SACRAMENTO – The California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus (AAPILC) celebrates three new AAPI, female, first-time Democratic elected officials as members: State Sen. Aisha Wahab of Fremont, Assemblymember Stephanie Nguyen of Elk Grove, and Assemblymember Jasmeet Bains of Bakersfield.
“A heartfelt welcome to our newest members of the AAPI Legislative Caucus … The united efforts in the community elected three female AAPI members to the caucus enabling us to better represent and support the desires and needs of our diverse AAPI communities,” said Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Cupertino), chair of the caucus.
A total of 38 Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) have served in the California Legislature, of which only nine have been females. March Fong Eu became the first API woman and Chinese American elected to the Legislature in 1966. Today, the total number of API females in the Legislature increases by 25% to 12.
Not only is this the first time in nearly ten years the AAPI Legislative Caucus has seen API female elected officials, but it is also the very first time an Afghan American woman has been elected to the State Senate; an Indian-origin Sikh woman has been elected to the Assembly; and a Vietnamese female Democrat has been elected to the Assembly.
The AAPILC also works alongside four Republican joint caucus members, Sen. Janet Nguyen of Huntington Beach, Assemblymember Phillip Chen of Yorba Linda, Assemblymember Vince Fong of Bakersfield, and Assemblymember Tri Ta of Westminster, as well as state constitutional officers, Attorney General Rob Bonta and Treasurer Fiona Ma, making one of the largest representations of APIs in California’s state government since the inception of AAPILC over 20 years ago.
Their collaborative efforts have been instrumental to achievements for Californian AAPI communities, such as the API Equity Budget.