President Barack Obama is set to attend a gala at the Washington, D.C., Ritz-Carlton in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month on Tuesday. Politico reports it will be the first time he’s attended a “major event hosted by an Asian-American group” since 2005.
It’s no secret that Asian American leaders have at times been disappointed with Obama’s level of engagement with their community. Last July, Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) complained that Obama had not formally hosted the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) at the White House. Obama then met with the group in September.
The president of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), Gloria Chan, issued a statement praising Obama for agreeing to offer a keynote address at Tuesday’s gala. Chan also commended Obama for appointing a record-high number of Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders to senior positions in his administration.
U.S. Census data shows Asian Americans are the fastest growing group in the nation, while a recent poll found that major candidates for office still ignore this group.