APIAVote Highlights lack of AAPI Representation in Biden Cabinet
In Wake of Mostly-White Insurrection, AAPI Representation Even More Vital to Ensure a "Cabinet that
Looks like America"


Washington, DC, January 11 — Last week’s Georgia Senate run-off elections capped a historic cycle for Asian American and Pacific
Islander (AAPI) participation in the Peach State. 
APIAVote Executive Director Christine Chen issued the following statement on the
Biden Administration’s lack of AAPI representation at the Secretary level:


“We are overjoyed that Asian American and Pacific Islanders made their voices heard so loudly in last week’s Georgia Senate
elections, as well as throughout the 2020 cycle. With those campaigns behind us, it is of the utmost importance the new
Administration and our Congressional leaders begin addressing our most pressing problems, including the COVID-19 vaccine and
economic relief for working families.


“Our elected officials owe a great debt of gratitude to the AAPI community. Many of their elections were made possible by the significant
contributions of Asian-American and Pacific Islander votes. Approximately two-thirds of AAPI’s supported the new Administration, and
AAPI’s turned out in record numbers during the general election. According to one analysis, AAPI voters increased their turnout relative
to 2016 more than any other demographic group across the swing states.


“While we are thrilled that Vice President-Elect Harris is the first person of South Asian descent to hold that office, we are dismayed
about the lack of an AAPI Cabinet Secretary. There were multiple highly-qualified AAPI’s for Cabinet Secretary positions, yet no final
selections across all 15 agencies with Secretaries. This represents a significant step backwards in representation from both
President Obama and President Clinton’s Cabinets, as well as the current Administration.


“Last week’s insurrection underscores the urgency in President-Elect Biden’s own promise at our APIAVote Presidential Town Hall
that he would nominate a Cabinet that looks like America. A mostly-white mob of insurgents attacked the U.S. Capitol holding flags of
hatred, while screaming racial epithets in the People’s House. Asian American and Pacific Islanders have served on the frontlines of
our nation’s wars to protect our nation’s highest ideals, and have unfortunately been victim to its excesses and overreach, particularly
during World War II.


“Our calls for representation come from a long-held understanding in ethnic communities that having a seat at the table ensures our
government’s policies reflect all of its people. During the George W. Bush Administration, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta
helped ensure the Bush Administration would not make the same catastrophic mistake that led to the interments of Asian-Americans
in Korematsu v. United States. Our community understandably has questions about where it fits into the new Administration, given that
our faces will not be the ones setting and implementing policy as Cabinet Secretaries.


“As our nation seeks to heal from the destructive and violent events of the last year, it would be a proper gesture of respect and
gratitude to welcome AAPI’s into the next round of Cabinet nominations, senior White House and agency leadership, and boards and
commissions.”