SACRAMENTO — The California Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus elected State Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Cupertino) to serve as its new chair and vice-chair, respectively, starting Dec. 7.
Their terms will run through the 2021-2022 legislative session.
“I am honored to have been elected by my colleagues to serve as chair, especially during this critical time of exacerbated health and economic disparities for communities of color,” said Pan, who is also a pediatrician. “My colleague and former chair, Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), has been a powerful force on behalf of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) and I look forward to building on his work and ensuing fair representation in government.”
Pan is the first Asian American senator to represent Sacramento in the State Legislature and will be the first senator to serve as chair of the API Legislative Caucus in its 20-year history.
During his tenure in the Assembly and Senate, Pan has championed legislation and initiatives to promote health and education equity for underrepresented communities. He previously served as the vice chair for the caucus and chair of the Senate Select Committee on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs.
“I wish to congratulate Sen. Richard Pan on becoming the next chair. He has been a committed vice chair and a strong advocate for our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities,” said Chiu.
“Over the past two years, I have been honored to serve as chair and am proud of what we have been able to accomplish: helping to secure an unprecedented investment of $187 million for California’s census efforts; standing up against the Trump Administration’s xenophobic attacks on our communities, including its attempt to dismantle ‘public charge’ policies; defending the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities by fighting against unjust deportations; and fighting for AAPI representation and leadership across numerous sectors. I know these efforts will continue to be strengthened by our new caucus leadership.”
Serving alongside Pan will be Low, who has been one of the state’s most prolific lawmakers since joining the Assembly in 2014. He is the chair of the Committee on Business and Professions, chair of the LGBT Caucus and co-chair of the Legislative Technology & Innovation Caucus.
“Our API community will continue to fight racial injustice in our state as well as address the economic response to the pandemic,” Low said. “The API population in California is the fastest-growing demographic in our state and the API Legislative Caucus is ready to address the needs of our diverse community.”
The API Legislative Caucus also welcomes new members Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine), the first Asian American Democrat to represent Orange County, and Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-San Jose), the first openly bisexual legislator and youngest member to ever join the State Assembly.
Other members include Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Ed Chau (D-Arcadia), Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys), Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and Rob Bonta (D-Oakland).
Priorities for the caucus include addressing the alarming health and economic impacts of the pandemic on API communities, promoting education equity, and continuing to increase API engagement and representation in all levels of government.
The caucus represents and advocates for the interests of the diverse API communities throughout California. It seeks to increase Asian Pacific Islander participation and representation in all levels of government. For more information, visit: http://apicaucus.legislature.ca.gov