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4.27.2010

white house initiative announces api access campaign

On a press conference call today, the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders announced the Obama administration's efforts to increase API access and participation in federal programs, and improve the lives of API communities underserved by federal resources. Here's the press release:
WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO INCREASE ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER ACCESS AND PARTICIPATION IN FEDERAL PROGRAMS
Community leaders to advise federal agencies on needed services for
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to provide recommendations on
innovative local programs

In advance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
in May, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific
Islanders today announced the Obama administration's efforts to improve
the lives of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities
underserved by federal resources. The Initiative will collaborate with
top agency officials and community leaders in roundtable discussions on
education opportunities, housing, jobs, employment issues and health
disparities. Experts with hands-on community experience will advise
federal agencies on critical issues and share innovative models of
proven success.

"We want all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to know what
resources the Obama administration has available to help improve their
lives," Executive Director Kiran Ahuja said. "By building strong
collaboration between federal agency officials and community leaders,
we're taking the first step towards investing in a mutually beneficial
partnership to create easier access to educational opportunities and
program services."

"The President is committed to maximizing the government's
ability to address the needs of the AAPI communities through this
initiative," Chris Lu, assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary,
said. "President Obama and his administration are doing everything we
can to support the efforts to increase AAPI access and participation in
federal programs, especially during these tough economic times."

Like all Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are
suffering severe challenges in the current economic crises. AAPIs have
experienced the largest decline in homeownership of any racial group
over the last year. Poverty rates, work-related injuries and job losses
also have increased.

Working with Initiative co-chairs U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan and
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Ahuja has already built a strong
team at the Initiative. She has enlisted many administration officials
to hold dozens of events during Asian American and Pacific Islander
Heritage Month. U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will discuss employment
and labor issues with community leaders. Secretary Locke will hold a
Web chat to discuss the Initiative's work, and Secretary Duncan will
visit a public school with a high percentage of Asian American students
and a strong bilingual education program.
For more information about the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, go here. If you'd like to participate by submitting a question for next week's live video chat with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, be sure to email me by this Friday, April 30.