APA Community Summit held in Tacoma

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Gubernatorial candidates Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna made a joint appearance. (Photo by Charles Lam/NWAW)

The Asian Pacific American Community Summit was held in Tacoma on Friday, Sept. 21, by the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington State. The event was aimed at increasing civic engagement in the Asian Pacific American community by registering voters and convincing those who have not been naturalized to become citizens.

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In attendance were CAPAA Commissioner Rey Pascua, Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos, Keynote Speaker Mee Moua, Representative Bob Hasegawa, Labor Leader Celso Tolman, and APAICS CEO Gloria Chan. (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

The event was all-inclusive, featuring seating areas and interpreters for all major Asian languages. Over 5,000 attendees arrived from all parts of Washington, including Spokane, Yakima, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, and Bellevue. The keynote address was made by Mee Moua, President of the Asian American Justice Center and former Minnesota State Senator. She spoke on the importance of working together and standing up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

“Let’s each personally commit to give our voice to those who cannot speak themselves,” she said. “Let’s make our community visible and let’s reclaim our democracy.”

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Senator Patty Murray (pictured right with Patsy Surh O’Connell and Diane Narasaki) made a surprise appearance, traveling all the way from Washington, D.C. (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

After Moua spoke, Senator Patty Murray made a surprise appearance and encouraged the audience to participate, no matter how small they may feel.

“If there is one thing I know,” Murray said, “it is the power of motivated people to create change.”

The event closed with a joint appearance by gubernatorial candidates Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna, who presented prepared statements to questions they were given beforehand. (end)

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