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AAPI Legislative Day in Olympia

State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos welcomes participants for the 2017 AAPI Legislative Day. Photo courtesy of Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington State

Over a thousand Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) from Washington State gathered last Thursday at the state capitol in Olympia to talk to lawmakers about topics ranging from education, naturalization and healthcare, to climate change, voting rights and police use of deadly force. Since 1996, the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) has organized thousands to attend Asian Pacific American (APA) Legislative Day with the goal of educating lawmakers about how different issues impact members of the AAPI community, whether immigrant, refugee or native born.

“The diversity of languages and cultures in our AAPI community are a critical part of who we are as Washingtonians, and the contributions of AAPIs to our businesses, economy, and community are vital to our success as a state,” Governor Inslee addressed attendees as a group.

“Our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities comprise people of color and include all genders, immigrants, refugees, citizens, people of all major religious traditions, people of all income levels, people with disabilities, and people on the front lines of fighting climate change,” said Diane Narasaki, executive director of Asian Counseling and Referral Service and co-chair of the King County chapter of APIC.

“APA Legislative Day is a major civic engagement opportunity for our multilingual community to communicate the issues important to our community to our legislators. Our local and state governments directly impact our lives and it’s more important than ever that we connect with our elected officials directly to voice our ideas and concerns, and to support or oppose policies and legislation we care about.

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The North American Post is a community newspaper that celebrates Japanese culture in the Greater Seattle area. Founded by 1st generation Japanese-Americans in 1902, the publication is one of the oldest minority-owned newspapers in the region. Today, with bilingual articles in English and Japanese, the publication connects readers with diverse cultural backgrounds to Seattle’s Japanese community. Our articles include local news, event calendars, restaurant reviews, Japanese cooking recipes, community interviews, and more.