I'm Marvin Lim, 35, of Norcross, GA. And I'm running for State Representative of House District 99 because of what I fundamentally believe: that every single person has the same basic needs - needs that must be met to live a secure, healthy, and ultimately fulfilling life. Every person wants that.

 

And every person - no matter what they were born into - deserves the equal opportunity to achieve it. In turn, our government has a critical role in ensuring that every person has that opportunity.

 

Who I Am

I've learned this from my own life, having immigrated from the Philippines when I was 7 years old to Atlanta, then eventually moving 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 meals in public school, 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.

 

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.

 

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 this progressive, Democratic value of equal opportunity.

 

That career includes serving as a legislative advocate for the ACLU of Georgia, where I worked to protect the civil rights of the vulnerable, such as by working to defeat bills that would license the use of religion to discriminate against minorities, women, and LGBT people.

 

That career also includes, working for organizations like the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, where I have worked to preserve people's right to live free from violence, in their homes and in public places like college campuses.

 

And that career includes working at the law firm of Holcomb + Ward, LLP, alongside State Rep. Scott Holcomb, on cases seeking to protect the integrity of our elections.

 

Why I Want to Serve

In my opinion, our greatest potential as humans - not just collectively but as individuals - depends on recognizing one principle: every person has dignity just by virtue of being a living human being, regardless of their status, belief, and even what they ultimately do (or don't do) in life.

This principle drives my will to serve - as well as my Platform, which describes what I seek to accomplish as a State Representative. It also drives the greater goal of my campaign: to get more immigrant and minority voters to participate in our government, even beyond voting for one candidate in one election. As much as any person, they should be made to feel like they belong to - and have power in - our country and our state.

We have to work together to ensure that every one - whatever wealth, power, and advantage they do or don’t have - can live a meaningfully free life. A life free from the suffering caused by not having access to resources every human, in the history of our species, has required. This will mean some conceding their advantages, because we can’t privilege just a few lives, over the lives of many more people who are still lacking the basics.

 

Yet, we would also build a moral legacy greater than any thing humans can acquire. After all, protecting the fellow humans we can reach - in whatever way we can - has an irreplaceable value. And just like this, the advantaged - people who, in truth, will always be able to live a meaningfully free life - can also live a meaningful one.

 

I myself wholeheartedly believe in this - and, above all, that's why I think I'd be a good state representative for House District 99.

With gratitude,

 

Biography

Career:

  • Voting rights and election integrity:

    • Attorney with Holcomb + Ward, LLP

    • Defendant-intervenor for Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund in Georgia v. Holder (challenging Ga’s voter proof of citizenship law)

  • Other civil and economic rights (e.g., language access, domestic violence, religious liberty, criminal justice): ​​

    • Attorney previously with ACLU (HQ) and ACLU of Georgia

      • Authored several reports on the use of religion to discriminate. Quoted in Atlanta-Journal Constitution on issues ranging from privacy to criminal justice reform

      • Co-authored section of Georgia Code to permit people committing misdemeanors, but diverted into mental or drug court programs, still to serve on grand juries

    • Conceived state law permitting survivors/victims of domestic violence to terminate leases (signed into law in 2018, introduced via House Rep. Scott Holcomb)

    • Created ESL-job development course for refugee and immigrant clients of Catholic Charities Atlanta

Community Service:

  • Gwinnett Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) & Medical Reserve Corps​

  • 159 Georgia Together, board member (promotes voter engagement in GA’s 159 counties)

  • Hospice Atlanta, in-home volunteer

  • Crisis Text Line, counselor

  • United Network for Organ Sharing, patient affairs committee

  • Philippine Civil Liberties Union, consulting volunteer

  • Council on Foreign Relations, term member

Other:

  • Originally from Manila, Philippines

  • Moved to the US/Atlanta in 1991, at age 7 (and to HD 99 in 2001)

  • Education: Yale Law School, Emory University (magna cum laude)

  • Fulbright Scholar

  • Hobbies: singing (member of the Emory University Chorus), running marathons, completed Ironman

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Paid for by Friends of Marvin Lim, Inc.