NAKASEC in the News: “Asian Americans React to Obama’s Historic Election,” AsianWeek, 11/12/08

Full quote by EunSook Lee, Executive Director of NAKASEC

“America has elected for its 44th president, an individual that not only draws from the experience of being multi racial and a son of an immigrant but a deep connection with grassroots community organizing. Undoubtedly, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, young and old are taking a second and thoughtful look at America. America of the past is gone and in front of us are great new prospects for America of the future. We teach our children that they can be whoever they want to be and now it seems that American voters have proven this to be the case. President-elect Obama comes into office at a time when America is facing many challenges — the current economic crisis, War in Iraq, and a broken immigration system. In the aftermath of the presidential elections, the Korean American community looks forward to working with the new administration and Congress in realizing policies that will lift up the quality of lives of all communities.”

Asian Americans React to Obama’s Historic Election

By: Angela Pang, AsianWeek

Nov 12, 2008

Locally and nationwide, Asian American groups are excited about President-elect Barack Obama. Here are some thoughts on how Obama’s historical election will affect the Asian American community in general and the work these organizations are doing in the community.

“The fact that he is the first African American, biracial and truly multicultural president brings a new dynamic to the national public-policy table. He has already named at least three Asian Americans on the Transition team, which signals that Asian Americans will be helping to confront the challenges not only of this country, but the AAPI community specifically.”
– Vida Benavides, executive director, Asian Pacific Islander American Vote

“The historic nature of Obama’s election to the presidency is symbolic in allowing minorities in general to be a full partner in the democratic process. It gives us and our children the hope that we can participate 100 percent in all aspects of our society and thus will motivate many to do and be more than they had ever imagined.”
– S. Floyd Mori, national executive director, Japanese American Citizens League

“President-elect Obama will have a lot of challenges ahead: The financial crisis that has put such a damper on the U.S. economy, health care and weaning our dependence on foreign oil for energy.
All these issues are Asian American issues; they are also top in mind of our members – Asian American business owners whose investments of time, talents and resources have contributed so much to the innovation, job creation, economic and vitality of the nation.”
– Susan Au Allen,national president & CEO,U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Foundation

“I am looking forward to his foreign policies, particularly his resolve to establish peace treaties with other world leaders like Kim Jung Il North Korea by personally meeting them. By undertaking crucial matters like nuclear war missiles and the division between the North and South in peaceful terms, Obama shows that there is a lot of truth embedded in his promises, and change will happen around the world as well as in the minority communities.”
– Suk Chan Lee, president, Korean American Community Center of San Francisco & Bay Area

“President Obama’s win in this time a day proves to show that the younger generation voices shined with a greater voter turnout than in the previous years and we are more involved in the political process. Working for Filipino World War II Veterans, we are hopeful that with the new presidency, the long awaited, ‘full recognition’ will be restored very soon.”
– Juslyn C. Manalo, community service worker, Veterans Equity Center

“The election of Barack Obama inspires a renewed faith in working across coalitions and within communities in order to bring about change. As advocates for civil rights and social justice, we welcome a new president who we believe has the vision and ability to make America work for everyone, including those whose voices often go unheard, such as immigrants and low-wage workers.”
– Karin Wang, vice president of programs, Asian Pacific American Legal Center

“OCA looks forward to working with President Barack Obama and the new Congress, including continuing our work with Senator John McCain around immigration reform and other important APA issues.”
– Michael C. Lin, OCA executive director

“This was the first major political campaign since the Bill Clinton campaign wherein Filipino community leaders and media outlets were tapped actively not only to spread carefully tailored messages, but to continually engage our issues and questions as well. With a leader who is aware and engaged with our community, we can be assured that not only will our issues be represented in the halls of power, but that qualified and experienced candidates from our communities will be considered for federal commissions, agencies and possibly Cabinet positions.”
– The Filipinos for Obama Leadership Team

“The Korean American community looks forward to working with the new administration and Congress in realizing policies that will lift up the quality of lives of all communities.”
– EunSook Lee, executive director, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium

“With Obama’s election being an event that virtually no one foresaw as recently as three years ago, we can now move forward with the hope that perhaps it won’t be so long after all before we see a marked increase in the number of Fortune 100 CEOs who happen to be Asian Pacific Americans.”
– John Jin Lee, chairman, Asian Business League of San Francisco

Asian Americans React to Obama’s Historic Election (PDF)