(Left to right) APAICS Board Member Fred Underwood, APAICS Chairman Emeritus David Kim, Mayor Allan Fung, Mayor Edwin Lee, Mayor Jean Quan, former Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, APAICS Board Member Howard Moon, APAICS Acting Executive Director Ruby G. Moy
Washington, D.C. (January 21, 2011) – The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies and Amgen, a human therapeutics company in the biotechnology industry, together hosted a reception last Friday in the Capitol Visitor Center honoring Asian Pacific American Mayors.
The reception was attended by approximately160 people and highlighted two historic firsts from the Bay Area: Mayor Edwin Lee, the first Asian American Mayor of San Francisco, and Mayor Jean Quan, the first female and first Asian American Mayor of Oakland, as well as the first Asian American woman to become mayor of any major U.S. city.
“Although it has been a few years since our last mayors’ reception, we felt that it was particularly important to host one this year due to the historic significance of Mayor Lee and Mayor Quan’s new roles,” said Ruby G. Moy, Acting Executive Director of APAICS. “San Francisco and Oakland are home to two of the nation’s oldest Chinatowns, but only now do we see their top leadership posts reflecting the diversity of their communities.”
Mayor Lee, who was sworn into his position only eight days earlier, spoke about his personal approach to serving in public office. “I have an opportunity to share this position with so many others, and open doors for a lot of people who have been shut out in the past,” said Lee. “That’s what running government should be about.”
Mayor Quan discussed the difficult odds she had to overcome in her underdog bid to become Oakland’s mayor. “If you’re going to make history, if you’re going to change things, you have to take that risk,” she explained.
In addition to the two mayors, the event featured remarks by former Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, who previously served as the first Asian American mayor of San Jose and the first Asian American to head any major U.S. city. APAICS Board Member Howard Moon emceed the evening’s event and introduced all three speakers.
“Secretary Mineta, Mayor Lee, and Mayor Quan are more than just trailblazers for the Asian Pacific American community,” said Moon. “They are public servants in the truest sense, and have each devoted decades of their lives to making government work for the people.”
Several other Asian Pacific American mayors also attended the reception, including Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (West Sacramento, CA), Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. (Kauai, HI), Mayor Allan Fung (Cranston, RI), Mayor Mike Gin (Redondo Beach, CA), Mayor William P. Kenoi (Hawai’i County, HI), and Mayor Gilbert Wong (Cupertino, CA). Mayors Cabaldon, Fung, Gin, and Quan are all past participants in the APAICS Leadership Academy for Elected Officials.
The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies is a national non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting APIA participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office. Founded in 1994 by former Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, APAICS serves as a resource to Congress and the general public on issues related to the political advancement of Asian Pacific Americans. www.apaics.org