BY VEENA RAO
Photos by Bonnie Youn
Atlanta, GA: State Representative Pedro Marin (D-District 96) officially announced Georgia House Resolution 77 recognizing prominent and innovative Georgia Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voices in the field of media, press and journalism at the State Capitol on January 29. Copies of the resolution were handed out to representatives of AAPI media by Secretary of State Brian Kemp. NRI Pulse was among the media groups felicitated at the event.
Media representatives from Khabar Magazine, Indian Tribune, TV Asia, The Korea Daily, Atlanta RadioKorea, Georgia Asian Times, Tre magazine, The Xin Times, World Journal, China Tribune, Korea Times and Korean Television Network were also recognized at the event.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp, in his keynote address, spoke about his initiative called the ‘SEC primary’ for 2016. Kemp is banding with his counterparts in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas to have the presidential primary on March 1, 2016.
“For several years, either the Presidential race was over with before it even got to Georgia and you pretty much knew who the nominees were going to be, or we were going the same day as other big states like New York or California, and we were getting overshadowed,” he said.
The SEC initiative would make sure that the presidential candidates, both Republican and Democratic, would come to Georgia and participate in the electoral process, and make the time to learn about the state, rather than merely attend fundraisers, he said.
It would also ensure that the candidates spend on their campaigns in Georgia, thereby benefiting the state, he added.
Kemp said his office was partnering with the Governor’s office to bring new corporations to the state and supporting the growth and expansion of small businesses. “We (the office of the Secretary of State) do a million filings a year,” he added.
Rep Pedro Marin, who sponsored House Resolution 77, congratulated the media members in attendance. He also spoke about the transportation funding bill which was introduced into the House on January 29 (the same day the media was felicitated.) He said the leaders had figured out a way to raise more than $1 billion a year without raising taxes. “Bigger chips are coming. There is even a component on the Savannah port. It will put thousands of additional trucks on the roads from the port,” he said.
The bill calls for replacing the various components that make up the state gasoline tax with a straight excise tax of 29.2 cents per gallon.
Marin also talked about the unveiling a bill that seeks the assistance of local governments in translating official documents so that communities can interact better with government. “We need to make sure we push the bill so that our representatives understand our diverse communities,” he said.
Earlier, Farooq Mughal, chair of the Asian American Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia, and one of the organizers of the event, welcomed the media representatives. In his brief note, he mentioned Fred Korematsu, the Japanese-American who became a national civil rights hero after his conviction (for refusing to go to the government’s incarceration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II) was overturned in 1983 by the California courts. The AAPI media played a concerted role in the overturning of Korematsu’s conviction, he said. “We’d like to honor AAPI media on Fred Korematsu day for promoting diversity and cultures in Georgia.”
Media members later had a brief interaction and a photo-op with Governor Nathan Deal.