SACRAMENTO (Dec. 3, 2012) — The Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus elected California Assemblymembers Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) to serve as its new chair and vice-chair, respectively, starting December 3, 2012. Their term will run through the 2013 – 2014 legislative session.
The API Legislative Caucus was established in 2001 with the mission of representing and advocating for the diverse interests of California’s Asian & Pacific Islander American (APIA) community. Additionally, the Caucus seeks to increase APIA participation and representation in all levels of government.
“I am honored to serve as the chair of the API Legislative Caucus, and I would like to thank the previous chair and vice-chair, former-Assemblymembers Warren T. Furutani (D-South Los Angeles County) and Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) for their tireless leadership on behalf of the APIA community,” stated Assemblymember Paul Fong. “Making up 15.5 percent of California’s population, APIAs have proven to be a powerful force, and I hope continue to build on this movement to ensure fair representation of APIAs in state government.”
“I am honored to serve as vice chair of the API Legislative Caucus,” said Assemblyman Williams. “Our greatest strength and resource in California is our diversity. As an Indonesian-American, I believe strongly that our diversity makes us a greater state, and I look forward to advancing the goals and ideas of all people and communities in California. The API Caucus will make progress on issues that are valued by all Californians.”
The four API legislators not returning from the 2011 – 2012 legislative session includes Assemblymembers Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park), Warren Furutani, Mary Hayashi, and Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco). Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D–Oakland), Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), Al Muratsuchi (D–Torrance), and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) will be joining the API Legislative Caucus as first year Members.
In the November 2012 election, the API Caucus maintained a number of eleven Members of the California State Legislature, which is the highest number of APIAs ever to serve at one time. Notably, Assemblymember Rob Bonta will be the first Filipino American to serve in the California State Legislature. The remaining members of the API Legislative Caucus returning include: Assemblymembers Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) and Senators Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge), Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), and Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo).