Dedicated To 80-20's 350,000 Supporters
On 10/27/00, at 9 a.m. EDT, 80-20 became aware of a New York Times article reporting that a conservative wing of the Republican Party was airing a TV ad in small towns in the Midwest (i.e. avoiding areas with significant APA population) fanning "yellow peril" in order to get people to vote for Bush. By noon, an 80-20 e-mail was sent to our 230,000 supporters urging them to phone, fax, and/or e-mail the headquarters of the Bush campaign and The Republican National Committee (RNC) to demand "to pull that ad immediately." That e-mail is shown below as Exhibit Ia.
On 12/14/00 (Thursday), in a conference call among 80-20's Steering Comm. members a decision was made to find a way to induce President Bush to appoint an APA cabinet member. Thereafter, SB called two noted Republican APA leaders Matt Fong and John Tsu to coordinate efforts. Without reaching either, he left messages inquiring how 80-20 can be helpful to them.
Matt Fong called back while he was visiting Washington D.C. SB asked how things are progressing for the APA GOP leaders in term of getting appointments, including possibly a cabinet appointment. Matt said a large number of the APA Republican leaders were gathered in D.C. They were trying to pool their political assets to lobby for APA cabinet and sub-cabinet appointments. However, they were having trouble getting appointments to see the right people.
SB asked who were the persons to see. Matt named two. One was Andrew H. Card who was then the Chief of Staff of the Transition Team (T.T.) headed by V. P. Cheney. Card later became Bush's Chief of Staff. Another person was Clayton Johnson III, Exec. Director of T.T. SB stated that Card was not easy to get hold of. However, not being able to see Johnson was NOT a good sign. Matt agreed.
SB then asked how 80-20 could be helpful to them? Matt expressed the wish to generate public pressure to open the right doors. SB promised to help create that pressure.
On 12/21/00, SB sent an e-mail to the T.T. Office addressed to Cheney, who headed the Office. S.B.'s e-mail is seen below as Exhibit IIa. It took the carrot approach, stating:
"APAs as yet do not identify themselves with either party, we are here ready for you to make a move to win us over. Asian Americans reside mostly in CA, NY, and NJ. These are states rich with electoral college votes that the GOP could win in 2004."
On 12/27/00, not having heard back from Cheney, 80-20 went to its trump card, sending an e-mail to its 230,000 supporters and urging them to send e-mails to the Transition Office. See Exhibit IIb for that e-mail.
Although SB didn't ask to be copied in, hundreds of supporters copied SB in while e-mailing President-elect Bush and V.P.-elect Cheney. 80-20 estimated that at least 1000 e-mails went into the Transition Office on the SAME day. (80-20 supporters have always responded to our "calls to action" most enthusiastically. When 80-20 called for faxing a petition to President Clinton to pardon W. H. Lee with a copy to S.B., 750 copies were faxed to S.B's fax machine in 4 days. These copies are still available, if doubters want to see them. E-mailing is much easier than faxing through to two fax machines -- one in the White House and the other in S.B's office.)
On 12/28/00, using the tremendous and immediate response from its supporters, 80-20 lobbied the media to "call the Transition Office to get its response" to the aspirations of the APA community. See Exhibit IIc for 80-20's e-mail to about 400 media reporters. Many reporters from the largest mainstream media did call the Transition Office.
The next day, on 12/29/00, the transition office responded positively. For the first time V.P.-elect Cheney called Norman Mineta, a Democrat, and inquired about his interest to serve in the Bush administration. The rest is history.
How Pres. Obama has acted regarding the Asian Am. Community as of today
2 Top Leaders in the 16 member Transition Team (TT):
Pete Rouse - a Japanese Am. is one of 3 co-chairs of the TT
Chris Lu - Executive Director of the TT
About 10 Senior White House Staff
Chris Lu - Asst to the President and Cabinet Secretary
Pete Rouse - Senior Advisor
Vivek Kundra - CIO, Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Aneesh Chopra - Chief Technology Officer (OMB)
Preeta Bansal - General Counsel, OMB
Tina Tchen - Head, Office of Public Liaison
Kal Penn - Associate Director of Public Liaison
Sonal Shah - Head, Office of Social Innovation
Madhuri Kommareddi - Associate Staff Secretary
A few more whose names we'll publicize later.
3 of the 15 Cabinet Secretaries:
General Eric Shinseki - Veteran Affairs Dept.
Nobel Laureate Steven Chu - Energy Dept.
Governor Gary Locke - Commerce Dept.
A Labor Secretary with the background to understand our concerns
Hilda Solis' old Congressional District includes Monterey Park.
Her parents are both immigrant workers. She and Judy Chu are good friends.
An Acting Chair of EEOC - Stuart Ishimaru
Sub-cabinet Level Appointments
2 Legal Counsels in important Cabinet Depts. & many others:
Ivan K. Fong - General Counsel, Homeland Security; Dept Sec. in rank
Harold Hongju Koh (고홍주) - Legal Counsel, State Department (one
of the top legal advisors in the State Dept.)
Tammy Duckworth (a Thai) - Asst. Sec., Dept. of Veteran Affairs
Rich Verma - Asst. Sec. of Legislative Affairs, The State Dept.
Rajiv Shah - Under Secretary of Research, Edu, & Econ, Agriculture Dept.
Howard Koh - Asst. Sec. of Health, HHS
Tony Babauta - Asst. Sec. of Insular Areas, DOI
Suresh Kumar - Asst. Sec. of Commerce and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, Dept. of Commerce
NOTE: There are many other worthy appointments which we didn't list and many more new ones to come.