Three US Representatives Issue a Statement on the Shooting af Virginian Asian American

U.S. Representatives Grace Meng (NY-06), A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following joint statement today on the recent shooting death of Jiansheng Chen, a Chesapeake, VA. resident, who was playing Pokemon Go.

Jiansheng Chen on his 60th birthday.

Jiansheng Chen on his 60th birthday.

Late last month Chen, 60-years-old, was fatally shot by a neighborhood security guard; police are presently investigating the incident.

“We are deeply saddened over the death of Jiansheng Chen. We are also concerned about the manner and circumstances in which he lost his life. Many questions remain and need to be answered, and we call on local authorities to conduct their investigation thoroughly and expeditiously. We must know how a game of Pokémon Go turned into a fatal shooting.

“It is our hope that Congress will act in a bipartisan manner to ensure law enforcement personnel receive high quality, evidence-based training in non-lethal de-escalation tactics. We must continue to work together to emphasize the need for reasonable and effective polices that reflect our nation’s moral obligation to keep our communities safe.

“At this difficult time, we send our thoughts and prayers to the Chen family, and we eagerly await further information from law enforcement about this tragic incident.”

On the passing year/ resolution

More than a couple of people have said to me that 2016 has been the worst year of their lives, and how they will be glad to see it end.

It certainly has been a year of aberrations. From Brexit to World Series Cubs to the Colombian people rejecting the FARC deal (and it going through anyways), 2016 has been unique if nothing else.

In thinking about milestones and experiences, I want to hearken back to one particular moment and one particular person. In the middle of the 2016 DNCC, which was a spectacular feat of imagery and logistical organization, we found out that Joe Montano passed. Waves of shock and grief spread through the AAPI, Virginia, and California communities at the DNC. But of course it wasn’t limited to us, as his reputation preceded him. He’d organized with and trained many, and people referred to him as a kuya, or older brother. I personally broke down in a stairwell while writing his memorial. Security saw me sobbing and didn’t bother moving me.

At the end of an exhilarating and exhaustive week in Philly, many of us came together in a crowded Reading Market restaurant stall to have a memorial for Joe. We vowed to fight in his name and to “live like Joe” – to live kind lives full of joy and to be humble and gracious. It was months before the nightmare of the presidential election results.

It just crossed my mind how Joe was the first person I introduced a St. Louis friend who was relocating to central Virginia to, and how kind and rapid his response was. That was one of the many kind things Joe did for friends and strangers alike.

My resolution after this long and strange year is to pay it forward, uplift new leaders, find new allies, continue treating all people with respect, and to fight like the dickens for overlooked communities. The last part might seem slightly out of sync, but Joe was always giving voice to those who couldn’t speak for themselves. And we, we have to give voice to our deepest selves, and find reserves that we didn’t know that we had. And try to find the joy along the way. There’s a lot in life to celebrate, even amidst the political turmoil. Joe would turn to us with a playful twinkle in his eye, flash his pearly whites, and share his latest joke. #LiveLikeJoe


Get Engaged! Celebrate Diversity! Rally to Elect Hillary Clinton as President

Rally to Elect Hillary Clinton as President Saturday, October 8, 2016 11:00 to 3:00

On behalf of the AAA-Fund and many like-minded sponsors, we invite you to join Saturday’s Rally to Elect Hillary Clinton as President. It will be a chance to celebrate diversity as we work together in civic engagement.

Register today

Saturday, October 8, 2016 • 11:00am – 3:00pm
Northern Virginia Community College – Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center- Forum Room• 8333 Little River Turnpike , Annandale, VA 22003-3796


  • Governor Terry McAuliffe
  • Congressman Gerry Connolly
  • The Honorable Christopher P. Lu
  • The Honorable Phyllis J. Randall
  • Allida M. Black
  • Neera Tanden

Food Trucks, Live Music, Special Guest Performances and Celebrities

Hear From Experts On

  • Voter Registration
  • Early Voting/Absentee Ballots
  • In-Language Persuasion Materials

Y’all come. Mark “Attending” on the Facebook Event.

In Memory of Joe Montano

Joe Montano

We deeply regret the sudden passing of our good friend and colleague, Joe Montano, whose life was recently cut short at the age of 47.

At the time of his passing, Joe was serving as Northern Virginia Regional Director for Senator Tim Kaine. He had previously held significant organizing positions at Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee, and the Virginia Democratic Party. He was also active in the Asian American community, including serving as Executive Director of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations. As a veteran field organizer, advocate for those in need, and coalition builder, Joe was a guiding light to all of us who are dedicated to public service and community empowerment.

Many of us counted Joe as an advisor, a strategist, and a mentor on field organizing, politics, and community engagement. But all of us, yes all of us, counted Joe as a friend. Joe was special, especially in the political world. He was so very solid and dependable. His warm smile, playful personality, impeccable dress, and spiky hair lit up the room when he walked in. When he shook your hand and flashed his pearly whites, his warmth and reassurance always made you feel lighter. You just knew that everything would turn out ok if Joe was at your side.

Upon learning of Joe’s untimely passing, Senator Kaine issued the following statement:

“My staff and I are deeply saddened by the death of our Northern Virginia Regional Director, Joe Montano. Joe was an outstanding representative of this office, enthusiastic servant of the people of Northern Virginia, and admired colleague by all who worked with him. We will remember him by his positive energy, tireless work ethic, and infectious smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s family.”

At the recent DNC Convention, Senator Kaine spoke fondly of Joe, stating that:

“Joe was a proud member of an immigrant family and a patriotic American. If you know Joe you never saw him without a big smile and a booming laugh that would get everyone’s attention. He was a bridge builder who brought together the beautiful rainbow of Virginia’s diversity to talk about the hard issues. We must go forward out of respect and memory for our great friend and Virginia democrat Joe Montano.”

With his considerable talent, personal qualities, and dedication, Joe helped not just Virginians but Filipino and Asian Pacific Americans across the country. He had a bright career and a presidential campaign to look forward to. Joe was poised to help even more people, reach even more Asian Pacific Americans, and advocate more broadly for immigrants and people in need.

As shocked and saddened as we are by his untimely passing, we must find inspiration in Joe’s spirit and legacy. We must and we will rededicate ourselves to the battle that he fought with us for so many years.

Rest in peace good friend.

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