BY RAVI R. PONANGI
The Asian American Commission members for a New Georgia and leaders of other ethnic groups including the Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Hawaiian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Filipinos gathered at the Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta on Thursday, May 18, 2006 to support the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Proclamation led by Governor Sonny Perdue. The official proclamation from the Governor and the Georgia state government attempts to recognize the contributions of Asian Americans to this country and the state. The Governor, while addressing the gathering, declared that he is dedicated and committed to building a safer, healthier, more educated and growing Georgia for all residents including Asian Americans.
Speaking to this journalist, Josephine Tan, chair person of the commission for a New Georgia, constituted by the Georgia Governor appreciated the Governor's care for the community and communications with the community through the Asian American Commission for a New Georgia.
“We are pleased to see the growth of the Asian American population in the state and the celebrations held by many different community organizations in the state,” she said. “To create an impact in the state, we Asian Americans need not only to do good work everywhere we but also show our faces at the State Capitol where policy makers are. The Asian American Commission for a New Georgia has helped make our voices heard. Today the proclamation at the State Capitol has offered the Asian American community an opportunity to be seen by the mainstream as well as policy makers. It carries great meaning for the entire Asian American community when we celebrate the APA month at the state capitol,” she said.
Governor Sonny Perdue told this reporter that he is happy to see Asians and Pacific Islanders in Georgia making a difference in the state and their contribution economically and culturally are more significant. They made Georgia an international state to live, he added.
May is the Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter recognized the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage month to be a national annual celebration. The event became a month-long celebration, when in May 1990; President George H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which is celebrated with community festivals, government-sponsored activities, and educational activities for students.