HomeAsian AmericansFirst AAPI legislative caucus launched in Georgia

First AAPI legislative caucus launched in Georgia

In yet another sign of the growing influence of Asian Americans in Georgia, elected leaders Monday announced the formation of the first-ever AAPI Legislative Caucus there, reports Atlanta News First.

The Caucus will be made up of 12 founding members including 11 voting members of the Georgia legislature.

“As the first Asian American Democrat elected to the Georgia State Legislature, I am so proud to see our diverse AAPI communities continue to grow and exercise their right to vote to determine our shared future,” said State Rep. Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville) to 11Alive.com. “I look forward to serving in the largest AAPI legislative caucus in the nation.” Park is now the House Minority Caucus Whip.

AAPIs make up 4 percent of the state’s population and could make a difference in the runoff for a senate seat between Republican Hershel Walker and Democrat Raphael Warnock.

The Caucus says this year Georgia will have more AAPIs in the legislature than any other state.

The founding members are:

  • Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock)
  • Rep. Bee Nguyen (D-Atlanta)
  • Rep. Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville)
  • Rep. Marvin Lim (D-Norcross)
  • Rep.-elect Saira Draper (D-Atlanta)
  • Rep.-elect Soo Hong (R-Lawrenceville)
  • Rep.-elect Farooq Mughal (D-Buford)
  • Rep.-elect Ruwa Romman (D-Peachtree Corners)
  • Rep.-elect Long Tran (D-Dunwoody)
  • Sen. Michelle Au (D-Johns Creek)
  • Sen. Sheikh Rahman (D-Lawrenceville) 
  • Sen.-elect Nabilah Islam (D-Lawrenceville)

“One thing we’ve heard from many Asian Americans is a dismaying sense of invisibility,” said state senator Michelle Au (D-Johns Creek) to 11alive. “That our communities, our concerns, the issues we care about most, are often not seen, not heard and not addressed. But times are changing as is the face of Georgia, and this is represented in the historic representation we now see of AAPI lawmakers at the State Capitol.”

Some believe the Caucus will also help increase voter turnout.

“I think when these legislators present the united front, obviously in their campaigns as well as what they do in their official capacities,” Varun Nikore, AAPI Victory Alliance executive director, said to Atlantia News First. “Yes, this could have an indirect effect.”

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