I'm Marvin Lim, of Norcross, GA, and I am currently a State Representative for House District 99, which includes portions of Gwinnett County in Metro Atlanta (30093, 30084, 30047). I was originally elected to this role in 2020. (Note: HD 99 is being renumbered HD 98, effective 2023, and will appear as such in 2022 election ballots.)
Who I Am
A little about me: I immigrated from the Philippines when I was 7 years old to Atlanta, then eventually moved to House District 99 in 2001, a week before September 11. In America, my family certainly had new opportunities.
But, like many immigrant families, we also struggled: my brother and I qualified for free school meals and PeachCare, my dad lost his job and eventually had to move away from us to southern Georgia to provide, my family had struggles with mental illness, my mom had to retire early because of health problems, including a fight with cancer, and my dad's own health problems led to his passing in his 50s. And, even after we became citizens, I was wrongly flagged as a non-citizen by Georgia, the first time I tried to vote (which led to my first time testifying at the state House, in 2009).
Looking back on these struggles, I can see the value of hard work that my parents instilled me, values that took me to being salutatorian at Lakeside High School, graduating magna cum laude at Emory University, and ultimately graduating from Yale Law School, and becoming a Fulbright Scholar and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
But I can also see where we - like many others, including many immigrants and minorities in my district - lacked the safety nets to ensure that any progress in our lives did not come at such a high cost. And far from helping to provide for these safety nets, our government often engages in discrimination, even violence against certain groups.
What I've Done
Having learned all of this, I have spent my career working to ensure that government reflects the value of truly equal opportunity.
That career includes roles at Catholic Charities doing job development for refugees and immigrants; the ACLU of Georgia; and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. I have also worked at the law firm of Holcomb + Ward, LLP, alongside State Rep. Scott Holcomb, on cases seeking to protect the integrity of our elections.
In my first term in office, I have worked to serve HD 99, by bringing the local perspective to looming state and national issues. Among other things, I introduced 112 bills/resolutions (non-privileged), with 15 heard in committee, 3 passed out, 2 voted unanimously out of the House, and 1 voted out of the Senate. These bills addressed salient topics in HD 99: street racing, zoning/ordinance reform, housing (eviction/foreclosure diversion, homestead exemptions, etc.), indoor air quality, county tax commissioners, language access, and awarding of federal funds.
I have also worked locally, particularly through advocating Gwinnett County government. Among other things, I organized and spoke up successfully against proposed gas station rezoning (JCB); successfully won speed humps for a high-risk community (Country Downs); acquired federal ARPA funds for broadband and water, specifically for HD 99; acquired 4 grants for sustainability and transportation in HD 99 (e.g., ARC); and restored indigent medical care funding in the county budget for 2022.
Why I Want to Serve
I want to serve because I know: this is not about me. I strive to live that out, in hearing and telling the stories of HD 99ers, in constantly providing resources responsive to HD 99ers' needs, in introducing responsive legislation and other policies, and, ultimately, attempting to show HD 99ers that someone cares and earning their engagement - rather than merely telling them someone cares, and that they should vote based on (what are too-often false) promises alone.
Government is not perfect - just as I am not. But I will continue to do my best to make government better for everyone - especially those, like HD 99ers, who traditionally have not gotten their due.