May 8, 2012 was a historical day for me and Laotian community.  Our community has never had an opportunity to represent ourselves and made our voice heard to the elected officials at the capital city of Illinois, and to celebrate the launch of the first ever Illinois AA Legislative Caucus .

Here is what I’ve learned from this trip:

  1. We need to maintain good working relationship with other organizations to leverage their funding and other resources.
  2. We need to identify our own agendas and stick to it until we get a result while supporting other organization’s agendas.
  3. We need to stay in touch with local politicians, ie: Senator, Representatives, Mayor…those who have power and influence on our behalf and pay attention to our own issues.
  4. LAOE has to hold ourselves to the highest standard and work together as a team. There is no room for individual gains. Laotians have been and are looking for strong leadership. This trip has clearly demonstrated it.
  5. Throughout the day, I was told “Thank You” over and over.  They appreciated our time, our unselfishness, our caring, and our leadership.  They have never seen an organized trip as this.  They look forward to many more to come and include other Laotian communities.
  6. For LAOE members, I am so proud to see that we are working together as a team for a common goal.  I hope this unity will last forever.
  7. Lastly, be nice to the bus driver.  He would take you anywhere you want to go.  Unlike other buses, we didn’t have to walk to Lincoln’s home and get to go to Lincoln’s tomb.
It was a historical day for our community. It was great to see and feel the bond between all our people. We were all excited to continue the work ahead to serve our community. I would like to welcome each and everyone of you to join in our community’s mission to grow and advance the Lao people all over the world. Together we will achieve tremendous progress for our loved ones and our community.
Kob Chai,
Chin Keomuongchanh
(Click on the picture to see more pictures from our trip.)

 (Click picture to view gallery on our Facebook page.)