Over a thousand Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) from Washington State gathered last Thursday at the state capitol in Olympia to talk to lawmakers about topics ranging from education, naturalization and healthcare, to climate change, voting rights and police use of deadly force. Since 1996, the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) has organized thousands to attend Asian Pacific American (APA) Legislative Day with the goal of educating lawmakers about how different issues impact members of the AAPI community, whether immigrant, refugee or native born.
“The diversity of languages and cultures in our AAPI community are a critical part of who we are as Washingtonians, and the contributions of AAPIs to our businesses, economy, and community are vital to our success as a state,” Governor Inslee addressed attendees as a group.
“Our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities comprise people of color and include all genders, immigrants, refugees, citizens, people of all major religious traditions, people of all income levels, people with disabilities, and people on the front lines of fighting climate change,” said Diane Narasaki, executive director of Asian Counseling and Referral Service and co-chair of the King County chapter of APIC.
“APA Legislative Day is a major civic engagement opportunity for our multilingual community to communicate the issues important to our community to our legislators. Our local and state governments directly impact our lives and it’s more important than ever that we connect with our elected officials directly to voice our ideas and concerns, and to support or oppose policies and legislation we care about.