May 27, 2021

Hirono Introduces Resolution Marking May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced a resolution marking May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The resolution highlights the contributions to our country by generations of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

“This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is particularly meaningful. As we celebrate the rich diversity and contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in our country, these very communities have been under attack throughout the pandemic. We must take this opportunity to stand together with these communities and continue our work to advance civil rights and equal treatment for all Americans,” Senator Hirono said.

The full resolution text is available here.

The legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

"As prejudice toward and violence against the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community have tragically been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it’s as important as ever that we spend this Asian Pacific American Heritage Month reflecting on the countless ways the AANHPI community has shaped our nation’s history and take pride in the continued contributions of our children and our children’s children,” Senator Duckworth said. “As Asian Pacific American Heritage Month comes to a close, we must continue to work for progress for our community and ensure the American Dream remains within reach for all.”

“I’m proud to join my Senate colleagues today in introducing this resolution to recognize the numerous contributions and achievements of the Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, as well as the hardships they have faced. As a diverse nation, we are made stronger by celebrating the heritage and traditions of Asian Americans and uplifting their stories,” Senator Durbin said. “In standing with the AAPI community, this month, and each day, it is also our responsibility to condemn and combat racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans.”

“This month, we celebrate the heritage, culture, and contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Oregon and nationwide,”Senator Wyden said. “As anti-Asian hate crimes are on the rise, it’s even more crucial that all Americans recognize and condemn the discrimination AAPI communities continue to face, while lifting up the immense value AAPI individuals bring to the nation. I’m proud to stand alongside my colleagues in support of our AAPI neighbors with this resolution." 

“The importance of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month took on added urgency this year, as Congress and the Biden Administration acted decisively to address an alarming rise in anti-Asian sentiments and discrimination that resulted from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Menendez said. “While this month may be coming to an end, we must all continue to reaffirm our steadfast commitment to standing with our AAPI brothers and sisters who have suffered unspeakable violence and do everything we can to elevate and celebrate the rich contributions of the AAPI community to all facets of American society.”

“Throughout May, we take time to honor and reflect upon the great contributions that Asian Pacific Americans have bestowed on our country,” Senator Markey said. “From cultural and civic leaders, to frontline workers and scientists on the frontlines of combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, we are deeply grateful for all the Asian Pacific American community has given to us. We also reaffirm our commitment to both ending the bigotry and violence that far too many across the country have suffered, and fighting the barriers and inequities that still impact many in our Asian Pacific American communities.” 

“Asian American and Pacific Islanders have deep roots in Nevada and across the country, and I will always advocate for them. During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I’ve celebrated with our AAPI community and I’ve also worked with local leaders in Nevada to make sure our government is doing everything it can to address the nationwide rise in hate crimes targeting AAPI Americans. Following conversations with Nevada’s AAPI community leaders, I was proud to help pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, and I will continue to stand up for their community in the Senate,” Senator Cortez Masto said. 

“After a year that has seen hateful attacks and vile racism directed toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, this resolution sends a resounding message – we stand with you. From leaders in business and government to life-saving researchers and heroes in our armed forces, the AAPI community continues to build our country up to help America fulfill its potential. I’m proud to join my colleagues in this resolution to honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month,” Senator Blumenthal said. 

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and reflect on all the rich contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to our country,”Senator Hassan said. “And this year, we also commit to addressing the tragic rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community. I will continue to stand together with Senator Hirono and my colleagues to support the AAPI community. We all have a responsibility and duty to speak out against prejudice and hate of any kind.”  

“During Asian Pacific American Heritage month, I am pleased to celebrate a community that’s been part of our Nation’s fabric since the beginning,” Senator Casey said. “I stand in solidarity with the AAPI community in Pennsylvania and across the United States. We must continue to speak out against anti-Asian racism and fight for equality for all.”

“This month is about honoring and celebrating the countless achievements of our nation’s Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” Senator Klobuchar said. “In response to the rise in hate crimes throughout the coronavirus pandemic, I was proud to cosponsor the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and watch as President Biden signed this historic bill into law. This May, and all year long, we must recommit ourselves to combating prejudice and doing all we can to support AAPI communities nationwide.” 

“Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have shaped our nation’s history. Thanks to their achievements and contributions, the fabric of our country is richer and stronger,”Senator Shaheen said. “As we recognize AAPI accomplishments and culture, we must also double down on our commitment to unequivocally condemn and stop the violence and hate that is targeting AAPI communities. Our nation’s diversity is our strength, and I am proud to stand with our AAPI communities in solidarity against the surge in racist attacks.” 

“Asian Pacific American Heritage Month offers all Americans the opportunity to recognize and to appreciate the important role of this community in our nation – both throughout history and today,” Senator Cardin said. “The Asian American population is the fastest growing population in the United States and, over the past year, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have played a vital role in our nation’s battle with COVID-19. Serving as frontline workers, first responders and emergency personnel, they have provided life-saving and critical care to hundreds of thousands of people during unprecedented times. I’m proud to join with so many of my colleagues to both celebrate and stand in solidarity with the AAPI community.”

“Throughout the past year, we’ve seen a sharp rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community—disturbing acts of violence that have taken lives and attacked the vision of America as a country of freedom and equality for all. We must stand united and unequivocally condemn these disturbing hate crimes, and confront racism in our country,” Senator Merkley said. “This month—and every month—we must recognize and celebrate the countless contributions and achievements of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, and reaffirm our commitment to dismantling bigotry and hatred in our communities.”

"Now more than ever, it is important that we recognize and celebrate the many contributions Asian Pacific Americans have made to our country," Senator Bennet said. "I'm pleased to sponsor this resolution designating May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. My hope is that this will not only help us acknowledge the history and culture of the AAPI community, but commit us to standing up to prejudice and hate in all of its forms."

“With the rise of hate and bigotry against Asian Americans since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more critical to honor the countless contributions the AAPI community has made in our country. As we pay tribute to the AAPI community this month, we must also acknowledge there is more work to do, and we must stand together against the recent rise in hate and violence. I’m proud to join Senator Hirono and my colleagues today in celebrating and recognizing May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month,”Senator Carper said. 

“As this Asian Pacific American Heritage Month comes to an end, not only must we celebrate a rich history, we must also  recognize and address the persistent bias and discrimination that Asian Americans have faced and continue to face in this country,” Senator Booker said.  “Members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community strengthen the fabric of our nation, and I am proud to reintroduce this critical legislation with my Democratic colleagues that will commemorate their contributions and fight for greater visibility and opportunity across the country and in New Jersey.”

“Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is an important opportunity to honor the contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made throughout our nation’s history while simultaneously condemning the rise of hate crimes targeting this community during the pandemic. The strength of our country is rooted in our diversity, and it’s important that we recognize and celebrate that fact – that’s what this resolution does,” Senator Feinstein said. 

“In the United States, Asian and Pacific Americans have a long and important history of significant contributions to our country. This is particularly true in Washington state, and we recognize how Asian and Pacific Americans have shaped our way of life,” Senator Cantwell said. “Sadly, this same history has also been marked by periods of hate, xenophobia, and violence, like we have seen during the pandemic. It is even more important that as a country we acknowledge and celebrate Asian and Pacific Americans’ rich history, culture, and traditions this month.”

“Our country would not be what it is today if it weren’t for the countless contributions of generations of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders to our culture, society, and economy,” Senator Brown said. “It’s our responsibility to show our Asian-American friends, neighbors, and colleagues that we stand with them by combatting the rise of hate crimes and anti-Asian stigma, and honoring the diverse cultural heritage of the AAPI community present in every corner of America.”

"This month, we take time to highlight and honor the important contributions that members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community have made to our country. But this is also a moment for us to stand up and speak out against hate and violence directed at the AAPI community – hate that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and hate that will continue to spread if we don’t act. We must dedicate ourselves to rooting out this bigotry in all its ugly forms, and I’m glad that the Congress has passed and the President has signed a new law aimed at doing just that. But our work is far from over, and I’m proud to stand alongside my colleagues in support of the AAPI community, this month and every month,” Senator Van Hollen said.

Senator Hirono’s legislation to address the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, was signed into law last week. Last week, she also reintroduced bipartisan legislation to reunite Filipino World War II veterans with their children. Earlier this year, the Senator also called for more diversity in President Biden’s cabinet,praising the appointment of Erika Moritsugu to serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison.

In April Senator Hirono met with President Biden and Vice President Harris in April with colleagues from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus to, among other things, discuss issues of importance to the AANHPI community.

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