Asian Pacific Caucus Hosts First Panel
New SPPD student group looks at issues involving the Asian American community.
The event’s featured speaker earlier this month was Judy Chu, chair of the California State Board of Equalization.
The board is responsible for collecting state sales and use tax, as well as other taxes and fees, which support essential state and local government programs and services such as education, health care, law enforcement, social welfare, transportation, housing, consumer services and natural resource management.
“I am so gratified to be part of the solution,” said Chu, a former state assemblywoman, “to show that Asian Americans can be leaders in addressing the critical issues of the state.”
During her keynote remarks, Chu explained that Asian Americans are beginning to make significant breakthroughs in state politics.
“Today, not only do we have four Asian Americans who are state-elected constitutional officers, we have 11 Asian Americans in the California State Legislature,” she said. “It’s the greatest number of Asian Pacific Islanders that we have ever had, and it is a historic high.”
However, Chu noted that Asian Americans still “have a long way to go in many other arenas,” particularly in private industry management.
Chu urged the members of SPPD’s Asian Pacific Islander Caucus “to be visible and organized as a community.” Students’ active involvement in community organizations and in political offices can make a difference, according to Chu.
“As a group, you can be the advocates – strong advocates – on policy issues like the glass ceiling, languages access and hate crimes,” she said. “We are counting on you to be our leaders of the future.”
Panelists included professionals from the public and nonprofit sectors: Oliver Chi, city manager of Rosemead; Raahi Reddy, president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance; Craig Ishii, regional director of the Japanese American Citizens League; Karen Chang, special assistant at the Office of California Controller John Chiang; and Derrick Mims, district director of the Office of California Assemblyman Warren Furutani.
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