Delegate Kathy Tran’s Statement on the 400th Commemoration 

For Immediate Release

July 30, 2019

Contact: Rodrigo Velasquez,


Delegate Kathy Tran’s Statement on the 400th Commemoration 

On this day 400 years ago, the first elected representatives came together in Jamestown to take the initial steps towards self-governance. Only a month later, the first enslaved Africans were brought to our Virginian shores, beginning the trans-Atlantic slave trade here. These two strands of our history are inextricably linked.

Yesterday, my family and I had the opportunity to view the minutes of the first meeting of the House of Burgesses, the predecessor to the House of Delegates. And today, we joined my colleagues from the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus to observe the journey we have traveled as a country, from slavery to today, and to commit ourselves to working for a better Virginia for all.

I am reminded of the fragility of our democracy. Its promise of hope, opportunity, and freedom inspires many around the world, including my family as boat refugees from Vietnam. Yet there are times when our democracy has fallen short of our ideals to devastating effects.

We see this today - we have elected the most diverse cohort to the Virginia House of Delegates and the most women to the U.S. Congress in our history. At the same time, we are experiencing a deeply concerning rise in racism, xenophobia, White supremacy, and hate. 

I strongly believe the best way we can pay homage to our history and how far we have come in the last 400 years is by remaining steadfast in our determination to protect, strengthen, and perfect our democracy. By working together, we can lift up the most vulnerable and extend the promise of our democracy to everyone.