Helen Gym took office Monday as the first Asian-American woman to ever serve on the Philadelphia City Council, NBC News reported. She will serve in a citywide at-large seat.
A second-generation Korean American, Gym is a longtime grassroots community organizer and public education advocate who rose to national prominence through her work on a 2010 federal civil rights case to end the bullying and harassment of Asian-American students in a Philadelphia high school.
Gym has been a board member and past executive director of Asian Americans United, a Philadelphia Chinatown advocacy organization. She was also named a White House Cesar Chavez Champion of Change in 2014 and one of Philadelphia Magazine's 75 most influential people in the city.
Gym spoke to NBC News about her new role and her plans for Philadelphia: