Samuel Lauderdale Park (born October 1, 1985) is an American politician and lawyer, who was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in the 2016 elections. A member of the Democratic Party, he represents the 101st district.
|Member of the Georgia House of Representatives|
from the 101st district
|Assumed office |
January 9, 2017
|Preceded by||Valerie Clark|
Samuel Lauderdale Park
October 1, 1985
|Education||Georgia State University (BA, BS, JD)|
American University (LLM)
Early life and educationEdit
Born and raised in Georgia, Sam Park is the grandson of refugees from the Korean War, and the son of Korean American immigrants. Through the HOPE Scholarship, Park attended Georgia State University where he obtained a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Economics. He went on to earn his J.D. degree from Georgia State University College of Law and his LL.M. from American University Washington College of Law.
Early political careerEdit
During his second year of law school, Sam took a Health, Legislation, and Advocacy course where he drafted a bill to provide skilled nursing services to medically-fragile children. This was his first opportunity to work in the Georgia General Assembly. During the 2012 legislative session he met and interned for Stacey Abrams who was minority leader of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus at that time. He served as a legal extern for the Georgia Senate Democratic Caucus during the 2013 legislative session. He then worked as a legal aide for Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin. He also worked on Jason Carter's 2014 gubernatorial campaign and Jon Ossoff's 2017 campaign.
Georgia House of RepresentativesEdit
Park was inspired to run for political office after his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was able to receive treatment through public health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. Park won the 101st district with 51.1% of the vote despite his opponent, incumbent Republican Chairwoman Valerie Clark, being favored during the campaign.
Sam is the first openly gay man to be elected to the state legislature in Georgia and the first Asian American Democrat ever elected to the Georgia General Assembly. In 2017, Sam was appointed to serve as a Deputy Whip of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus.
In 2018, Sam was re-elected with 58.81% of the vote, and was selected to serve as the Vice-Chair of the Gwinnett State House Delegation.
Park was selected as one of seventeen speakers to jointly deliver the keynote address at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Park was the first Korean-American to be part of a national party convention keynote address, and he, Malcolm Kenyatta, and Robert Garcia were the first openly gay speakers in a keynote slot at a Democratic National Convention.
- "Meet Sam Park, First Openly Gay Man Elected to Georgia's General Assembly". NBC News Asian America, November 30, 2016.
- "Sam Park Is the First Openly Gay Man Elected to the Georgia Legislature". Out, November 9, 2016.
- Fouriezos, Nick (June 24, 2018). "Meet the Millennial Georgian Inspiring Asian American Voters". OZY.
- Farner, Keith (November 8, 2016). "Sam Park knocks off incumbent Valerie Clark in House 101 race". Gwinnett Daily Post.
- "Democrats Unveil A New Kind of Convention Keynote". 2020 Democratic National Convention. 16 August 2020. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
|Party political offices|
| Keynote Speaker of the Democratic National Convention
Served alongside: Stacey Abrams, Raumesh Akbari, Colin Allred, Brendan Boyle, Yvanna Cancela, Kathleen Clyde, Nikki Fried, Robert Garcia, Malcolm Kenyatta, Marlon Kimpson, Conor Lamb, Mari Manoogian, Victoria Neave, Jonathan Nez, Denny Ruprecht, Randall Woodfin