Ending the Attacks on Asians

In light of recent attacks and hate crimes targeting South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Middle Eastern, and Jewish communities – including the recent shooting of two South Asian men in Olathe, Kansas and the shooting of a Sikh man in Kent, Washington – Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:

“The alarming number of attacks facing the South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Middle Eastern, and Jewish communities is appalling and must end. The recent shooting of Deep Rai, a Sikh American, outside of his home in Washington follows the murder of Srinivas Kuchibotla and attempted murder of Alok Madasani in Kansas. The stark parallels in these cases are undeniable. In both attacks, the assailants told the victims to go back to their country before opening fire on them.

“While both shootings are now being investigated as hate crimes, this is not enough to stymie the increase in xenophobic attacks targeting communities of color and religious minorities that we have seen since the presidential election. In fact, just last week, we learned of the fatal shooting of another Indian man, Harnish Patel, who was murdered outside of his home in Lancaster, South Carolina. While the facts of this particular case are still being investigated, it is clear that we must do more to address the surging tide of hate and the emboldened anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric plaguing our national discourse.

“This begins with President Trump and our nation’s leaders not only condemning these incidents of hate, but also moving away from the dangerous rhetoric that has enabled this violence to flourish. We must also take proactive steps to investigate and prevent future hate crimes impacting our communities. These hateful actions run contrary to our values as a nation and have no place in our society. No community should have to live in a constant state of fear in their own country.”

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.

AAA-Fund Applauds the Appointment of Congresswoman Judy Chu to the Ways & Means Committee

Congresswoman Judy Chu
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced that the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee has recommended to the Democratic Caucus that Congresswoman Judy Chu of California be appointed to the House Ways & Means Committee, filling the vacancy left by Congressman Xavier Becerra. The Democratic Caucus approved the appointment this morning.

“With House Republicans scheming to rip health care away from millions of Americans and create chaos throughout our whole economy, Congresswoman Judy Chu will stand firm on the frontlines to protect health reform and address the urgent needs of working families,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said. “Congresswoman Chu is a strong champion of small businesses and an advocate for creating good-paying jobs. As a Member of the Ways & Means Committee, Congresswoman Chu’s toughness and tenacity will prove critical in our shared fight for the urgent needs of hard-working American families.”

CAPAC Members Recognize Korean American Day

Editor’s Note: The below is a reposting of “CAPAC Members Recognize Korean American Day” from our friends at CAPAC (Facebook, Twitter).

January 11, 2013
Contact: Gene Kim, 202.225.5464

CAPAC Members Recognize Korean American Day

January 13 marks 110 years since the first Korean Immigrants Arrived in the U.S.

Washington, DC – Today, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements recognizing January 13th as Korean American Day and celebrating the 110th anniversary of the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States:

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair: “This Sunday, as we recognize Korean American Day, we will be marking the 110th Anniversary of the first Korean immigrants’ arrival to the United States. Since then, Korean Americans have contributed significantly to every facet of our society – they are our neighbors, our colleagues, our servicemen and women, and leaders in business, faith, and civic life. The success of the Korean American community reflects the hard work, opportunity, and multiculturalism that have long defined the driving spirit of our nation.”

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI): “On January 13, 1903, more than 100 Korean men, women and children arrived in Honolulu aboard the S.S. Gaelic, marking the first wave of Korean immigration to the United States and its territories. Today, we celebrate Korean American Day on January 13 to recognize the tremendous contributions Korean Americans have made to our country – from business to entertainment, medicine to elected office – since those first families took the risk in search of greater opportunities. Hawaii, and our country as a whole, is a better place because of the contributions our Korean American brothers and sisters have made.”

Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus: “On Korean American Day we celebrate a community whose heritage, talent and spirit have helped America grow and prosper. For more than a century after the arrival of the first Korean immigrants, Korean Americans have made significant economic, cultural, and civic contributions all across the nation, in all walks of life. I am proud to represent such a strong and vibrant Korean American community here in Los Angeles – one that will continue to enrich our diversity and play an important role in America’s success.”

Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Chair Emeritus: “As we commemorate Korean American Day, I am proud to celebrate and acknowledge the indelible contributions and accomplishments of the Korean American community to the fabric and story of America. One hundred and ten years ago, on January 13, 102 men, women and children traveled from the Korean Peninsula, aboard the S.S. Gaelic, and landed in Hawaii – marking the first entry of Korean immigrants on U.S. shores. Since their arrival, the Korean American community has enriched our nation’s society, culture, economy and arts – becoming the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal for the U.S. and male diver to win back-to-back diving gold medals; to serving with distinction in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I, II and the Korean Conflict, as well in high level posts in our current Administration and judicial seats; while making invaluable strides in entrepreneurship and medicine; and bridging the ties between U.S. and South Korea. I feel a particular sense of family and affection to Korean Americans, and to Korea, where I recently traveled in the past week. And I am especially honored to represent California’s 17th District, where I know Korean Americans have played a critical role in our community and diversity. Today, alongside the nearly two million Korean Americans across our nation, I am honored to celebrate their continued journey.”

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo: “I am proud to represent a strong Korean American community on Guam that has made many contributions to our local businesses and government. Korean Americans remain integral to our economy and enrich cultural exchanges throughout our country. On this day, we celebrate the invaluable contributions they have made since the arrivals of the first Korean immigrants in 1903.”

Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (AS): “Together with the Korean American community, we celebrate Korean American Day and the 110th anniversary of the first Korean immigrants to the United States. From the first wave of Korean immigrants who arrived in 1903 in Hawai’i, then a U.S. territory, the Korean American community has grown to over 1.7 million people.

“Despite the obstacles faced at a time when Korean immigration was impeded by the Oriental Exclusion Act of 1924, Korean Americans have contributed immeasurably to American society and culture, establishing productive communities throughout our nation. Korean Americans also serve in our armed forces, in public office, and in various positions of authority in our government. Today I especially honor their sacrifice and patriotism as they have made America their home.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13): “As the Representative of California’s 13th District, one of the most culturally rich and diverse in the nation, I am pleased to observe Korean American Day. Korean Americans have long contributed to our nation in every field of endeavor and walk of life and I am pleased to recognize the many invaluable contributions that enrich our culture, boost our economy and strengthen our district, the State of California and our nation.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-6): “I am proud to join with the Korean American community in celebrating Korean American Day. 110 years ago, the first Korean immigrants to the United States arrived in Hawaii seeking the American dream. Today, Korean Americans represent a vibrant community that has enriched our country’s values, traditions, culture and history. I am honored to represent a strong and vibrant Korean American community in New York, and I salute all of the tremendous contributions that Korean Americans have made to our nation.”

Congressman Joseph Crowley (NY-14): “Korean Americans are an essential part of our neighborhoods, communities, businesses and houses of worship in New York and across America. The Korean American community has made so many positive contributions to our nation, and our society and culture are richer because of it. I’m proud to join my fellow Americans in celebrating this important day.”

Congressman Charles B. Rangel (NY-13): “Since the pioneers have arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii, on January 13, 1903, Koreans have played and continue to serve a vital role in shaping communities throughout our great Nation. Whether in military, education, science, business, sports or the arts, Korean Americans have excelled and shown that the American Dream is alive. I am truly proud of the Korean American community with their strong families and successful businesses, active civic associations, churches, and charities that add to the greatness of our country. Congratulations on your remarkable achievements. I look forward to continuing the friendship I hold so dear. As a Korean War Veteran, Korea and the Korean people will always have a place in my heart.”
Congresswoman Linda T. Sanchez (CA-38): “Korean Americans have played an integral role in enriching our cultural fabric by the contributions they have made to our country. Their values and entrepreneurial spirit have helped grow our country and strengthened our communities. I am proud to represent a large and vibrant Korean American population in my district. I encourage all Americans to join me in recognizing the accomplishments and history of Korean Americans.”
Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-28): “This Sunday is Korean American Day. It is the diversity of our nation that makes us great, fascinating, vibrant and always rejuvenating, and I am pleased to join my constituents and many throughout the nation as we celebrate the culture and recognize the contributions of the Korean American community.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09): “Today, on Korean American Day, I join all Americans in celebrating the culture and achievements of the Korean American community. Korean Americans are an important and inspirational group in our nation. With awe-inspiring art, delicious cuisine, and advancements in philosophy, science, and technology, Korean Americans have enriched the country with a unique perspective and much needed cultural diversity. Korean Americans are leaders in the community as business owners, members of our Armed Services, community organizers, and life saving professionals proving that they are essential to the success and well being of our nation.”
Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD-08): “Korean American Day is a time to celebrate the shared sacrifices and contributions of not just Americans of Korean descent, but all Americans. We are one nation comprised of many, and we are made stronger because of our diversity in support of common values. On this day, we come together to recognize the important role the Korean American community has played in the rich cultural heritage of our country.”

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.

The 2012 DNC AAPI Caucus

The second AAPI caucus meeting was well-attended and filled with remarks from a number of Asian American politicians, several Secretaries, and one Second Lady. I wish I could say the same for the first meeting, but I wasn’t there. It was over by the time I picked up my media credentials. Lesson learned.

Congresswoman Judy Chu, Chair of CAPAC, reminded everyone in the room that President Obama is good for our community, and I don’t just mean Asian Americans. Delegate Madeleine Bordallo of Guam reminded us President Obama grew up an island boy — he doesn’t forget about the territories. Perhaps the key takeaway from Chu’s remarks, Republicans are working so hard to prevent those who wish to register to vote from doing so — 81% of first time voters voted for Obama in 2008. Congressman Honda, former chair of CAPAC, rightfully declared Asian Americans the theoretical margin of victory, but only if we register to vote. Only 55% of eligible Asian Americans are registered.

Chu also focused on the anti-Asian sentiments percolating throughout unsavory elements of the American polity with particular focus on Pete Hoekstra bringing in yellowgirl in Michigan in the year of the 30th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s murder.

Chris Lu, President Obama’s Cabinet Secretary, noted that 2012 is not only the 30th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s murder but also the 70th anniversary of the Japanese Internment and 130th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Lu also reminded us that before President Obama, a meeting of every Asian American Secretary throughout history would fit at a table for 2. Now if they all got together, there are many board games they wouldn’t be able to play together since Obama appointed the third, fourth, and fifth Asian American Secretaries.

Secretary Arne Duncan gave some of the best news of the caucus — the Department of Education is working to dispel the model minority myth. Duncan also shared that this was his first convention and he’s having a great time. There’s always something special about one’s first. Duncan stressed the importance of America leading the world in college graduation; the Department of Education is working to make that happen.

Secretary Hilda Solis reflected the feelings of many, many people. The Democratic National Convention looks like America, unlike the Republican National Convention. Solis also celebrated AAPI politicians and leaders, whom she collectively referred to as “fast and effective.” Solis’s words also included high praise for Michelle Obama.

Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff, also praised the First Lady, noting how critical her work on childhood obesity is to many AAPI communities. Tchen reminded the crowd that 17 new Asian American federal judges have been appointed and confirmed thanks to President Obama with 3 more on track for confirmation.

Former White House Chief of Staff Pete Rouse expanded on the theme of federal judges, making the point Gautam says is ignored in this presidential race — 2 SCOTUS nominations could arise in the next presidential term. Rouse also urged everyone in the room to make their best efforts to maximize turnout.

Dr. Jill Biden appeared for a few brief remarks largely stressing the importance of involvement in the political process.

Maya Soetoro-Ng also spoke.

Daniel Inouye gave a speech that should have been televised.

Mayor Ed Lee was the most amusing speaker, upstaging Mike Honda, who usually has no competition for most amusing:

I’ll be short because I am.

On a personal note, I don’t know if anyone in the room needed or made use of it, but I greatly appreciate the accessibility provided to the hard-of-hearing:

– Justin Gillenwater

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