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Morning Brief: Cambodia Town

Cambodia Town in Long Beach. The city has the largest concentration of Cambodians outside of Cambodia. (Photo by Laurie Avocado via Flickr)
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Good morning, L.A.

Long Beach is home to Cambodia Town, the largest community of Cambodians outside of Cambodia. This week, one of its own was sworn in to serve on the Long Beach City Council for the first time.

Suely Saro, an adjunct professor at Cal State L.A.’s School of Social Work, was elected to serve the city’s 6th District, beating out incumbent Dee Andrews. Her swearing-in ceremony was held on Tuesday.

My colleague Josie Huang reports that Saro was born in a refugee camp in Thailand after her parents fled the violence and terror of the Khmer Rouge. The family later relocated to Southern California.

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Early in her career, Saro worked as a labor organizer, and as the executive director of a nonprofit organization that works with Southeast Asian girls and women to build a more equitable community. At her swearing-in ceremony, Saro spoke about the significance of her win.

"Representation matters,” she said. “Seeing that you matter at an official council level … [it says that] decisions are going to be made with you in consideration."

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

What You Need To Know Today

The Housing Crisis: A new state effort to provide housing to the homeless is resulting in some longtime motel residents being forced out of their rooms – and made homeless in the process.

Money Matters: The coronavirus pandemic has likely stripped away the wage gains made after the Great Recession by California’s lowest earners. The Long Beach City Council passed a resolution that would require "hero pay" for all frontline grocery workers — a move other cities, including Los Angeles, are also considering.

Coronavirus Updates: An additional 138 people have died from COVID-19 in L.A. County, surpassing the grim daily record set in late July.

Your Local Butcher: For 200 years, generations of Basque, Dutch and Portuguese residents have shaped Chino — and all of their foodways converge at Hottinger’s Meat Market.

First Person: Storytellers Daniel Mazzacane, Ash Nichols, and Pickle share deeply personal moments in their journeys to fully realizing their identities as part of KPCC’s “Unheard LA.” series.

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