3HMONG INTERVIEW

YIAYER CHANG 
Hi my beloved brethren and friends who are staying at home! This is YIAYER 
CHANG at Hmong USA TV. I hope that everybody is doing well. Today is an 
important day and we are having our special guest who will be sharing about many 
incidents that concern us, the Hmong. Today, I am very happy with our guest who 
is a mayor at Elk Grove, California, Mayor STEVE LY. Even he is living in Elk 
Grove, California, and I am living in Fresno, we still get a good opportunity to join 
together at the Hmong USA TV. We will be discussing about many of his ideas and 
whether if the rumor that is spreading about him is real. And he is here with us at 
the Hmong USA TV. Whether at home or wherever you are, please spare some time 
to listen to us now. Hello, STEVE LY! 


STEVE 
LY 
Hello, YIAYER and our brethren! I am happy for getting a chance to see all of you 
through Hmong USA TV. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok. In case that you did not know, this is the first Hmong mayor in the US, in Elk 
Grove, California. Many people may not know who he is. But tonight, I feel very 
happy. There was a moment of time when people would like to know what are 
actually happening and asked why STEVE LY did not come out to speak. Today, 
STEVE LY appears on Hmong USA TV. Thank you very much for sacrificing your 
time to join us. Today, we will discuss whether that rumor is true or false. What do 
you think about your problem with your opponents? Could you please explain to 
us? 
STEVE 
LY 
Frankly speaking, this is another year that I will be participate in the election for a 
mayor. So please cast your votes for me. Right now, a political campaign is taking 
place. The entire rumor is only political. I would say it for you to understand easily. 
The US is a country of freedom of speech. It is only part of my opponent's political 
campaign to accuse me, so I do not need to come out and solve this problem. What I 
want to tell you all is that the rumor is not real. This is the truth, and please 
understand that it is only political. It is almost time for election. This is my sixth 
time of working in the office and my sixth time of seeing problems like this. There 
is some information that I do not think it will exist. But my opponents are thinking 
of making problems for me. This is the truth that I want to let all of you understand. 
I am not the one who forces the 18 Hmong Clans to harass the women. My 
opponents are doing dirty jobs to accuse me. We all know the Hmong culture. If 
there is a problem that is not appropriate for talking, the 18 Hmong Clans need to 
come out and speak to make us unified. There is also a law involved in this matter. I 
came to this mayor position not only for Hmong people but also for the American. 
So I need to abide by the US laws. Even if someone insults me, I cannot respond 
back as it is all political. So if there are people who misunderstanding, I will let all 
of you understand the truth.  
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok. I am happy that at last you spoke it up. There are two terms involved, that is 
"threaten" and "harass". They said you have committed these two to someone. Is it 
right? 
STEVE 
LY 
No! One Hmong lady came out to accuse me of speaking badly with others and 
supporting others to do so. Because of this, I reported to the police for an 
investigation. Anybody knows that we could not do such thing in the US. And there 
were 4-5 policemen who conduct an investigation and report to City Council. It 
turned out that there were no enough evidence. In the US, before accusing someone, 
we need to have evidence. Since there was no evidence, this case was resolved in 
July 22 by a four-stared police chief. He also reported to me that there is a baseless 
rumor in this. When the rumor spread, Hmong people do not ask for the root cause 
or the whereabout of the story, instead they were just listening to some vague 
sayings. When you heard all of this, you will also understand that there is no a 
single truth in this rumor. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok! Why did those women come out and speak in social media platform? And who 
are they? 
STEVE 
LY 
There are a few people who have lost to me in the past election. When I won, they 
were not happy about this and waiting for an opportunity to attack me. This is not 
the first time they do like this, but they have been doing it for the past twelve years. 
My opponents who have lost to me found a Hmong lady and may ask her to come 
out and speak. In this case, I may be dismissed from my mayor position. What I am 
saying is all political. Those people were competing with me in the City Council 
and they lost, as well as in the school board where their colleagues also lost. For the 
Hmong lady who caused me trouble, she asked me to meet her at the City Hall, but I 
could not. This made her upset, so she said these things out. I also received a report 
from a Chinese lady that there was a Hmong lady who gossiped about her on an 
online platform. She was disturbed by phone calls, stalked, and there were people 
throwing eggs to her house. This is her claims. I ordered the policemen to 
investigate, but that Hmong lady did not understand what she has done wrong. She 
would not give any information to the policemen and not allow the police to check 
on her phone. So the police told me that there may be nothing, because of the 
evidence. That is not all. There is one American lady who worked with them. She 
did a campaign together with my opponents. They were not happy that there is an 
American men working with me, because they do not get along well with this man. 
I got a report and called every campaign leaders in our campaign, where there are 
about 7-8 people. We held a meeting and solved that problem. He decided to join 
our campaign until November 11, 2018. But these days, they would be speaking 
about the past. These stories did not just take place. What is taking place right now 
is that this Hmong lady is not happy about what I posted in social media platform to 
support one Hmong automobile repair business. I spoke broadly. Whoever did 
burned down his shop should come and negotiate so we will love and help one 
another. Then the Hmong lady made a false accusation that I discriminate the Black. 
Then I responded that I did not talk about the Black, I spoke in a way that made her 
upset. She may feel revengeful and make this into a bigger problem. If you do not 
know the root cause, you will doubt and suspect if STEVE LY is a dishonest 
person. But this rumor is a lie. I always share my ideas with my daughters, sons, or 
whoever asks for my opinion. I am a soft-hearted person and have been helping 
people since the very first campaign. If there is someone requesting me to help, I 
would ask what I could help. I helped LEELAW, I helped MIYAVANG, and I 
helped everybody. I helped everybody who is a Hmong. She was upset with me 
because she misunderstood, so she came out to speak like that. And this is the truth. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok! I think we have been talking for long, and I am afraid that your throat may run 
dry. Do you want to drink a cup of water? If so, please drink. So I want everybody 
to understand that today I am speaking with STEVE LY. There are many rumors 
going on about him. This has created a misinformation. Do you think so, STEVE? 
STEVE 
LY 
Yes, it is! I have seen a lot people in YouTube who misunderstand. They listened to 
her claims and thought, "Oh! STEVE! He sent the elder to speak with that lady." In 
fact, I did not send. Because I know that if I sent, people may misunderstand. She 
can be talking about me, but I want to let her know that it is not a complete truth 
and only a rumor. I have talked about the Constitution and laws which we are 
abiding by in the US. At that time, I was working in the office, so I did not respond. 
But when talking about me being a dishonest person to those who do not 
understand, they may misunderstand me. I speak clearly now so our brethren will 
understand. And there is one rule in the Hmong system. If someone did something 
wrong, the leader of that clan will talk to that individual, but in the US, it is not right 
to reach out to someone. This is what I want to let you know. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok! According to what we have heard, there is a Hmong lady, LINDA VUE. She 
came out to say that all ladies who supported you may have slept with you. Is there 
a kind of story like this? 
STEVE 
LY 
Yeah! In the very beginning of this story, they posted in social media saying that I 
accused the Black, which I was not. She then took this rumor to spread with 2-3 
other Hmong ladies. They responded by saying, "No, I don't think STEVE LY will 
be that kind of person." When they said like that, the revengeful Hmong lady said, 
"If you support STEVE, that means you are sleeping on the same bed with him." 
Looking from the American point of view, this may be a common expression, but 
from the Hmong point of view, this is inappropriate. After that, this expression even 
escalated the problem, so those 2-3 ladies thought this is not right, it is not 
consistent with the US laws, and they asked me to sue. I pondered upon this 
decision and just let it go. I say to all Hmong people that whoever can come to my 
office. Whoever does not speak the truth is not abiding by the law. In this matter, 
we should carefully ponder upon each part of the story. The rumor is a lie, and I 
need to defend myself. If I don't defend myself, it will affect my supporters who are 
like the spine of my campaign.  If I was accused like this, my reputation will be 
gone, and it will be mess. So “yes” is an answer to what you asked. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok! We have talked about this for some time. You did not respond in social media 
platform. You did not let us know that those rumors are all lies. So these caused 
misunderstanding among ourselves. Why did you come out to speak as quick as you 
could? Do you have anything to say to everybody? 
STEVE 
LY 
Frankly speaking, there were many urgent tasks that were related to COVID-19 
spreading in our city. And we are quite worried of what to do. I was trying to help 
businessmen to reopen their businesses and students to return to schools. I was quite 
busy, so I did not have time to respond. On the other hand, I don't think it is worth 
to respond to a nonsense like this. Because at that time, I don’t think the problem 
would escalate to this level, so I was not worried. But at this moment, I think that it 
is enough. Our Hmong brethren should not listen to these lies. Thus, I was looking 
for a good opportunity to clarify this issue. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok! According to what I understand, there are two ladies who came out to oppose 
the Hmong community. As I have heard, they are writing bad things on their social 
media. One lady is working at the school board and another lady is working at the 
community service. She is a director there. How did these two ladies come into the 
story? Could you tell us? 
STEVE 
LY 
It is true that there is one at the school board. Before moving into the school board, I 
was competing with her colleagues. After that, at the school boards, there are 
foreigners competing with her. Those foreigners thought that it was unfair and 
claimed that she committed a dishonest conduct. It would be fairer if the school 
board recall its appointment. Then they complained their anger to me. And I was 
telling them about office terms in the US laws, but she thought that I was calling for 
a special election and that I was behind this story. In the US, we need to make a 
complete term. In case of dismissal, there are two options: the first one is a 
provisional appointment and the second one is a special election. Then those who 
opposed that American lady told me that every day she accused me of sending 
someone to oppose her. But there were no any Hmong opposing her. You may not 
know about this, because it was in 2012. But now, she is my opponent and wants to 
compete with me. 
STEVE 
LY 
After that, she started to insult Hmong people. It is ok if she has a problem with me, 
but she mentioned that Hmong traditions and cultures are stepping on women and 
do not allow women to have power. And this is not true. Only Hmong people truly 
know about Hmong culture. They misunderstood. In fact, Hmong culture allows 
equality of power between men and women. This is the truth. Then, the lady in CSD 
who is a firefighter responded, “If it is so, let’s dismantle the 18 Hmong Clans and 
take awa the Hmong culture.” She said like this. Then I replied to her by saying, 
“You do not know Hmong culture. You are only an American. Hmong culture has 
existed for five thousand years. Today, you are boasting that you know about our 
culture and wanted me to fix our Hmong culture. I am just a Hmong and 46 years 
old, but our Hmong culture existed for thousands of years. What you are saying is 
not reasonable. You did not learn about Hmong culture, so what rights do you have 
in saying such things?” I spoke loudl to her and contradicted with her ideas b 
saying, “If you want me to fix Hmong culture, why do you want me to do so? I am 
also Hmong. If you want to fix my Hmong culture, my clan, my parents, I do not 
support this idea.” Then there was an argument bursting out, and it is seen as unfair 
to us. So the story has taken place until now. And we are not talking that Hmong 
lady anymore. But one American lady, who is competing with me, is using this 
against me. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok. What they said really made Hmong people angry. Just like what I have seen in 
social media platform, they sent messages to have all Hmong these documents. I 
don’t know if you’ve seen these documents before. They also sent these to us and 
said that we have to sign the documents and banish one Hmong lady. As a lawyer, 
do you have any opinions on it? 
STEVE 
LY 
That is all political. If the people agreed, that will be up to them. But I’m in m 
office. I’m not related to their office. It they are still accusing and prosecuting her, it 
does not have to do anything with me. But my goal is that I do not allow them to 
speak about Hmong people in a bad way. If they said that Hmong people are bad, 
that is not only to me, but to all Hmong people, whether adult or children. When I 
am in office, the would sa, “Oh, don’t vote this person as a chief. He threatened 
women and he will not force women to be without any power.” If they do like this, I 
am not ok with that and it is unfair. Because of this, I spoke out against those 
American and Black ladies. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Until now, I understand that there are three men on your side, who will be 
competing for office in your city. Have you ever thought that every time there is a 
government election, there are those people who compete and intentionally sow 
discord among us? 
STEVE 
LY 
The question you’ve asked is important. Because right now, there are three Hmong 
people in the City Council. The other is going to be in the school board. If there are 
people accusing us three, they are accusing Hmong people as well, because we three 
are Hmong. They want to use a single stone to hit us three. In a political point of 
view, they intentionally caused this against us three. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Then why is the government not saying anything? Why did they not come out to say 
anything? Is it because that this is Hmong culture, so they would not respond any 
single words? 
STEVE 
LY 
I don’t know about his. You have to ask our Hmong people who work at the office. 
For me, I think like this. When I first took this position, Hmong people invested in 
me. I will stamp a policy to fight against those who attack Hmong people unfairly, 
that will repay Hmong people who have helped me. If I am dismissed, I want the 
next mayor to do the same. When you are in power, you have to stand up and help. 
If not, you will be responsible for this. So please ponder carefully if you are going 
to help or not. I believe and I have a strange goal. If they spoke against Hmong 
people, I want to immediately step up. I can lose my position, but I cannot let our 
Hmong dignity be lost. I believe in this way.  
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Then, what about the things that people accused you? If you do not teach that 
person and all Hmong people lecture her, as a lawyer, do you think that it is right? 
All Hmong people may protest, but it is not your will. Is it appropriate to do so? Or 
do you allow it? You know if they do, a petty matter will escalate into a bigger one. 
What do you suggest for Hmong people to do?  
STEVE 
LY 
As for me, I made it simple. This country has one law, and that is the United States 
Constitution. It guarantees our rights, freedom of speech. Whosoever is making 
unfair accuse against another person, just let him do it. Think about the Black, they 
are speaking freely. But whatsoever we have to be careful, because if one day we 
did not care about the manner, our children may be unemployed. Whoever said that 
Hmong people are bad, just let them say it. If I am in office right now, I will stamp 
the seal to enforce legal action. The more you accused someone, the more people 
will support him. If you want Hmong people to become infamous, this will be up to 
you. For me, if you are speaking bad things about Hmong people, I will do anything 
with all of my wisdom to defend my people. If we do not help our brethren, who are 
we going to help then? How long do we have to wait before helping others? This is 
not appropriate. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok! These are words from our Hmong politician. The truth is according to what 
STEVE LY has said. We have laws to abide by. If there is someone insulting your 
Hmong people, you are also one of the Hmong. We have to help and defend one 
another. If you only wait for others to help, nobody will know about us, Hmong 
people. Look at those Black protestors who are protecting their own people, that’s 
why they are protesting along the roads. If we, Hmong people, live in silence, it 
seems like we possess no power. Is it like that, STEVE? 
STEVE 
LY 
Yes! 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok then! 
STEVE 
LY 
We have lived in this country for a very long time, so we must help one another to 
stand up. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Because you know the laws, then we need to depend on your power. There are laws 
to follow in this country. Whether the accusing person is right or wrong, there is a 
law concerning this matter. At last, do you have something else to insert? 
Something that we did not ask? So that our brethren may understand completely. 
Do you have something else? 
STEVE 
LY 
The most important thing is for you to understand this is how politics is. I am still 
STEVE LY, the one that you have known and supported. I am working like before. 
I hope that you will forward this message to others. Please do not be surprised that 
there are bad people in the politics. But what is important is I want you to help one 
another, no matter how far or close you are, so that we will be victorious. Please 
always remember that I am not alone, there are three other Hmong people who are 
working in our cit. Don’t forget to send your encouragement to us. Plug a flag in 
front of your house, and we will be victorious. Thank you everybody as well as 
YIAYER! 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
But before we are ending, there are three Hmong people at your side. Could you tell 
us what are they running for? 
STEVE 
LY 
Oh! Yes, sure. KEOXONG is running for the school board. ALIMUA is running for 
the City Council. He is very brave! His goal is to help the people to become 
prosperous. They are both representatives for Hmong. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok! We have been talking this. What do you have to say to our Hmong brethren? 
And what do you want from us? 
STEVE 
LY 
What I want is a support from you. Our office is now open for face masks and bags 
to be distributed at houses. I would like to express my thank to you all. If you want 
to donate 1-2 USD in our campaigns, please don’t forget to visit m website page at 
mayorstevely.com. There is a link to donate there. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok! When will the budget for your campaign start? And when will it end? 
STEVE 
LY 
It has started recently and will go on until November 3. 
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok! Thank you very much! My brethren, you have heard the words from Steve. No 
matter what you heard from other people, please don’t believe too quickly. You 
have to ponder on every part of the story. If you heard only one side of the story, 
you should not compare both sides. That’s wh we invited STEVE LY to speak 
today, so all of us would be able to hear the truth from him. So before you are going 
to judge if he is a good person or bad person, please consider both sides of the story. 
Thank you again, STEVE! I know that you have been working hard in your city, 
bringing many changes to your community, whether in businesses or in other 
aspects. I think that everybody will continuously support you for sure, because you 
are a Hmong. Thank you!  
STEVE 
LY 
Ok! Thank you!  
YIAYER 
CHANG 
Ok! Good bye everybody!

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