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President Obama to Speak to Asian American Political Leaders

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By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent

As little as a decade ago, this would have been almost unthinkable.

A sitting president of the United States has agreed to keynote a gathering of Asian American political leaders and their supporters.

The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies has announced President Barack Obama has agreed to be the featured speaker during its 22nd Annual Awards Gala dinner on May 4 in Washington, D.C.

“It means so much that President Obama will be joining us at this year’s APAICS Gala,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and APAICS board member.

That might be an understatement. Asian American blogger Jeff Yang once called President Obama in a column for the Wall Street Journal the “first figurative Asian American president.”

Obama, after all, grew up in Hawaii, the nation’s only Asian American Pacific Islander majority state. His mother who was divorced married an Indonesian man and for three to four years, he lived in Indonesia. Obama also had Pakistani and Indian American roommates while attending college at Occidental and Columbia.
President Obama’s keynote at the APAICS Gala will be an affirmation of his affinity for the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

“It is an honor to have President Barack Obama participate in the 22nd Annual APAICS Awards Gala Dinner and share his legacy with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” said S. Floyd Mori, president and CEO of APAICS. “President Obama has demonstrated his commitment to the AAPI community and shares our determination in developing future opportunities for AAPI leaders.”

The APAICS is described as a non-profit, non-partisan 501(C)(3) dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation and representation at all levels of the political process. For ticket information for the Gala, go to APAICS.org.
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