Like many of you, we were looking forward to celebrating Lunar New Year and starting the year on a positive note.
Instead, we are mourning the 18 lives lost in the California shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. These tragic continuations of the gun violence epidemic in our communities show the desperate need for greater gun control in the U.S. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been 40 mass shootings in 2023. This has to stop: we must continue pressuring our representatives and elect lawmakers who will take the necessary action to end the violence.
We wish all our members, families, friends, and allies a more peaceful, prosperous and, above all, safe 2023, Year of the Rabbit and of the Cat.
As we begin our planning for 2023, we want to hear from you! We have put together a short survey to collect feedback about what you would like to see the AAPI caucus do. We would appreciate it if you could take 10–15 minutes to complete the survey and to help our caucus improve. You can even enter for a chance to win an Amazon gift card! Please submit your feedback by Wednesday, February 8th, 2023.
This past week, President Biden released the White House’s first-ever National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) Communities. It includes action plans prepared by 32 federal agencies. It looks at how federal agencies are addressing issues, like anti-Asian hate/discrimination, the systemic lack of data disaggregation on AA and NHPI communities, expanding language access across federal programs, creating a diverse federal workforce, and more.
The Global AAPI Caucus applauds President Biden and the work of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) to advance our communities by ensuring more equity, justice, and opportunity. It is refreshing to see an administration take steps to uplift our community. We look forward to continuing to support the White House and WHIAANHPI in their work to strengthen our communities.
On February 19th, we will commemorate the National Day of Remembrance of Japanese American Incarceration During World War II. Last year, we hosted a discussion about the importance of preserving the legacy of Japanese American incarceration. Read more about this National Day of Remembrance below, watch a recording of our event, and find more resources on our website.
Finally, we want to remind you to request your ballot for 2023. Overseas voters have to request their ballots every calendar year. Even if you may not have an election in your state in 2023, we suggest getting into the habit of going to VoteFromAbroad.org every January to make sure you do not have to worry about requesting your ballot on time.
Chair, AAPI Caucus
News of Note
DA Global AAPI Caucus Membership Survey
As we start a new year, we want to hear from our members! Let us know what kinds of events you are interested in, preferred means of communication, and what you see as the role of this caucus. We have put together a short survey that should take 10-15 minutes to complete. Your input will help us improve our work as a caucus. You can even enter for a chance to win an Amazon gift card! We would appreciate your feedback by Wednesday, February 8th. But why wait? You can fill out the survey today!
2023 Day of Remembrance of Japanese American Incarceration During World War II 追憶の日
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which saw the incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans in U.S. concentration camps during World War II. Over two-thirds of those incarcerated were born in the U.S.
In recognition of the 80th anniversary of what is considered one of the most shameful periods in American history, on February 18, 2022, President Joe Biden signed a proclamation. It declares February 19th the National Day of Remembrance of Japanese American Incarceration During World War II.
In his proclamation, President Biden praised the bravery of Japanese American civil rights leaders who organized and sought redress. Their work resulted in the 1988 Civil Liberties Act, which provided monetary reparations to living survivors and a formal apology to the Japanese American community. President Biden also acknowledged “the painful reality that Japanese Latin Americans, who were taken from their Central and South American homes and incarcerated by the United States Government during World War II, were excluded from the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.”
In 2022, the Global AAPI and Black Caucuses held a virtual event, Preserving our Voices, in commemoration of the 80th anniversary. Additional resources related to Japanese American incarceration can be found on our website.
On February 11th, 2023, the Japanese American National Museum is hosting an event, Voices of the Japanese American Incarceration, that is also available as a free virtual event. It will include readings from family members who were incarcerated and also those whose family members were in the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, poetry presented by traci kato-kiriyama, artist and author of Navigating With(out) Instruments, and more.
On the 2023 National Day of Remembrance of Japanese American Incarceration During World War II, we remember the words of Dr. Frank Kitamoto, who was incarcerated as a child:
“This is not just a Japanese American story but an American story with implications for the world.”
The AAPI Caucus recognizes that this Day of Remembrance is, as President Biden noted in his proclamation, also a time to “commit together to eradicate systemic racism to heal generational trauma in our communities.”