WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 9, 2016) — President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday released a Lunar New Year greeting, along with similar sentiments from members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and House Democratic leadership.
President Barack Obama:
“Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year across America and around the world. This is a time filled with family, get-togethers, and anticipation for the New Year – a tradition I remember fondly from growing up in Hawaii.
It’s a time that also gives us the opportunity to honor the many contributions of the Americans who celebrate this holiday. Whether they’ve been here for generations or they’re newly arrived, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have helped build our country and make us a beacon to the world. Their stories are woven into our larger story – the patchwork quilt that is America – and they remind us that our strength comes from giving everyone a chance to contribute and welcoming each other into our communities. That’s why Congress needs to reform our broken immigration system. In the meantime, we’ll do what we can to make the system work better for families, workers, students, and entrepreneurs. And we’ll keep fighting to give everyone a fair shot in the year ahead.
The Year of the Monkey emphasizes shared values like leadership, innovation, and progress. It’s an opportunity to cherish the rich heritage that connects children with their past, and the traditions they’ll carry into the future. So to everyone celebrating, from my family to yours, I wish you happiness, prosperity, and good health and fortune during the New Year!”
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“Happy Lunar New Year to those in the United States and around the world who are welcoming the Year of the Monkey! As we celebrate this joyous occasion, let us also honor the vibrant cultural heritage of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and celebrate the rich contributions that AAPIs have made in strengthening our nation. As our communities grow, I hope that more states and cities move to make Lunar New Year an official holiday. May the Year of the Monkey bring good fortune, health, and prosperity to all!”
Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Chair Emeritus:
“Happy Lunar New Year. Today, we celebrate with family and friends and welcome the Year of the Monkey alongside our diverse Asian American communities. I hope this year brings peace, prosperity, and good health for all.”
Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Whip:
“My warmest wishes are with everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year in the U.S. and around the world. I hope you enjoy the traditions and time you share with your friends and family during the holiday season. Let this year, the Year of the Monkey, bring health, happiness, and good fortune to you and your loved ones.”
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12):
“Each Lunar New Year marks a period of celebration, reflection, and optimism for Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the United States and celebrants around the globe. As AAPI communities celebrate the Year of the Monkey – recognized for curiosity, cleverness, and creativity – let us all embrace those characteristics as we strive to meet the challenges facing our nation.
“San Francisco has long relied on the contributions of our AAPI community to achieve progress for all. As home to one of America’s largest, strongest AAPI communities, we are proud to host one of the world’s most festive Lunar New Year celebrations. The Chinese New Year parade and many Lunar New Year celebrations in the region contribute to the Bay Area’s beautiful diversity and rich cultural heritage.
“As we celebrate the achievements of AAPIs and the significance of the immigrant experience for our city and our nation, let us rely on our shared creativity, cleverness, and curiosity to ensure equality of opportunity for all hard-working Americans, not just the privileged few. I offer my warmest wishes on the year of the Monkey.”
Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus:
“As the representative in Congress for several vibrant Asian American communities in Los Angeles, including Chinatown and Koreatown, it’s my privilege to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The New Year is a time to reflect on those who have come before us and to look forward to the future. In Los Angeles and our country, Asian Americans have made a lasting mark with their economic, cultural and civic contributions. My district is home to many cherished festivities and traditions that recognize the many ways Asian Americans and their heritage have enriched us. With more than one and a half million Asian Americans in Los Angeles County alone, we know that our strength lies on our diversity. I wish everyone celebrating the Year of the Monkey good health, prosperity and peace in the coming year.”
Congressman Joseph Crowley (NY-14), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus:
“Gung Hay Fat Choy! The Lunar New Year is a reminder of the great culture and diversity we have in New York and across our country. It is also a time to reflect on the many contributions the Asian-American community has made to our nation. I send my best wishes to all those celebrating for a peaceful, healthy, and successful new year.”
Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08):
“I am proud of my Chinese-Thai heritage and was pleased to help ring in the Lunar New Year at the Asian American Coalition’s celebration in Chicago this weekend. I can’t wait to see the incredible contributions Asian Americans will make to our economy, culture and communities in the coming year, as they have for generations.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):
“Sending my warmest regards for a happy New Year to those in the East Bay and around the world celebrating the beginning of the Year of the Monkey. As we start this new year, my wish is that yours is filled with health, happiness and prosperity.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06):
“It is a pleasure to send my warmest wishes to all who celebrate Lunar New Year. This year, in my home city of New York City, it is the first time that our schools are closed for the holiday. When I first proposed creating this school holiday back in 2009 – when I was a member of the New York State Legislature – nobody took it seriously and people even laughed. There was little support for it and people constantly told me that it would never happen. Now, here we are. I am proud to have helped lead the charge to secure this school holiday in New York City, and now I renew my call for Congress to officially recognize Lunar New Year. With the popularity of the holiday continuing to grow, it’s time for that to happen, and I’ll be introducing a resolution in the House that seeks to get it done in 2016.”
Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33):
“Happy Lunar New Year to all those celebrating the Year of the Monkey! As an Asian American Member of Congress, I am proud to recognize this significant holiday and to represent a district in California that has so profoundly benefited from the rich cultural diversity of generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As my family and I – and so many families around the world – celebrate this day, I wish you all a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year!”
Congressman Mark Takai (HI-01):
“Kung Hee Fat Choy to all those who celebrate Lunar New Year. I hope this year of the monkey brings you prosperity and joy. Under the sign of the monkey, it is an especially fruitful time for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Best wishes to you and yours!”
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47):
“Tet is an opportunity to honor one’s ancestors while rejoicing in the prosperity and joy the New Year symbolizes. As we usher in the Lunar New Year and welcome the Year of the Monkey, I wish all those who are celebrating a year filled with good health, good fortune and great happiness. I am proud to represent an incredibly diverse and culturally rich district that adds to our nation’s ever evolving tapestry and recognizes the many contributions Asian Americans have made—and continue to make—within our communities.”
Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):
“I want to wish my district a prosperous Lunar New Year filled with happiness, good health, and good fortune. Here in San Diego, the Asian Pacific American community makes significant contributions to our diverse cultural heritage and enriches our region’s history. As a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I am proud to represent this growing community in Washington, D.C. and look forward to our future work together. Happy Year of the Monkey!”
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46):
“I wish to extend my warmest wishes to those in America and around the world celebrating the Lunar New Year. I am proud to represent strong Asian American communities and I value their countless contributions to communities across America. I am optimistic for the year ahead and I hope it brings you and your loved ones good health and good fortune!”
Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-28):
“Happy Year of the Monkey! I’m honored to join the AAPI community – in the 28thDistrict of California and all across the country – to ring in a new lunar year which I hope will bring good health, peace, and prosperity to all. Our cultural diversity is a part of what makes our region great, and it is an honor to represent the AAPI community in Congress.”
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09):
“Each Lunar New Year we celebrate the diverse communities that enrich our nation’s culture. As we ring in the Year of the Monkey we honor the important contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders both in the 9th Congressional District and around the world. Best wishes for good fortune and peace and a Happy Lunar New Year to all!”
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.