Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus stepped to the podium at the Democratic National Convention July 27 to endorse Hillary Clinton for president and talk about issues important to the AAPI community.
U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California is the chair of the Congressional APA Caucus.
She led the group on the stage.
"Standing with me are my fellow Asian-American and Pacific Islander – or AAPI – Members of Congress," she said. "Many of them, too, are trailblazers in their own right. And we are all proud to support Hillary Clinton for president of the United States."
Her remarks continue:
"It wasn't too long ago that if you saw an Asian Pacific American walking in the U.S. Capitol, you had to stop and do a double-take. But how things have changed. We now have a record number of AAPI Members of Congress – and most importantly, we are organizing and making our voices heard. We have gone from being marginalized to becoming the margin of victory in key swing states and districts all across our nation.
America needs a president who will fight for all of us – someone who rejects the hateful rhetoric that is too often used to divide us and believes that America's diversity is our greatest strength. That's why we've got to elect Hillary Clinton as our next President of the United States! When it comes to the issues most important to us, Hillary Clinton gets it.
On immigration reform, she gets it. So many families have been kept apart for decades by an incredibly long family visa backlog. Hillary will fight to clear that backlog so that millions of American families can finally be reunited with their loved ones. We're with Hillary because she is committed to comprehensive immigration reform!
On education, she gets it. So many of our parents and grandparents sacrificed to come to the United States because they wanted their children to get a better education and live the American Dream. We're with Hillary because she'll make debt-free college available for all Americans.
On voting rights, she gets it. Today, almost 70 percent of AAPI adults are foreign born. Access to translated and absentee ballots is critical. We're with Hillary because she will work with Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act and ensure fair access to the ballot box.
On making sure we have a diverse federal government, she gets it. We're with Hillary because she will appoint an administration that looks like America.
And on safeguarding our civil liberties, she gets it. I am proud to have Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Congressman Mike Honda as members of our caucus. During World War II, both Doris and Mike were imprisoned in internment camps for no other reason than their ethnicity. Donald Trump doesn't seem to see a problem with this part of our history. With Hillary Clinton, we know the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans will be protected!
Tonight, we are also grieving for our dear friend and colleague, Congressman Mark Takai from Hawai'i, who passed away last week at the age of 49 after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. Mark truly had the aloha spirit, and was deeply committed to advancing the priorities of the people of Hawai'i and our veterans. I will never forget the tears in his eyes when he learned about the Cancer Moonshot initiative. It gave him and millions of Americans hope that we will finally find a cure for cancer. In his memory, we've got to keep hoping – and fighting.
Hillary Clinton is the best choice for all Americans to move our country forward. Our caucus members reflect the diversity of America. And that is why we are proud to stand with her.
Delegates also heard from:
Sen. Mazie Hirono: I am Senator Mazie Hirono from Hawai'i, an immigrant and the first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. I support Hillary Clinton because she is a lifelong champion for women, children, and families. With our help, she'll fight for all families – including immigrant families – in the White House.
Rep. Madeleine Bordallo: Hafa Adai. I am Congresswoman Bordallo from Guam, and I support Hillary Clinton because she understands the unique needs of the territories, and is committed to the Asia-Pacific rebalance. She is the strong leader we need to move forward as a nation.
Rep. Mark Takano : I am Congressman Mark Takano from California, the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress. As a proud "gaysian," I support Hillary Clinton because she is a strong champion for LGBT rights. She will to fight to end employment discrimination against LGBT Americans.
Rep. Ami Bera: I am Congressman Ami Bera from California. As the only South Asian member of Congress, and as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I support Hillary Clinton because she is the only candidate that understands the complexity of the world and is prepared from day one to lead America.
Rep. Bobby Scott: I'm Congressman Bobby Scott from Virginia, the first Filipino-American voting member of Congress, and I support Hillary Clinton because she believes that each and every child deserves a quality, affordable education so that they can reach their full potential.
Rep. Ted Lieu: I am Congressman Ted Lieu from California and a colonel in the U.S. Air Force reserve. I support Hillary Clinton because she'll fight for our military personnel, veterans, and families. She will make sure that those who risked their lives for our country get the health care and the resources that they need.
Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan: I am Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan from the Northern Mariana Islands. I support Hillary Clinton because she believes that all Americans – including those in the Pacific Island territories – should have access to quality, affordable health care.
Rep. Grace Meng: I am Congresswoman Grace Meng from New York, the first Asian-American elected to Congress from the East Coast, and I support Hillary Clinton because she is the best candidate to bring Americans together and move our country forward! This election is so important, and Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders can make the difference. Our voting power has doubled over the last decade – we are now the swing vote in swing states like Virginia, Nevada, and also right here in Pennsylvania! And I call upon my fellow AAPIs to organize, to campaign, and to vote, so that we will be the margin of victory in 2016 and beyond! As our community continues to grow – and as we begin to see more AAPI candidates like Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois and Stephanie Murphy from Florida begin to run for higher office – it is critical that we elect a person who will make history for America and build a brighter future for generations to come. And that person is Hillary Clinton!
Earlier in the day, delegates had gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for an AAPI council meeting.