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Press Release: January 29, 2021

APAICS Hosts Congressional Swearing-In Ceremony for AANHPI and CAPAC Members of the 117th Congress

WASHINGTON – Today, APAICS hosted the Congressional Swearing-In Ceremony for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) members and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) members of the 117th Congress. The ceremony serves as a recognition of the increasing diversity of federal leadership, in particular the historic high of the 21 AAPI members serving in Congress.

The event, emceed by Jo Ling Kent, NBC News correspondent, included statements of occasion from Vice President Kamala Harris, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Majority Leader Steny Hyer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and Chair of CAPAC Judy Chu. The ceremonial oath of office was administered by Judge Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District Court Judge from the Northern District of California.

“Speaking with you carries a special meaning for me. I have been a proud member of CAPAC during my time in the United States Senate and I will be proud to serve as a Vice President who represents all Americans including AAPIs,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. “Our focus together on these issues have helped increase voter turnout to record levels this past election with the AAPI turnout increasing 300% since 2016…And I’m especially proud that out of the 21 [AAPI] members, 11 are women, again the largest number in history.”

For 26 years thanks to the vision of Norm Mineta and Robert Underwood, APAICS and CAPAC, of which I was a proud founding member, have stood as pillars of progress and opportunity,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Thanks to your efforts, Congress will fully reflect the beautiful diversity that enriches our nation. With AAPI voices at the decision making table, we have been able to deliver results and make a difference to the AAPI community as all Americans.”

“Nothing strengthens our democracy more than having leaders who reflect our incredible diversity,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “And we need to keep going to increase AAPI membership not just in Congress, but in all levels of government. That’s why APAICS’ mission of developing the AAPI leaders of tomorrow is so, so very important.”

“CAPAC will continue to elevate the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, which contributes so much to our national life and to a stronger safer America,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

“It’s been a joy to work with so many of you and the so-called Tri-Caucus and I look forward to a future to which we can look back on the work of 2021 and say that it was not just a dramatic departure but a very successful one as well,” said House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.

“Earlier this month, we broke barriers by swearing-in the most diverse Congress in history with more AAPI, Black, Latino, Native American and women members than ever before,” said Judy Chu, chair of CAPAC. “Because of this historic progress young AAPI girls and boys across the nation will grow up and see themselves represented at the highest levels of our federal government and know the sky is truly the limit.”

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The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) is a national non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office. APAICS programs focus on developing leadership, building public policy knowledge, and filling the political pipeline for Asian Pacific Americans to pursue public office at the local, state, and federal levels.

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