I was born in New Jersey in 1980, the first of 3 children of Vietnamese immigrants who fled their homeland in 1975. My parents’ hard work and sacrifices allowed me to attend Rutgers University and Villanova University, where I earned bachelors and masters degrees in computer science.
Six years ago, after enduring years of long commutes through New Jersey suburbs, my wife Amber and I moved to the Ithaca area, where we were pleasantly surprised and thankful to find an incredibly active and engaged community (we had, however, visited Ithaca several times before this). Making the commitment to settle here, we bought a house in the Northside neighborhood of the city two and a half years ago, which made us even more involved in local affairs.
I am a software engineer at GrammaTech, a cybersecurity research company headquartered in downtown Ithaca. Amber is an associate professor of psychology at Tompkins Cortland Community College and earned tenure last year. She also runs a 1-bedroom bed & breakfast out of our home to support the needs of the feline leukemia positive cats we’ve adopted.
I walk everywhere, so you may have seen me headed to and from work, eating donuts, shopping downtown, and enjoying 2nd ward gems like Sweet Melissa’s, Saigon Kitchen, and The Westy. I currently stay engaged in the community by serving on the board of Tompkins Connect, a networking and volunteer organization of young professionals. I am also involved with Historic Ithaca, an organization dedicated to promoting the value and enhancement of historic buildings and neighborhoods in and around Ithaca.
So why am I running for common council?
Simply, because I’m interested and I care. Living in Ithaca has improved my life immeasurably and I want to make sure others can maintain and attain a life in the city. I’m a policy wonk who enjoys reading up on sidewalk policies and form-based zoning so you don’t have to. I’m passionate about affordable housing, improving infrastructure, and modernizing Ithaca’s economy. I want to serve you and better connect you with city services.
I feel lucky to have landed in Ithaca, a cultural and economic bright spot in Upstate New York. Please vote for me so I can help keep it that way.