On Wednesday, if you were watching the proceedings at the Democratic National Convention, you may have seen a squad of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders take the stage, repping the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and talking about their support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Judy Chu, Chair of CAPAC, recalled that there was a time, not too long ago, that seeing an Asian face in the U.S. Capitol was a rare sight. But there are now a record number of API members of Congress.
"We have gone from being marginalized to becoming the margin of victory in key swing states and districts all across our nation," Chu said. "America needs a president who will fight for us. Someone who rejects the hateful rhetoric too often used to divide us and believes that America's diversity is our greatest strength. That is why we've got to elect Hillary Clinton as our next President of the United States."
Chu highlighted how CAPAC's membership includes Rep. Doris Matsui and Rep. Mike Honda, who both spent part of their childhoods incarcerated in internment camps as Japanese Americans -- a dark chapter of our country's history that Donald Trump doesn't seem to have any problem with. The congresswoman also paid tribute to the late congressman Mark Takai, who died last week after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
The Democratic members of Congress on that stage represent an amazing group of political trailblazers. They include:
Rep. Chu is the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress.
Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii is the first Asian American woman ever elected the U.S. Senate.
Rep. Mark Takano of California is the first openly gay person of color to be elected to Congress.
Rep. Ami Bera is currently the only South Asian member of Congress.
Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia is the first person of Filipino ancestry to be elected to Congress.
Rep. Grace Meng of New York is the first Asian American elected to Congress from the East Coast.
Rep. Meng, who closed CAPAC's moment on the DNC stage, said that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders voters are poised to be then deciding difference in the coming election.
"Our voting power has doubled over the last decade. We are now the swing vote in swing states like Virginia, Nevada, and also right here in Pennsylvania," Meng said. "I call upon my fellow AAPIs to organize, campaign, and to vote so that we will be the margin of victory in 2016 and beyond."