From left: CAPAC members Reps. Kaiali’i Kahele (D-Hawaii), Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), Mark Takano (D-Riverside) and Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) at the White House.

WASHINGTON – Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) met with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and leaders of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) on April 15 at the White House to address the priorities of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in Biden’s American Jobs Plan.

The group also worked to find solutions for the continued uptick in anti-Asian violence and discrimination across the nation.

“Over the last few years, and particularly in the past year of this pandemic, we have seen vividly how the rhetoric at the highest levels of government has consequential ripples all the way down to our neighborhoods,” said Matsui. “Words matter. Leadership matters – and President Biden and Vice President Harris’ example of compassion and call for action show a clear effort to change the tone of the national discussion towards AAPI communities.

“The president and I both realize and understand the need to address the root of these problems. In our meeting, I called on his administration to re-establish the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, which would increase the AAPI community’s access to federal resources and programs.”

“The meeting today also touched upon how we can create opportunities for all Americans through his American Jobs Plan. The president’s plan delivers on his promises to create millions of good-paying jobs and rebuild our country’s infrastructure in a sustainable and equitable way.

“As leaders in the AAPI community, we look forward to continuing our discussions with the president as we work to build our economy back better and ensure the dignity of all Americans.”

Matsui has been an outspoken advocate against the recent discrimination and violence towards the AAPI community. Last month, she testified at a House Judiciary Committee hearing addressing these topics and told her unique story.

She was born at Poston, an Arizona concentration camp where her family and thousands of other Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. Her first husband, the late Rep. Robert Matsui, was incarcerated with his family as an infant at Tule Lake.

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