CAPAC Celebrates 25 Years of Leadership

May 16, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). The bi-cameral Caucus was established on May 14, 1994 by Secretary Norman Y. Mineta to ensure that federal legislation and policies reflect the needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The 116th Congress includes a record 20 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Members of Congress and 73 CAPAC Members total. CAPAC Members released the following statements to celebrate this historic milestone:

CAPAC Leadership

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“Since its establishment, CAPAC has worked to ensure that the concerns of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community are heard in the halls of Congress. Over the past 25 years, we have grown not only in terms of our membership, but also in our power to make a difference for millions of Americans. I am proud to say that we now have a record 20 AAPI Members of Congress and 73 members of CAPAC – our highest numbers in history. With this strong coalition, CAPAC has successfully worked to pass legislation to apologize for discriminatory policies like the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, award AAPI World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal, and remove derogatory terms targeting AAPIs from federal law. We have also promoted immigration policies that keep families together and fought for greater data disaggregation and language access for our diverse communities.

“I am honored to serve as the Chair of an organization with members so committed to their work on behalf of the AAPI community. This includes former CAPAC Chairs Norman Mineta, Patsy Mink, Robert Underwood, and Mike Honda, who were trailblazers for our community and used their power to create a better and more inclusive America than the one they grew up in. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, I know we will continue to perpetuate their legacy and promote the well-being of the AAPI community for decades to come.”   

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice Chair:

“Congratulations to the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus on this milestone anniversary. Since its inception in 1994, CAPAC has worked tirelessly to bring attention to critical issues impacting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders throughout the United States. It has grown from just a few Members of Congress to more than 70 Congressmembers, and has benefited from the steady stewardship of former Reps. Norman Mineta, Patsy Mink, Robert Underwood, David Wu, and Mike Honda. Our current chair, Congresswoman Judy Chu, has done an outstanding job of leading our caucus and I thank her for all she does to ensure that the AAPI community has a seat at the table. As we reflect on the last 25 years and take stock of our many accomplishments, we must also look toward the future. We must continue our fight to ensure that the voices of AAPIs are heard, and that our caucus continues to grow, and advances the interests and needs of the AAPI community. I am proud to be a member of CAPAC and honored to serve as First Vice Chair and Appropriations Taskforce Chair. I look forward to our caucus continuing to improve the lives of AAPIs for many more years to come, and I’m thrilled to join my colleagues in celebrating the quarter-century of service CAPAC has provided to the AAPI community. Happy 25th anniversary to CAPAC!”

Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice Chair:

“As Second Vice-Chair of CAPAC this Congress, I join my colleagues in commemorating the 25th anniversary of CAPAC’s founding. More AAPI Members are serving in Congress than ever before and we should all be proud of the great strides we have made to increase AAPI representation in government. Since 1994, CAPAC has been a staunch advocate for our communities and has ensured that AAPIs have a seat at the table. I commend CAPAC on its successes and look forward to all that we will achieve as we continue making our voices heard, lifting up the stories of the AAPI community, and fighting to address the needs of our communities.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

“As CAPAC celebrates its 25th anniversary, we proudly look back on all the ways our community has grown over these years. Asian American and Pacific Islanders are now the fastest growing racial group in the United States, and our contributions to the social and economic fabric of our country make the United States a stronger nation. While our community has made incredible strides, there is still more that can be done to correct bigotry and injustice that persist in the United States. I have been honored to help lead the movement to empower and advocate for the AAPI community while serving as CAPAC Whip and Chair of the Veterans and Armed Services Task Force. Whether it’s encouraging diverse voices in media, standing up against racial profiling, challenging the Census citizenship question, or advocating for other important issues, CAPAC has been a champion for a better tomorrow. I look forward to continuing to work with this caucus to ensure a just future for all.”

Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03), CAPAC Freshman Representative:

“CAPAC doesn’t just represent 25 years of historic and visionary leadership by members of the AAPI community in Congress, it represents the hopes and ambitions for that community to grow and continue to make an impact in the future. I’m proud to be a member of this organization and look forward to another 25 successful years.”

House Leadership

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12):

“For 25 extraordinary years, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus has stood as a pillar of progress for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and all Americans. CAPAC’s courageous leadership has changed the face of Congress and the future of our nation, inspiring the next generation of AAPI leaders in education, politics and our communities. We are particularly blessed by the record number of CAPAC Members in the 116th Congress, whose vision, values and voices are essential to Democrats’ work to build a brighter future for all Americans.”

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05), Vice Chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus:

“Congratulations to the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus on their 25th anniversary! CAPAC has worked tirelessly to advance the legislative priorities and elevate the issues of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community on Capitol Hill. Their decades of service has helped to promote the success of all Americans and I am honored to be a part of their effort to uplift diverse voices in Congress. I look forward to many more years of advocacy, celebration, and success!”

CAPAC Senators

Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL):

“For 25 years, CAPAC has lifted up the voices of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and educated Members of Congress about our community’s history, accomplishments and needs,” Duckworth said. “We must honor how far we’ve come and recognize the work still left do be done to ensure that every Asian American—and every other person, regardless of race—can achieve the American Dream.”

Senator Kamala Harris (CA):

“I am proud to join my colleagues in commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Since its founding 25 years ago, CAPAC has worked to ensure that the voices of AAPI communities across the nation are heard in Congress. From pushing for immigration reform, to advocating for access to affordable health care, to creating an economy that works for all Americans, CAPAC has long been at the forefront on key issues that are important to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. I commend Rep. Chu and CAPAC’s officers past and present for their leadership and I look forward to our continued work for years to come.”

CAPAC Executive Board Members

Congressman Ed Case (HI-01):

“Aloha! I am honored to extend my heartiest congratulations to our Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus on its Silver Anniversary. It is especially appropriate that we are doing so in this month in which we are commemorating other historic milestones for our Asian Pacific American communities. The arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States and the remarkable efforts of Chinese who helped build our country’s first Transcontinental Railroad are only two instances in the rich tapestry of this ‘ohana (family). Over the centuries, Asian and Pacific Islanders have joined other immigrants as sources of strength and inspiration for America. As President Obama’s White House Task Force on New Americans stated: ‘by extending a welcoming hand, the United States has continually tapped new sources of economic and cultural vitality.’ Nowhere is this truer than in the communities served by CAPAC. I am indeed honored to serve on CAPAC’s Executive Board and join all in thanking all for your contributions to CAPAC over the last quarter century and extending best wishes for an even better next one.”

Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21):

As an Asian American, I’m proud to join the AAPI community in CA-21 as we continue to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Today in particular, I’m ecstatic to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, also known as CAPAC. Founded in 1994, CAPAC has been imperative to delivering results for our AAPI communities, and the close to 33,297 Asian American and Pacific Islanders in my Congressional District. Thanks to CAPAC, Asian American and Pacific Islander Members of Congress are not only educated on the history and contributions of the AAPI community, but we’ve also been provided with a cultural space to work together on passing legislation that benefits the AAPI community. Join me today in celebrating CAPAC’s 25 years of dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“For 25 years, CAPAC has been the voice for Members of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in Congress. CAPAC provides the support to expand equality, tolerance and prosperity for the AAPI community. I am proud of all we have accomplished thus far.”

CAPAC Associate Members

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01):

“For more than two hundred years, Asian Americans have contributed to our communities and lent their leadership to our shared enterprise: to build a free, just, and prosperous country. CAPAC has worked hard to make sure that these communities have a voice in Congress. It’s an honor to serve with a record number of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) colleagues and to represent the AAPI communities of Northwest Oregon in Congress.”

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):

“For 25 years, CAPAC and its members have advocated for AAPI communities across America, so they have a seat at the table and input in federal policy. I am proud to represent San Diego’s vibrant Asian American and Pacific Islander community as a member of this caucus, where we can advocate for priorities most important to them. I look forward to continued our continued advocacy and work toward a more inclusive country and brighter future for our AAPI communities.”

Congressman Harley Rouda (CA-48):

“For 25 years, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus has been a strong voice for the needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. As the proud representative of a diverse community including Vietnamese Americans, Korean Americans, and Chinese Americans, I was proud to join CAPAC when I came to Congress so I can advocate for issues that matter most to the AAPI community each day. I thank CAPAC Chairwoman Judy Chu for her leadership, and I congratulate the members and staff whose efforts over 25 years have led to the caucus’ remarkable success.”

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40):

“I'm so pleased to congratulate CAPAC on its 25 years of advocacy for our AAPI community. As our House majority works to build an America that leaves no one behind, all of us in CAPAC are fighting to ensure that every AAPI individual has a fair chance to pursue the American Dream, and enjoy the same rights and dignity as any other American.  It's a privilege to serve as an associate CAPAC member, and to work with my CAPAC colleagues to secure a brighter future for AAPI families in my 40th District of California and nationwide.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09):

“I am proud to be a member of Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary. The work that CAPAC does to promote the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community is incredibly important.The AAPI community contributes so much to the rich tapestry of Washington’s 9th district and our entire country.”

Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51):

“As we move forward with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we also celebrate the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus’s (CAPAC) 25th anniversary! On May 16, we recognize the formation of this caucus which is dedicated to promoting the well-being and protecting the civil rights of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As a member of CAPAC, I am proud to represent the vibrant AAPI community in California’s 51st district. Our diversity is our strength. CAPAC will continue to champion issues facing Asian Americans. I am honored to join my congressional colleagues in commemorating the history, culture, and contributions of our AAPI community.”

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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.