Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: News 12 interviews Cherry Hill Mayor Susan Shin Angulo
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, today News 12 sat down with Cherry Hill Mayor Susan Shin Angulo.
She immigrated to the United States from South Korea when she was just a little girl. Her parents hoped to give her and her sister the American Dream.
"They just left everything that they knew and came to this country so that we can have a fighting chance,” says Mayor Angulo.
Mayor Angulo was just 4 years old when she came to the U.S. Her parents picked the Philadelphia suburbs as their new home.
"My dad actually was in the Korean military, and he was in the Marine Corps, and he has traveled all over the world, but he knew when he was a Marine when he came to the United States that this was a land of opportunity,” says Mayor Angulo.
She moved to South Jersey, where she met her now husband. The two picked Cherry Hill to call home.
"When I drove around the Cherry Hill area, I just love the diversity and inclusiveness of it,” says Mayor Angulo.
Twenty years later, she became mayor, the first Korean-American woman to hold the title not only in Cherry Hill, but the entire state.
"Unfortunately, my father passed away three years ago, but my mom was here and she was so proud,” says Mayor Angulo.
But shortly after she was sworn in, the coronavirus pandemic hit, and violence and hatred against Asian Americans became more prevalent.
"Being Asian America in the United States and experiencing COVID at the same time, there was a lot of challenges and difficulties associated with that and it's just a mix of feeling, but what I have to say is as an Asian American, one of the key things that we have to do is that we need to speak up and speak out,” says Mayor Angulo. “Speak out against discrimination against bigotry and against Xenophiles."
She says her goal is not only instill in her two teenage daughters to stand up to the type of hate, but to inspire change in their whole generation.
"I spoke at an anti-Asian hate rally and one of the greatest things that I saw in the crowd were young people,” says Mayor Angulo. “They were motivated, they were united and it was all sorts of young people, and I want to inspire these young Americans and young people that they can do anything that they want and be the next mayor of Cherry Hill as well."
Mayor Angulo says her favorite thing about her Korean heritage is the food. It’s also one of her favorite things about Cherry Hill as well.