I did not see any role models of Asian female public officials growing up. In many ways, it is counter-cultural for Asian women to speak up and become civically engaged. My goal through the MyAsianVoice series is to create community and spark dialogue, a forum to share ideas and lessons learned. I hope that in the process of sharing my journey, I can help grow the pipeline of future leadership.
As I share my journey as an Asian-American woman in public office, I hope to demystify the political process and inspire others to get involved, especially Asian women. I did not see any role models of Asian female public officials growing up, and in fact, I observed the opposite. I was taught to stay quiet, keep my head down, work hard, and not draw attention to myself, whether positive or negative. In many ways, it is counter-cultural for Asian women to speak up and become civically engaged.
When I officially filed for my candidacy on Frisco City Council in February 2022, a small crowd of family and friends gathered at City Hall to show their support. One of them was a little Asian girl who had told her mother that she didn’t know Asians could run for office. When her mother introduced her to me, I gave her a big hug and said, “I’m so glad you’re here. You can do this too someday.”
The need for representation
Though the Asian-American population is the fastest growing demographic in the nation, we only have a handful of Asian leaders in politics, and even fewer Asian women. We need more representation at every level across the country, and part of the way we can increase engagement is to share our paths and experience.
Goal to grow future leadership
My goal through the MyAsianVoice series is to create community and spark dialogue, a forum to share ideas and lessons learned. I hope that in the process of sharing my journey, I can help grow the pipeline of future leadership.
Tammy Meinershagen is the first Asian-American to serve on the Frisco City Council in Texas. Tammy has more than a decade of community service through many organizations. Professionally, Tammy is Chief Innovation Officer at Blackshaw Partners LLC, a 40-year global executive search firm serving blue-chip multinationals and private equity clients. Her impactful work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Dallas CEO Magazine, Korea Daily News, KERA, WFAA, Frisco Style, Local Profile, and more.
Councilwoman Tammy Meinershagen’s homepage: Tammy4Frisco
Asian American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI), the country’s only organization that advocates for greater representation of AAPI women in political leadership.
She Should Run, a nonpartisan nonprofit working to dramatically increase the number of women considering a run for public office.
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