Senate Democrats Host Discussion with AAPI Leaders

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WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee (DSOC) held a meeting with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community leaders on Wednesday in the United States Capitol. Senator Mark Begich (AK), Chairman of the DSOC, hosted the event with Senator Brian Schatz (HI). The upcoming immigration legislation was a central focus of the discussion. In addition, attendees voiced support for minority-owned small businesses and expressed a desire for actions to reduce institutional bullying. Senate Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to building on the recent expansion of civil liberties.

“Alaska’s Asian and Pacific Island community contribute a wealth of cultural and economic diversity to our state,” said Senator Begich.  “In today’s meeting, I heard many good suggestions about improving education prospects, encouraging entrepreneurism, and providing access to health care.  It’s our duty to improve the current immigration system and to eliminate delays so that these hard-working Americans can be reunited with their families.”

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders greatly impacted the history and culture of America by shaping our military, political, and industrial history,” said Senator Schatz. “With nearly 19 million Asian American and Pacific Islanders throughout the United States, today’s meeting focused on key community issues such as immigration reform, family reunification, Native Hawaiian justice, and addressing economic disparities. I will continue to work with Senate Democratic Leadership and my constituents to find ways to advance these priorities, and we will continue to have an open dialogue on ways Congress can best assist the community.”

“The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) appreciates the opportunity to raise critical issues facing members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community – the fastest growing race group in our nation, with a population of over 18 million – with the Democratic Senate Steering and Outreach Committee,” said Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) and Chair of NCAPA. “We hope to continue to engage with Senators on issues such as health access, immigration and education, to name a few, to ensure that federal policies address the needs of our community members.”

Senate Democrats vowed to continue the fight to promote equality and inclusiveness and stressed the need to include diverse perspectives in crafting legislation that impacts all Americans. Today’s meeting served as an important forum for the AAPI community to express its views on pressing issues facing our nation.

For photos of today’s meeting, click HERE

About the Senate Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee

The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is dedicated to fostering dialogue between Senate Democrats and leaders from across the nation. Each year, the Steering Committee hosts numerous meetings with advocates, policy experts, and elected officials to discuss key priorities and enlist their help in the development of the Senate Democratic agenda. The Committee serves as a liaison between Senate Democratic offices, advocacy groups, and intergovernmental organizations. It is one of three Democratic Leadership Committees in the Senate and is chaired by Senator Mark Begich (AK) and vice chaired by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH).