Congressman Rick Larsen visits Asian Service Center

Congressman Rick Larsen speaks about federal legislation during his visit to the Asian Service Center.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen visited the Edmonds-based Asian Service Center (ASC) Monday to learn about what the nonprofit is doing and to meet several board members and area residents. Those attending included ASC Executive Director Robert Ha, Edmonds Councilmember Will Chen, Board Director Alison Alfonso Pence, Board Member Khulan Enkhtaivan and Advisory Board Member Phong Nguyen.

“It is AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islanders) month, and we should recognize the role they play in Snohomish County and also Skagit, Island, Whatcom and San Juan Counties,” Larsen said. 

Congressman Larsen receives a gift from Asian Service Center Executive Director Robert Ha (right). Asian Service Center member and Edmonds Councilmember Will Chen is at left.
Congressman Larsen with (L-R) Alison Alfonso Pence, Will Chen, Robert Ha, Phong Nguyen, Khulan Enkhtaivan and Michael Chong.

ASC was founded by Ha, Chen and Crystal Xiao in 2023, and the nonprofit celebrated its one-year anniversary last March. The three noticed that Snohomish County lacked community services for Asian immigrants and that most of these services are located in King County. Services ASC plans to provide this year include English as a Second Language classes, counseling, health and safety classes and youth cultural life adjustment.

Ha said he was grateful that Larsen stopped by to learn more about the center.

Congressman Larsen visits the library of the Asian Service Center.
Congressman Rick Larsen says, “I can speak a little Chinese” in Mandarin.

“He really cares and gives back to the community,” Ha said of  Larsen, referring to the Congressman’s recent visits to the  Edmonds Library, the Port of Edmonds and Edmonds Food Bank.

“I think he can help the Asian Service Center with some federal help and [provide] a channel to the [federal] legislature,” Ha said. “Hopefully, the federal [government] can provide us with some support so we can expand our services to the community.”

— Story and photos by Nick Ng

  1. This was a fun reception with Congressman Larsen! Many comments were forwarded regarding the strength and influence of Asian Americans in Snohomish Cnty and Western Washington. The Asian Service Center is doing great work!

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