Written by CAPA-MC Reporters Joy Jiang and Claire Yu
Edited by Rachel Wang
Preceptor: Julie Yang
On Monday, January 20, 2020, the CAPA JRC (Chinese American Parents Association Junior Reporter Club) traveled through the chilly Annapolis weather to reach the Maryland State House. After touring the building, the JRC visited and interviewed Maryland State Delegate Lily Qi. The junior reporters learned about Qi’s activities and goals as a prominent representative of Maryland’s District 15 and were motivated to advocate in their own communities as well.
Campaign and Priorities
When asked about her reason to run for election, Qi said, “I had a lot of knowledge about the community, I could contribute, I’m more prepared than most people I know, so why not me?” Qi believes that immigrants in the 21st century “shouldn’t have to wait a generation to be Americans” and that “[America] is [their] home and [they]...contribute just like anyone else.” Qi claims that immigrants shouldn’t have to let other people make decisions that impact their lives--they should instead make those decisions themselves. She hopes to see her community become more successful through increased economic growth and improved education quality.
Currently, Qi’s primary focus is to make Maryland more competitive and attractive, with “more jobs, more talent, more investments and opportunities.” Several of her bills this session are related to stimulating the innovation economy and helping tech-based industries, ranging from biotech, healthtech, or cleantech.
Several of her bills this session are related to stimulating the innovation economy and helping tech-based industries, ranging from biotech, healthtech, or cleantech.
Qi has also introduced bills to remove barriers for small businesses to encourage entrepreneurship. Several more of her bills are to support the people who have not always been able to easily advocate for themselves, such as special needs students in public schools. “Right now, Maryland does not require professional certification for people who provide educational interpretation for the students who are deaf and hard of hearing, so they miss a lot of information that was not interpreted for them, and they don’t know what they missed,”states Qi. Her bill would require educational interpreters in public schools to receive professional training and certification. Another one of Qi’s suggested bills would provide a mobile laundry truck, which would be able to provide clean water to people in poverty. “[Homeless people’s] most basic need is clean water,” says Qi.
The Average Workday
Qi normally congregates with her coworkers in the mornings. Montgomery County’s delegation meets on Fridays and the Democratic Caucus meets on Tuesdays. Sometimes Qi gathers with “groups with a purpose”, such as lobbyists, special interest groups, constituents, and charitable organizations. When Qi and her fellow delegates from across the county meet in the State House, they first “read across the desk,” which is the term for reading all the proposed bills. The bills go through what is called “first, second, and third reading.” The delegates also listen to announcements from various committees and delegations.
Over the 90-day period when the Maryland General Assembly is in session, Qi spends most of her time working in Annapolis, returning home once a week. Qi’s visitors include constituents and other people in the community who go to Annapolis. Overall, Qi’s schedule is much more structured during this time.
Qi is very visible in Montgomery County, particularly in District 15, as she often visits non profit organizations in the community and reaches out to different groups. Every day, Qi receives emails from many people regarding topics ranging from gun issues to prescription drugs. In fact, Qi cannot keep count of the number of community events she attends per month, merely exclaiming that she has “too many!”
Through working as a state delegate, Lily Qi not only hopes to boost her community’s success in multiple aspects, but also intends to represent a diverse range of people, no matter their background, economic status, or social status. Beyond merely representing her constituents, Qi strongly encourages anyone who is interested in talking to reach out to her. Qi is available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or office phone at 410-841-3090 or 301-858-3090. For more contact information, visit https://www.lilyqi.com/contact.html.
This article was provided by Chinese American Parents Association Junior Reporter Club (CAPA JRC) with members who interviewed, audio recorded, wrote, translated, and video recorded. CAPA JRC has 19 Montgomery County middle to high school students. They have created a bilingual platform delivering news and serving the community.