SACRAMENTO — The California Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus (APILC) on Nov. 29 announced new policy priorities and leadership with Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) taking the reins as chair of the caucus for the 2019-2020 legislative session.
“Serving and strengthening the API community has been a lifelong passion of mine,” said Chiu. “I am grateful that my colleagues have given me the opportunity to lead our caucus for the upcoming legislative session. And I want to thank outgoing chair Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), who worked tirelessly to provide outstanding leadership that moved the caucus to new heights.”
Chiu is the first Asian American to represent eastern San Francisco in the Legislature, which includes the nation’s oldest and largest Chinatown, as well as San Francisco’s Japantown, Little Saigon, and Filipino Heritage District. Before his election to the State Assembly, he was the first Asian American president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Chiu has a long history of holding leadership positions in the API community, starting with his undergraduate days as president of Harvard’s Asian American Association. Since then, he has served as president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, board chair for the Chinatown Community Development Center, and secretary of the API Caucus of the California Democratic Party.
Other officers elected to leadership posts within the APILC include Vice Chairs Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance). Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) will serve as caucus parliamentarian. Chiu will take over as chair from Bonta, who led the caucus to pass historic legislation to increase diversity in the film industry.
“I’m proud to pass the gavel to our next chair … David has been a great friend to me and has been an unwavering champion for our diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander communities,” said Bonta. “He has been integral to advancing several of our priority areas, including authoring key affordable housing bills and helping to negotiate ground-breaking provisions in the Film Tax Credit extension to promote diversity and inclusion, in addition to numerous other legislative accomplishments. It’s been an honor to serve as the API Caucus chair for the past two years, and I know that our caucus will continue to thrive under Assemblymember Chiu’s leadership.”
The caucus also unveiled new policy priorities, including increasing higher education opportunities, promoting API representation within corporate leadership, developing an API leadership pipeline, and ensuring all Californians are counted in the 2020 Census.