ST. PAUL (March 19, 2012) — The State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans on Monday held its annual Asian Pacific Day at the Capitol with the theme of “Educational Success for Every Student.”
The annual Asian Pacific Day at the Capitol is held as a way to help deliver concerns from community members directly to state legislators and for community members to hear from state and community leaders. In an address to an estimated audience of one hundred and fifty people, Gov. Dayton spoke about the great importance of the Asian Pacific community in Minnesotan as well as the need to support public education.
“It’s an honor to be with you today and to welcome you to your capitol,” Dayton said. “All of you represent the future of Minnesota, especially the younger people here who are the future leaders of our state and nation. Your success and of the members of your community are essential to making Minnesota a successful state, and that’s why we need a partnership together, that’s why I need the benefit of your advice and wisdom, and that’s why I want to extend an invitation to join with my administration in working together to benefit all people in our state. … We need to make sure that each child in Minnesota has the best possible educational opportunity. … Your presence here today is important because it means we are going to work together, we are going to pool our resources, our knowledge, our expertise, and our wisdom. I look forward to working with you in the years ahead.”
Over 30 community organizations, groups, and institutions signed on as sponsors of the event and an estimated 150 people attended the public rally. Other speakers included Comm. Kevin Lindsey (MN Dept. of Human Rights), Asst. Comm. Rose Chu (MN Dept. of Education), Sen. John Harrington, Sen. Linda Higgins, Sen. Mary Jo McGuire, Sen. Sandy Pappas, Rep. Dean Urdahl, Supt. Valeria Silva (St. Paul Public Schools), Rick Mills (Minneapolis Public Schools CEO), David Zander, Khao Insixiengmay, Vichet Chhuon, Kazoua Kong-Thao, and Chao Lee.
For a day focused on education, it was fitting that the public rally opened with a performance by the Malaysian Student Association and closed with speeches from students from the University of Minnesota and Roseville Area High School. Prior to the rally, community members were able to attend an advocacy training conducted by Organizing Apprenticeship Project.
The Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, created in 1985, is a state agency that advises the Minnesota state legislature and governor’s office on issues pertaining to the Asian Pacific community. The Asian Pacific Day at the Capitol has been held each year since the creation of the Council.