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tv   [untitled]    May 30, 2012 10:00am-10:30am PDT

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♪ ♪ [applause] >> thank you, that was really beautiful. that was melody and her daughter ramona g. so we would like to welcome you to the third annual statewide celebration in recognition of asian pacific islander american heritage month. and this event is hosted by mayor ed lee. i'll tell you a little bit more about apapa first. it's a nonprofit and
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nonpartisan. since 2001, our focus has been on educating the public about public policy and fostering future leaders from our minority communities to serve at federal, state, and local levels. the mission of asian pacific islander american public affairs association known as apapa, easier to say, is to empower asian and pacific islander americans in civic and public affairs through education, active participation, and leadership development to accomplish this objective, apapa provides the following core services to the community. >> apapa provides civic engagement, youth leadership development and community service. the theme of tonight's event is a is celebration of the achievements and accomplishments of asian americans in the state of california and our nation.
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>> and without further adieu, i would like to introduce our host for this evening, mayor edwin lee. very well known as the first asian american mayor in san francisco history. mayor lee championed balancing the budget to keep san francisco safe, solvent, and successful. rehe formed city pensions and right now his focus is on economic development, job creation, and really building san francisco's future, a great job especially for helping out families and we know we want to keep families here. i also wanted to mention a little bit of his cast -- his past, it was quite fascinating. he was born in 1952 in the beacon hill neighborhood of seattle, washington, his parents immigrated to the u.s. from china in the 1930's. lee's father fought in world
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war ii and worked as a cook managing a restaurant in seattle and, unfortunately, he passed away when mayor lee was 15. his mother was a seamstress and a waitress and lee -- mayor lee has five siblings. he graduated summa cum laude from bowden college in maine. he went to u.c. berkeley here, law school, and he finished in 1978. he and his wife anita have two daughters. i wanted to mention prior to becoming mayor, one of the key points in his contributions to the community is after he completed law school, lee, mayor lee worked as a managing attorney for the san francisco asian law caucus where he was an advocate for affordable housing and the rights of immigrants and renters. so, without further adieu, mayor lee.
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[applause] >> thank you, francis and thank you, welcome to city hall, the people's city hall, san francisco! [cheers and applause] >> first off, i want you all to know that that was a wonderful rendition of our national anthem. please give another applause to melanie and her daughter. wonderful rendition, thank you! now those beautiful performers, what a wonderful tribute to our asian american heritage month. i am so excited about all of you and seeing so many of you from all over our state come to city hall and san francisco. welcome. i am excited to welcome in my
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very, very good friends, former secretary of transportation, thank you for being here! congressman mike honda, thank you for being here, very much. our controller, thank you, john, where are you? all right, thank you! our board of supervisors, the very historic appointment of the president of our board of supervisors, david chiu, thank you very much! david, eric mar, thank you for being here! david campos, thank you for being here. he is our adopted asian brother. thank you, jose sis narrows, another adopted brother here, thank you. we have so many of our state representatives here, betty yee and others from board of equalize conversations. there are so many of you here. i would spend all night announcing your names, but they didn't give me the full list. i will say thank you from our
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city from all of you from sacramento, from los angeles, from all the communities in-between, thank you for coming to our fantastic city to celebrate our asian pacific heritage month. it's my pleasure to also provide you with a warm welcome and thank you for somebody who worked on this idea to bring everybody here to san francisco, my very good friend and the head of apapa, cc yen. where are you? cc, when we first talked about this, we said that there had to be a place where everybody felt comfortable. there had to be a place where we could feel the excitement of all of our different asian american groups. we had to have a place where something wonderful had been accomplished and the leadership change, one that we never
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thought in our lifetimes, and by the way, as you know, i never thought in our lifetimes we would see an african-american president of the united states. what a wonderful occasion, that's something to celebrate. he has been here many, many times, our president obama and then, of course, the very surprise that we had of being able to celebrate the first asian mayor of san francisco, but it wasn't my doing, it was all of the people of san francisco saying it's about time we celebrate here. thank you to the people of san francisco. [applause] i have a very short message of welcome to all of you, one that i have felt very strongly in my first elected year, but also during my tenure as interim mayor. we have a great deal to celebrate. we also have a great challenge in front of us.
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there are so many of our asian american friends, our a iranian friends, friends from the philippines, friends from the japanese american community, our chinese american community, our korean community that have been waiting for the opportunity to come together to celebrate our diversity but also to signal to our european friends, our latino friends, our african-american friends, we are ready to lead this whole state and help change the conversation and not only celebrate diversity, but use diversity for our strength half. is our strength is our own diversity throughout the state. so i want to signal to you, let's come together. let's use this opportunity to make sure we can celebrate our strength throughout the state. i want to also welcome carmen chu, i see her, supervisor chu, thank you for joining us.
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that we can really celebrate and we can really bring this state forward because i know that my friend john chung, he doesn't want to be alone in sacramento suggesting change. nobody wants to be alone in this very hard struggle we have at the state level or at the national level. all of us can contribute to a more positive outlook on life. and guess what, when we look at where we came from, when we look at the parents that brought us here, the generations that were here before us, we learned a great lesson. we learned the lessons that they faced, that they were struggling to get past the barriers of discrimination, past the barriers of economic privilege, past the barriers of being new immigrants in this country and they forged ahead when all of those big barriers and some of us are new generations, the generation of kids that i want to work for
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and make sure they got a big, big opportunity in san francisco and the whole bay area. we hope you don't have those barriers that our parents did. we hope that you do not run into the road blocks that we had to struggle for. we hope that our lawsuits, that our street advocacy, that our locked arms together at places like the international hotel and all of the other places that we struggled with in our generations that you never have to go through. and the only way we can do that is to make sure the door is always open to everybody else. that's our promise. we have to keep that, we have to keep our education strong. we have to keep our economic foundations strong. we have to keep our opportunities for everybody strong. so thank you. i am honored for everybody being here.
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let us celebrate and on behalf of the city and county of san francisco, i officially declare this to be asian pacific heritage month in san francisco and the state of california! welcome! [applause] >> i'm going to make one correction to mayor lee's speech. he said that president obama is the first african-american president. president obama grew up in hawaii. president obama spent part of his life in indonesia which makes him an honorary asian american. therefore president obama is the first asian american president as well. tonight's event wouldn't be possible without our community partners as well. the groups that help make all this happen. we have the asian -- i'm going to read them all off and at the
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very end give them a round of applause. the asian business alliance, the asian law lines, the asian american pacific community center, the leadership institute. the chinese institute of engineers, chinese american cultural association, chinese american political association, citizens for better community, the memorial center, culture to culture federation of indo americans of northern california. hispanic chamber of commerce, monday goalan students nonprofit organization in america, northern california athletic association, national association of american professionals, national association of advancement of colored people, national association of independent business, national association of filipino americans, chinese americans, parent of great education. united california practitioners of chinese medicine, young
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filipino professional association. so a round of applause to all of our community partners, please. that was a lot. >> i'm glad he had to do that. our next speaker is u.s. congressman mike honda. he has represented the 15th congressional district of california in the u.s. house of representatives for over a decade. in congress, he is a member of the powerful house appropriations and budgets committee, chair emeritus of the asian pacific american caucus, co-chair of the democratic caucus's new media working group, house democratic senior whip and original author of the equity and excellence commission now housed in the u.s. department of education. mike's district includes silicon valley, the birth-place of technology, innovation and now the country's leading
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developer of green technology. mike has dedicated his life to public service and is lauded for his work on education, civil rights, national service, immigration, transportation, the environment, and high-tech issues. >> he is also the greatest karaoke singer in the halls of congress. so, ladies and gentlemen, he can give you congressman mike honda. [applause] >> i was just told i have five minutes. so what do you think of this program, man? huh? [applause] >> in spanish we say it's about time. i want to thank frances and fong and thank you, mayor lee,
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for inviting me. i think this is the very first statewide apia heritage month held with the mayor of san francisco. let me say something about heritage month in san francisco and your mayor. in the old days, you remember san francisco was known for passing all of these anti-chinese ordinances to limit the movement, the productivity of chinese in this city. so we know two things. change happens. and number two, that maybe the state of california is not the mountain of gold, but it's certainly the state of golden opportunities where we have now a chinese american mayor of san francisco, edwin lee. we're really proud of you. you know, 35 years ago, congressmembers frank harden and norm minute yeta and others
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passed similar resolutions in both the house and the senate to formally recognize the first 10 days of may as asian pacific heritage week. one year later, president jimmy carter signed into law a joint resolution to officially designate the annual celebration. 11 years later, president george bush extended the week-long celebration to an entire month of may. now you know and i know that our mothers say that every day is asian pacific american day. so i want to really recognize all of the milestones that a.p.i. has made not only in the state of california, city of san francisco, but the entire country. right now the caucus which is led by congresswoman judy chu right now has a record of 42 members in the asian caucus in
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the congress. one of the first things we want to say is that was a young man that was the first member of the sikh community and we want to make note of that. the re-establishment of the white house initiative on aapi by president obama was another accomplishment. let me tell that you president obama's cabinet has dr. steven chu in energy, gerrie locke is now the very first asian american, chinese american represented the u.s. as ambassador to the republic of china. so we have a lot of accomplishments. it was not by accident, my friend. everyone one of you know you work hard and all of these things were done on purpose.
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i just want to let you know that we also can bose twice as many asian americans on federal benches and those of us who understand the impact of the supreme court and what it can do or undo, we know that having asian americans on the federal bench is the lineup for the appointments to the supreme court. i just want to say thank you very much for this opportunity. i want to say that, norm, silicon valley is the birth-place of high-tech, but i also say silicon valley is the birth-place of norm. ok, five minutes, thank you very much. >> thank you congressman honda, although we would have extended the five minutes if we got a
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little karaoke song going. >> this would not have been possible without the financial contribution of our sponsors. we want to thank chevron corporation, pg and e, wells fargo, mcdonald's, academy of arts university here in the city, at&t for their corporate sponsorships, southwest airlines who has also donated five fly anywhere tickets to us which we'll be raveling off later tonight. if you haven't entered the ralph yet, remember to do so later tonight. comcast, wal-mart, verizon and our caterer for tonight, moon star restaurant. >> so now we go from the greatest karaoke singer in the house of congress to the self-proclaimed worst karaoke singer in public office. i would like to introduce
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california state controller john chung serving his second term and we all know him. he takes a hard line and took immediate action to weed out waste, fraud of pounds and make the finance more transparent and accountable to the public. so here is mr. chung. [applause] >> good evening. i will spare you what the distinguished counsel requested me to do which is sing for all of you. actually, mike honda and i used to go out for a k but he would go out and sing and i would stop and leave. this is a magnificent evening. we gather tonight in
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celebration of asian pacific heritage month. we take a moment to reflect upon our past to understand the heroic struggles, obstacles, hardships that so many people, including this evening's tremendous honoree, the honorable norma neta had to overcome. this is a very special place. norm gave me the good fortune of putting my feet to the marble in the halls of congress, apapa, let me thank you, we'll give the opportunity for 20 interns this summer to place their feet on the halls of this city in sacramento, perhaps in washington, d.c. so that they can partake in the greatest democracy that has ever resided on this planet. now, this is also of tremendous significance as congressman alluded to, this is the home
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where people left when they came to this country and they headed to mining gold in california, when they had to leave the fields of california from farming and that applies not to just the chinese, but to the filipinos and others. they set foot in san francisco. and generation upon generation of residents of san francisco had to endure the struggles and has made this city a very special place. that's why i'm so very excited about the leadership that presides over san francisco today. mayor lee, supervisor chiu, supervisor mar, supervisor chu and we had treasurer and also another county supervisor here with us. this ought to be a moment in which we celebrate the aspirations and the fact that we have risen to the governance
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of this country. and the fact that we have changed the opportunities. last night i had the opportunity to listen to an 86-year-old honoree at the simon wiesenthal gathering last night. she had spoken about how her life was different and the opportunities that were denied because she was jewish. because of the efforts of norm and mike and your leadership today and my great colleague betty yee, at the board of equalization, asian americans today are not denied opportunities because of who they look, where they come from. we are aspiring and we are leading california and america in a new generation. what norm battled for all of us through the 20th century, we have an obligation to lead in the 21st century and as congressman honda provided, we are providing leadership in all areas that govern this country.
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technology, health, academia, commerce, art, entertainment, and government. today we must come together not only in celebration but in acknowledgement of the work that lies ahead. we understand that this is now a global economy and the opportunities that confront and challenge us are ones that we can only surpassed if we come together. so we can win the future, as the president said, if we dream together. if we work together as a society, as an economy. the best is yet to come. so let me leave you with this last idea -- every moment affords us an opportunity to change the world. let's seize that moment and each
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and every moment that succeeds that moment and let's do that together in celebration of our asian pacific heritage and in recognition of all the heritage is that make up san francisco and california, and we will truly ana this month our heritage and our future. thank you so much. you have done so much for every single one of us. [applause] fo >> ok. all right. we've got some competition on the stage now. >> look this way. a couple of other people we need to thank -- our host is a mere -- our host is mayor lee, but we
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have a bunch of coast as well. supervisors mar, farrell, kim, elsbernd, wiener, chiu, cohen, avalos. round of applause for our coasts, please. our even a chair. -- our event chair. [reading names] >> all right. thank you. >> thank you. round of applause. these people give money, so
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please applaud. >> next, i would like to introduce betty yee, a member of the california state board of equalization, and the 2014 candidate for controller. >> good evening. as we celebrate the contributions of some very, very important figures in our history who have contributed to the development of our country, our stage, this great city, and as we honor the achievements of congressman mineta, the ongoing contributions of congressman hunter, and our own mayor, ed lee, in san francisco.
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each of us could not be doing the work that we are doing, that we have done without the doors of opportunity having been opened for each of us. so we're making sure that we are developing the leaders of tomorrow as part of the integral programs of leadership development and civic engagement. the internship program is designed to prepare college students to become our future leaders by providing our interns with the opportunities to work with government agencies, they develop their leadership skills, gain public policy experience, and broaden their civic engagement. the insurance selected have demonstrated a dedication to the community, and they will continue their engagement by working professionally with their peers and mentors. learning and workshops to enhance their leadership skills, and for dissipating in
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community service projects. we thank the local, state, and federal law offices for hosting in turns, and we thank the elected officials for their continued leadership and for opening the doors for mentoring our new leaders. please join me in congratulating and welcoming the internship class of 2012. will the intern's please join me on stage? [applause] they are --mayor, will you join us for a photograph, please?