WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 14, 2015) — The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) on Wednesday hosted a symposium on the growing impact of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
The event included remarks from Congressional leaders – including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer – and Members of CAPAC as well a presentation on understanding AAPI community by Dr. Taeku Lee, professor of Political Science at U.C. Berkeley. The remarks highlighted CAPAC’s progress in addressing the critical issues within the AAPI community.
“There was once a time when Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) were invisible in Washington, D.C.,” said CAPAC Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27). “But not anymore. Today’s event – which attracted over 600 registered attendees from all across the country – was one of the largest APA Heritage Month celebrations that has ever been seen in the Capitol.
“It is a testament to the increasing influence of the AAPI community, which is now the fastest growing racial group in the nation,” she added. “We see that growth reflected in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) as well.
“CAPAC is comprised of 48 Members of Congress, who are either of Asian or Pacific Islander descent or represent districts with large AAPI populations. In fact, today there are now 14 AAPI Members of Congress – an historic high! And together, with the Congressional Hispanic and Black Caucuses – or what we call the Tri-Caucus – we make up over half of the Democratic members of the House! In the executive branch, we have gone from 8 AAPI federal judges 6 years ago to 26 today. I am so proud of how far we have come and the role of CAPAC in helping AAPIs break through the glass ceiling.”
Dr. Lee’s presentation stated that AAPIs play an increasingly pivotal role in U.S. government and are poised to increasingly provide the margin of victory in coming years.