In 2009, President Obama issued a proclamation establishing May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to celebrate the culture, traditions and history of AAPI communities. The Democratic National Committee released the following statements today honoring AAPI Heritage Month and the President’s positive impact on AAPI communities:
Statement from DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
“Throughout this month, we honor the important contributions of AAPI communities to our national identity. From Hawaii’s plantations to America’s railroads to our vibrant Chinatowns and Japantowns, we recognize the role that AAPIs have played and will continue to play in American history. Members of AAPI communities across the country have given so much for our great nation, having suffered and sacrificed along the way. They have worked to achieve the American Dream and continue to invest in building a prosperous future for our country.
“We have seen significant progress under President Obama’s policies with respect to improving the lives of AAPIs nationwide. We’ve helped 7.6 million AAPI workers keep more money in their pockets, provided $7 billion and counting in loans to AAPI small business owners, and signed into law 18 different tax cuts for AAPI-owned small businesses. Through the Affordable Care Act, we have expanded access to preventive care and treatment and improved language access. The President appointed three AAPI members to his Cabinet, and he has doubled the number of AAPIs on the federal bench. While we’re proud of all that we have achieved, we also know there is more work to do. That’s why it is absolutely critical that we re-elect President Obama in November and continue to move our country forward, giving AAPIs and all Americans a fair shot at the American Dream.”
Statement from DNC Vice Chair Mike Honda:
“This Heritage Month, we are reminded of our hard-fought progress through the decades, and certainly in the last four years since President Obama’s historic election. Let us celebrate the progress we’ve made with AAPI communities and work together to eliminate disparities that negatively impact AAPIs. President Obama understands the diverse challenges our AAPI communities face. He reinstated the White House Initiative on AAPIs and the Advisory Commission on AAPIs, which have provided a constant voice connecting AAPI communities with federal agencies.
“We must not backslide from what we have accomplished for AAPI students, families, seniors and small businesses. We certainly need four more years to continue that work. In 2008, AAPI voters turned out in record numbers to vote for the President. With all that’s at stake, we will aim to have AAPI voters break records again in support of the President and Democrats running for Congress. There is too much at stake, and we need to support our President who will keep fighting to increase opportunities for AAPIs and all Americans.”
Statement from Bel Leong-Hong, Chair of the DNC Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus:
“For more than two centuries, Democrats have represented the interests of working families, representing values – hard work, equality and opportunity – shared by AAPIs. As we celebrate another Heritage Month, we should also look to the political empowerment that will move AAPIs and all Americans forward. I look forward to AAPIs helping re-elect President Obama and elect the record number of AAPIs running for public office. It’s crucial that AAPIs continue to support Democratic candidates who advocate for our issues and struggles. We need to support the President, maintain the Democratic majority in the Senate, and retake the majority in the House because there is still more work to do for AAPIs and all Americans.”