethnic background, were also outraged and looked to us for guidance to stop the school closures and require the SCUSD to implement a fair and inclusive process.”
HIP formed the Putting Students First Coalition in order to address the district’s disregard for the communities in which the closed schools are located. This group includes other groups such as the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, Making Cents Work, Sacramento Coalition to Save Public Education, Sacramento Teachers Opposed to School Closures, Sacramento parents, teachers, students, and community members.
“The disproportionate impact of the school closures became obvious when we met with parents because the majority of them were parents of color, needed interpretation, and resided in historically low-income neighborhoods,” said Vang.
HIP is continuing to fight and find alternatives to the school closures and create a voice for underprivileged communities in Sacramento.
For more information about HIP click here.