Ramey Ko is a native Texan and first-generation American. His parents immigrated to the US from Taiwan in the 1970s to pursue education and economic opportunity in order to achieve the American Dream. His family had a humble start, living in Buffalo, NY, while his father finished his university degree and worked as a dishwasher and waiter. The family soon moved to Texas where Ramey was born. He was ingrained with his family’s core values of hard work and a commitment to education and community service.
Ramey’s own community activism took off during his time at Yale University, where he became an advocate for civil rights and political justice for underrepresented communities. It cemented his desire to dedicate his life to effecting positive change at every opportunity.
After graduating from Yale, Ramey’s progressive activism and leadership continued. As a University of Chicago law student, he campaigned for Howard Dean and for Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate race and was active in the Law School Democrats and other political advocacy organizations. Upon graduating with honors in 2006, he decided to pursue a career in public interest law and turned down an offer from a corporate law firm in Washington, D.C. and returned to Texas, where he took a fellowship in Austin with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid to work on issues related to family violence and housing.
After moving to Austin, Ramey jumped into local politics almost immediately, lending efforts to multiple local candidates and the Travis County Coordinated Campaign. At the end of 2006, he founded Asian Americans for Obama. By the 2008 election Asian Americans for Obama had turned into a highly organized, nation-wide network of grassroots activists and donors with multiple offices. He co-founded Texans for Obama and helped lead the organizing effort for now-President Obama’s 2007 visit to Austin. In 2007, he also co-founded the Capital Area Asian American Democrats and has been an active member of numerous local Democratic and progressive organizations.
Now a partner at Jung Ko, PLLC in Austin, Ramey’s legal career and volunteer efforts are still focused on community service. He serves as an Associate Judge with the City of Austin Municipal Court and as a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Asian American Studies. Additionally, he is a member of the City of Austin Public Safety Commission, a commissioner on President Obama’s White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, a board member of the Asian American Resource Center and GlobalAustin, and an advisory board member of the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce.