CAPAC Members Honor Senator Akaka’s 35 Years in Congress

Mar 3, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Members of the bi-cameral Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements in response to news of Sen. Daniel K. Akaka’s retirement at the end of his current term. Senator Akaka is an Executive Board Member of CAPAC.

Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC Chair:

“For over twenty years in the Senate and thirteen years in the House, Senator Akaka has served our country and the people of Hawaii with honor and distinction. Throughout his time in public office, he has been an outspoken champion for the needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), especially for the Native Hawaiian community.

Senator Akaka was the first U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry elected to the body and is currently the only member of the Senate who has Chinese Ancestry.  He is a role model, not just for AAPIs, but for all those who strive to be exceptional public servants. He will be dearly missed by his colleagues in the nation’s capital, especially those of us in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and we wish him and his family all the best when they return home to the Aloha state.”

Senator Daniel K. Inouye:

"I want to thank Senator Akaka for his service to Hawaii and the nation.  For nearly four decades, first in the House of Representatives and then in the Senate, Senator Akaka has fought hard for the people of Hawaii.  He is a tireless advocate for Hawaii's residents and a true ambassador of Aloha.  He has been a willing and loyal partner and we have worked very well together over these many years. We have much more to do and I look forward to working with him over the next two years.  Kanieala, thank you for your friendship and unwavering support. Irene and I wish you and Millie all the best in your future endeavors."

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono:

“In the history of Hawaii politics, there are very few figures as beloved as Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka.  We have been fortunate to have his steady presence in Washington for nearly four decades.  Senator Akaka has been an unwavering advocate for Hawaii’s people especially, for veterans, working families, and Native Hawaiians.  Senator Akaka’s early career began in the classroom, shaping young minds. And in transitioning from educator to legislator, he never lost that focus on making a better Hawaii for future generations. 

Senator: Mahalo nui loa for your dedicated service to our nation and our state.  My best to you and Millie and your family as you start the next chapter of your life’s journey.”  

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa:

“For more than three decades, Hawaii’s beloved Senator Daniel K. Akaka has served as an ambassador of Aloha in Washington D.C. – where he has championed the rights of America’s veterans, soldiers, school teachers, and Native Hawaiians. Capitol Hill can be contentious and stuffy, but Senator Akaka exemplifies the Aloha Spirit everywhere he goes – sometimes greeting both friends and strangers with hugs, rather than handshakes. His warmth and genuine character transcend party lines. I would like to thank Senator Akaka for his lifetime of public service. He is an example of how one can be a great leader with humility and grace. I wish him, Aunty Millie and his family nothing but the best for a prosperous and exciting future.”

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently Chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.