by KhmerLife on Jan 14, 2020


Suely Saro have worked closely with residents in the Sixth District and throughout the City of Long Beach as a field representative for the Office of Senator Ricardo Lara and Chair of Long Beach's Citizen Police Complaint Commission. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Social Work at California State University, Los Angeles.

Suely was born in a refugee camp in Thailand to parents who survived the genocide where they eventually resettled in the City of Los Angeles and later moving to the City of Long Beach. Suely grew up in low socio-economic neighborhoods and in a community where many suffered from the effects of war and genocide such as post-traumatic stress disorder and resettlement challenges such a language and cultural barriers. Through passion, drive, and persistence Suely fought her way through the public school system to be placed in academic programs that led her on a pathway to college and a future of organizing and advocacy. Suely graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a bachelor's degree in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology. She earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach and a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne.

Suely has been dedicated to fighting for equity for working families, youth, immigrants, and women. She began her career as a labor organizer working alongside janitors and healthcare workers in their fight for fair wages and better working conditions. She went on to become the first Cambodian American Executive Director of Khmer Girls in Action developing the leadership skills of young women and men to improve their school and community. Subsequently, she joined the Health Access Project at Asians Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles to provide education, build coalitions, and conduct advocacy on the Affordable Care Act.

To contribute to alleviating poverty and empowering women with disability in Cambodia, Suely co-founded and is the board chair of Women for Women Foundation (WfWF) based in Cambodia. Since 2005, WfWF have helped over 700 women with disability and their families increase economic security through employment in a social enterprise program. WfWF is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) where its fashionable accessories and products are sold throughout the world. Meanwhile, Suely also serves as the Board Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Professional Network based in Long Beach.

Suely and her husband are raising their two children in the Wrigley Neighborhood of Central Long Beach.

District Type: Incorporated Cities
District: City of Long Beach
Sub Division: City of Long Beach 6th Council
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