Senator Yee's Townhall Meeting

State Senator Leland Yee, chair of the Senate?s Select Committee on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs, came to San Diego on Friday, May 18, and in 10 non-stop hours, held meetings with San Diego?s Japanese, Korean, Filipino, and other API organizations. He wrapped up the day with a town hall meeting in Taiwan Center where he answered questions ranging from global warming and the war in Iraq, to re-districting and how to get more Asian Americans elected to office.

The San Diego Alliance for Asian Pacific Islander Americans hosted Senator Yee?s lunchtime meeting with San Diego?s Asian Pacific Islanders. The reception was held in the Garden of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum in downtown?s Asian Pacific Historic District.

Alliance guests included representatives from: - the Alliance - Asian Business Ass'n - Asian Pacific Historic Collaborative - Hong Kong Ass'n of Southern California, SD chapter - Korean American Senior Ass'n - Lao Hmong Family Ass'n - Pacific Islander Festival Ass'n - Pan Pacific Law Enforcement Ass'n - San Diego Chinese Historical Society & Museum - San Diego Chinese Women?s Ass'n - San Diego?s Singapore and Malaysian communities - Southwest Center for Asian Pacific American Law - Taiwanese American Foundation - University of California, San Diego, faculty & students.

Guests were treated to banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) and papaya salad, Filipino desserts, watermelon and cherries, and jasmine tea.

Alliance President Linda Tu introduced all guests. Chinese Historical Museum Executive Director Alex Chuang extended a welcome to the Senator and guests. Asian Pacific Historic Collaborative Chair Arnold Marquez presented the history of the Asian Pacific Historic District, and the role of the Collaborative in developing the District.

The Senator spoke about the importance of the meetings in San Diego as the first in a series of meetings throughout the state to reach out to Asian Pacific Islander constituents and learn the issues and concerns on their minds.

After lunch, Senator Yee and guests were given a tour of the Museum in the Old Chinese Mission Building, and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension across the street.

Museum staff members and volunteers who helped the Alliance with the reception were Alex and Agnes Chuang, Alex Stewart, Jessica Matsumoto, Grace Smith and Mona Taghikhani.

Joe Chou, President, Asian Business Ass'n, chaired planning for the town hall meeting. In Sacramento, Joanna Gin was liaison for Senator Yee. Planning committee members included reps from AsiaMedia, Japan Society of SD & Tijuana, Japanese American Citizens League, Korean Chamber of Commerce, Lao Hmong Family Ass'n, Mabuhay Alliance, SD Alliance for APIAs, Taiwanese American Foundation of SD, Taiwanese American Community Center.