See below for a press release, and video as soon as it’s uploaded, from this morning’s virtual press conference to announce the formation of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus. Participants in this morning’s call included Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, Speaker of the House, Delegate Mark L. Keam (HD35, Fairfax), Senator Ghazala Hashmi (SD10, Chesterfield), Delegate Kathy Tran (HD42, Fairfax), Delegate Kelly K. Convirs-Fowler (HD21, Virginia Beach) and Delegate Suhas Subramanyam (HD87, Loudoun). As Sen. Hashmi said, “In this crucial time in our history when the hate and division that has been sown and is now coming to fruition in violent and heinous acts, the creation of the AAPI caucus is now more necessary than ever to make sure every Virginian not only feels safe but also can be a stakeholder in the decisions we make in Richmond.” And as Speaker Filler-Corn said, “The events of the last weeks have been heartbreaking” and are a “stark reminder that the issues of bigotry and racism are far from being solved…The formation of this caucus should send a loud and clear message that AAPI Virginians belong in the Commonwealth.”
House, Senate Leadership Create Asian-American and Pacific Islander Caucus
RICHMOND, Va.: Today, General Assembly leadership announced the formation of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander Caucus. Its founding members include Sen. Ghazala Hashmi and Dels. Mark Keam, Kathy Tran, Kelly Convirs-Fowler, and Suhas Subramanyam. In the upcoming organizational process for the Caucus, all members of the General Assembly will be invited to join as allies.
Sen. Ghazala Hashmi said: “I am proud to be a founding member of the newly-created AAPI Caucus. As the oldest elected body in the United States, the Virginia General Assembly has the unique opportunity to promote inclusion, and serve as an example for leaders across the nation and the world. In this crucial time in our history when the hate and division that has been sown and is now coming to fruition in violent and heinous acts, the creation of the AAPI caucus is now more necessary than ever to make sure every Virginian not only feels safe but also can be a stakeholder in the decisions we make in Richmond.”
The Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus added: “In light of the recent events in Atlanta which targeted Asian-Americans, as well as the increased spread of anti-AAPI sentiment amid the propagation of racist depictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud to stand as allies with the newly formed AAPI Caucus. In its creation, the Caucus provides one more seat at the table for diverse voices, so as members of the General Assembly we can listen and consult with one another as we do the business of the Commonwealth.”