WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — KSN News sent a questionnaire to each Wichita candidate facing a challenger in the August primary election. We have not made any edits to the candidate’s answers.
Lily’s heritage is Chinese, she was born in Guatemala, but she was made in Wichita. After arriving in Wichita as an 8-year-old immigrant who only spoke Spanish and Chinese, Lily has grown into a leader, life-long learner, and listener for our community.
She’s a 30-year Wichita resident, 20-year community volunteer and leader, and 12-year local television reporter for KWCH and KAKE. As a teenager and student at Wichita East High’s International Baccalaureate program, she also interned at KSN.
Lily attended Wichita State University, where she earned the distinction of Summa Cum Laude, graduating with two degrees in international business and integrated marketing communication. While serving as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Lily also earned a masters in journalism from the University of Hong Kong.
Lily has been recognized for her community service and leadership as the 2022 Rising Star in TV by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, 2020 Exceptional Young Leader by the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, 2015 Leader in Diversity by the Wichita Business Journal.
Lily is the proud daughter of two working class parents, a father who’s a cook in south Wichita and a mother who’s a hairstylist in west Wichita. She is not married and loves her [dog] daughter.
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What specific Wichita issue deserves your immediate attention, and how do you plan to address it?
My top priority is the health and safety of our community. With nearly 100 vacant police officer positions, we must ensure law enforcement, first responders, and city services are fully staffed so they can connect with the community and serve more effectively.
As mayor, I’ll restore the relationship between the mayor’s office and Wichita Police Department, bolster our public safety departments’ recruitment and retention efforts, and ensure they have the respect and resources necessary to keep Wichita families safe.
How do you propose to grow the Wichita economy and create jobs?
I want Wichita to be a safe and welcoming community that helps attract and grow businesses. Strengthening our economy starts with ensuring we’re supporting our existing small and large businesses, creating a future-ready workforce, and emphasizing high-paying jobs. Progress will require greater collaboration between government, industry, and education, and a supportive partnership with economic development initiatives such as the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greater Wichita Partnership, Wichita Independent Business Association, as well as state government.
April 2nd, 2023, was a day that I will remember forever. It was my honor and privilege to be joined by so many friends, family, colleagues, and community members to celebrate not only being in Wichita for 30 years, but also announcing my candidacy for Mayor. It was truly an awe-inspiring day as some of my mentors and closest friends like Larry Hatteberg, Juanetta Everett, Pete Meitzner, and others took the stage to assist me in telling not only my story, but Wichita’s story.
We had a diverse group of people and they all had one thing in common – they love Wichita. Everyone who spoke talked about how welcoming, caring, passionate, and inclusive the city of Wichita is. They told us stories about their families coming to Wichita and starting their lives, growing their families, and starting businesses or careers. They talked about the perseverance and grit they see in Wichitans and the path they want to see our city take. They know it’s time for a change and a fresh perspective. Wichita deserves a mayor that will be an ambassador, build bridges, and cultivate relationships with businesses locally and regionally to bring and retain talent to our city.
That day we all came together not as Republicans or Democrats. Not as East and West siders. Not as government and citizens, but as Wichitans. We came together to prove that our city deserves to be united. We are better together. And we are ALL FOR WICHITA!
Thank you to everyone who joined us that day as we celebrated a milestone in my family’s life and the new path I am embarking on.