As Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), I heartily congratulate Hansen Clarke (MI-13) and Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) for their congressional victories, and thank Reps. Anh Joseph Cao (LA-02) and Charles Djou (HI-01) for their service as Executive Board Members of CAPAC. It is becoming a common occurrence for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to make congressional history with each cycle.
This year, with his victory, Hansen Clarke will be sworn in as the first Bangladeshi American to serve in the US Congress. Trained as both a fine artist and a lawyer, he has two decades of experience serving the state of Michigan as a legislator.
Colleen Hanabusa is a national trailblazer in her own right, as she is the first woman to preside over either chamber of the Hawai'i State Legislature, and the first Asian-American or Pacific Islander woman in the nation to preside over a state legislative body.
I am confident in the leadership, integrity, experience, and creativity of both Clarke and Hanabusa, and look forward to working with these leaders to further strengthen the voices of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the halls of Congress.
I also want to thank Reps. Joseph Anh Cao and Charles Djou for their service as executive board members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
It has been a particular honor to serve in Congress alongside Rep. Cao, the first Vietnamese American Member of Congress. His own story has inspired new generations of Vietnamese American community leaders to make their voices heard in government, for some by seeking elected office. I am proud of all the work that we have done together as a caucus to ensure that the voices of Asian Americans in the Gulf Coast are heard, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and most recently, the Gulf Coast oil spill.
CAPAC has much to look forward to in the 112th Congress. We will continue to support Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses as they continue to boost our economy. We will continue to work to bring equity to our education system, fight against racial profiling, and pass comprehensive immigration reform.
CAPAC, invigorated by the election of its two incoming Members, will continue to work hard to represent the voices of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Congress as our nation tackles its top priorities.
Rep Honda (CA-15) is the Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.