In Memory of Pres. George H. W. Bush and Recalling
the making of the first batch of AsAm Presidential appointees
Q: Is a presidential appointee a BIG deal?
A:Yes! This person needs to be appointed by the president & confirmed by the Senate to earn that title. There are only 1212 such positions
Q: The U.S. was 213 years old, when Pres. H. W. Bush was elected, how
many AsAm presidential appointees had there been before then?
A: None, except for federal judges, to the best of my knowledge,
Q:So what made Pres. Bush Sr. take this precedent setting move?
A: Two factors. (a) The enlightened political philosophy of Pres. Bush, Sr.
which we've been hearing so much about these days. (b) The bold &
innovative political efforts of a group of AsAm pioneers.
Q: Who were this group of AsAm pioneers?
A: In the Spring of 1988, S.B. Woo, perhaps the best known AsAm Democrat at the time, and Anna Chennault, perhaps the best known AsAm Republican at the time, wanted to use that year's presidential election to advance AsAm interests.
As Woo has always stressed: "Every presidential election year offers
the best opportunity for for a minority to use their votes to bargain for a
Woo and Chennault were the co-chairs of an Ad hoc AsAm Comm. The comm. was composed of just about the best known Chinese Ams at the time, including Yuan Tseh Lee, a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1986, Chia-Wei Woo, President of San Francisco State university, David Lam, CEO of Lam Research Corporation and many others. The group wrote a letter to candidate Bush asking for appointments, if he would be elected. Dr. John B Tsu, a good person & an astute politician working for the Bush campaign, volunteered to be our liaison to the Bush campaign. Soon, a very short hand-written reply signed by Bush* arrived. It stated that he'd consider our request, when elected. Tsu used that letter to raise money for Bush from AsAms. A few months later, Bush won.
Civil Rights commissioner; David Lam - US commissioner on Minority
Business Development; Elaine Chao - Deputy Secretary of
Transportation, and a few other appointments.
A Journey of a 1,000 Miles Begins with the 1st Step
AsAm appointment rose in ranks & numbers thereafter. For example, Norman Mineta become the 1st AsAm full Secretary under Pres.Clinton (Commerce) and Pres. Bush (Transportation). Bush also appointed Elaine Chao as the Sec.of Labor. Obama appointed 3 AsAms as cabinet members and numerous sub-cabinet members. Trump appointed Elaine Chao as the Sec. of Transportation.
Another illustration of a 1st step leading to a long journey is 80-20's success in working with Pres. Obama to increase drastically the number AsAm federal District Court judges and Appeals Court judges. One day soon there will be an AsAm Supreme Court Justice!
To be balanced, however, we can't just look at the rosy side of the political arena only. Let's remember that we are NOT equal citizens yet. The saddest feeling I have is that those AsAms, who have "made it" through our collective efforts, don't normally step up to help our community back.
Let's think Big (3) - win JUSTICE with AsAm lawyers plus others