IRVINE — Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) Wednesday announced that she has invited Sakura Kokumai, a martial arts champion who was recently the target of anti-Asian harassment in Orange County, as her virtual guest to President Joe Biden’s address to the joint session of Congress.
Earlier this month, Kokumai was training for the 2021 Olympics when she was verbally assaulted at Grijalva Park in Orange.
“Sakura is an upstanding member of our Orange County community, and I’m honored to have her join me as my guest to the president’s speech this week,” Porter said. “As she was training to represent our country on the world stage, Sakura was harassed because of her heritage. She bravely responded to this ignorance by using her platform to raise awareness of anti-Asian hate. As Congress continues to work on combating anti-Asian hate, I will continue to lift up the stories of our community, which is proof that diversity makes our country strong.”
“I am honored to be the guest of Congresswoman Katie Porter,” Kokumai said. “…As AAPI violence rises, we need to come together as a country to support each other as human beings. I hope my experience as an Asian American athlete inspires the next generation to accomplish their dreams. We are all in this together.”
Biden addressed Congress on Wednesday, the eve of his 100th day in office.
A proud member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Porter is dedicated to promoting the well-being of the AAPI community. She has repeatedly denounced the rise in hate crimes against Asians Americans during the pandemic, including during a rally in Irvine and at a town hall she hosted last month. Porter is also helping spearhead a bipartisan bill to expand how hate crimes are reported, tracked, and prosecuted.
CAPAC consists of AAPI members of Congress as well as legislators whose districts have significant AAPI populations.