State House of Representatives, District 99
Marvin is an immigrant from the Philippines who had to rely on public assistance growing up, pre- and post-green card. Then, when he became a citizen, he was wrongfully flagged as a non-citizen voter. His experiences motivated him to work hard, first to do social work with refugees and immigrants (through the organization Catholic Charities), then to get a law degree from Yale Law School, and then to work in civil rights and public interest law - first for the ACLU, then for the gun violence prevention movement (currently via Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence). His first time testifying in the Georgia General Assembly was in 2009, after having been recruited by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund to testify on his experience being wrongfully flagged in 2008 as a non-citizen voter. Since then, he has, in court, challenged voter proof of citizenship (as a party, recruited then by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund), electronic voting machines, cases regarding reproductive freedom and LGBT rights (ACLU), and campus carry laws (Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus). And in 2016, after the election, Marvin originated the law permitting survivors of domestic violence to terminate their leases without penalty (introduced through Rep. Scott Holcomb).
Marvin is running for State Representative of House District 99 to make lives better for traditionally vulnerable populations in Georgia - particularly HD 99ers, with whom he shares a common history. Demographically, HD 99 is over 85% minorities, 50% foreign-born immigrants, with 40% of the population uninsured, and 25% below federal poverty levels - with fewer than 2 in 5 eligible voters casting a ballot in 2016. This tracks with his own identities and experiences as an immigrant having relied on various forms of public assistance, and originally deterred from voting.
Marvin’s experiences motivated him to work hard, and he’s had some success. But there are Georgians/HD 99ers who have worked even harder who haven’t had the same luck - and feel they have no reason to participate in our political processes, because nothing ever changes. Immigrants know that hard work is indispensable; we also know that it’s not enough, not without a government to ensure that we, and not just others, benefit from our own hard work.
He wants to work for these immigrants, these HD 99ers, these Georgians, to be part of that change. And he knows that can’t happen immediately by passing policies, or even convincing people to vote, but getting information and resources out to people - all of which starts with listening to what people’s actual concerns are. That’s why Marvin is proud to have personally canvassed 3,000 doors pre-COVID-19, and to have featured over 100 of their voices during his campaign (via Facebook).
Every single person has the same basic needs to live a secure, healthy, and ultimately fulfilling life – and, no matter what they were born into, deserves the equal opportunity to live that life. And in the course of his campaign, Marvin has tried to empower people of a traditionally under-resourced and disenfranchised areas by putting THEIR voices and concerns at the forefront, beyond his own. He created two different series for this campaign: “HD 99ERS CARE ABOUT [X ISSUE]” and “IN THEIR OWN VOICES,” a video series wherein he both told longer-form narratives and featured audio-video of HD 99ers.
Marvin has also developed over 10 resources for HD 99ers, ranging from a Community Resources Guide, to various “Know Your Rights” guides, to a “Talking to Our Neighbors in 7 languages” program. The latest of his work is COVID-19 resources, updated daily since March 16, 2020, a version of which I mailed to 10,000 households. Indeed, several of his resources have been translated into Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean.
During the course of his campaign, Marvin has also personally helped HD 99ers with an array of issues: reporting dumping, potholes, etc.; getting a recycling bin; fighting a surprise medical bill, interpreting an HOA covenant; breaking a lease; finding assistance for a short-term disability, avoiding the voter purge; getting an absentee ballot; finding a small business class; and securing masks for an HD 99er whose partner contracted COVID-19. His work is tireless, and his effort is something to strive for, which is why we’re proud to endorse Marvin Lim for GA House District 99.