On July 7, AAPIP Puget Sound co-sponsored a reception welcoming the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) and Chris Lu, President Obama’s Assistant and Cabinet Secretary to Seattle. Together, we gathered not as individual groups with our own agendas but as a community with a vested stake in sustainability issues particularly in the API community. How can we promote sustainable communities? How do we encourage innovation and support economic growth? According to the WHIAAPI blog, the AAPI population grew faster than any other race in this country over the last 10 years – a whopping 43 percent. This population explosion creates an urgent need to get AAPIs to the table and engage us in the national conversation.
As Martha Choe, Chief Administrative Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (and former Chair of the White House Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders and AAPIP member) remarked, it’s through these kind of convenings with the private sector, elected and public officials, community members and philanthropy that we can continue to have civil dialogues about topics like sustainability that affect all of us.