When Governor-elect Jay Inslee announced the co-chairs of his transition team, the Northwest Asian Weekly received angry letters from people who were upset that the chairs didn’t include an Asian American. Instead, the committee leaders were made up of Microsoft VP Brad Smith, Renton School District Superintendent Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel, and WSU President Dr. Elson Floyd. One writer felt that Inslee had betrayed Asian Americans, forgetting us even though we are the largest minority group in Seattle and King County.
When Inslee released the full committee list on Nov. 27, however, 4 Asian Americans were present. Included on the 34 member transition team are APAs Someireh Amirfaiz, executive director of ReWA; Marilyn Strikland, mayor of Tacoma; Hyeok Kim, executive director of InterIm CDA; and Sue Taoka, executive VP of Craft3.
We can’t be content with just that however.
Inslee is currently reaching out to the community for recommendations for people to fill his staff. Every position is open for recommendation, including high-level cabinet seats and department heads. We have to take advantage of this opportunity. Inslee wants to move quickly, and this opportunity only comes around rarely.
Let’s collect resumes, find our best, and present them to the new governor with a united voice. Only then can we make sure we’re represented in his staff and have a voice at the decision-making table. If you have an opinion or a resume, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. (end)