As I had blogged previously, I took a red eye from San Francisco to Charlotte, North Carolina and arrived on Tuesday, September 4th in the morning for Day 1 of the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC). On Monday day, the DNC held their first meeting for the AAPI Caucus, but I wasn’t able to make it. On Day 2 of the convention, I was able to see all of speakers in the morning, despite being a few minutes late (damn parking!)
I wasn’t too sure what to expect for a caucus meeting, but there were at least a few hundred delegates and guests at the beginning of the meeting, as well as the press. I did see the D.C.-based news crew from Xinghua that I had met at the meet and greet the day before. Mostly, the speakers talked about the growing number of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States as well as their increasing involvement in public service and running for public office.
There were many of the same speakers from the meet and greet from the previous day, but there was also a line up of new ones. Unfortunately, I started running out of memory in my camcorder and wasn’t able to capture Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu’s entire speech. And Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden dropped by so quickly and made such brief remarks, that I didn’t have a chance to videotape her short talk and was only able to take a blurry photo. She must have been in-and-out in less than 5 minutes and came in through a side door that I didn’t see. I did later find out that the First Lady Michelle Obama had dropped by to visit the African American caucus as well as the Latino Caucus, so I was disappointed that she did not make it to the AAPI caucus meeting (though Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, did speak).
For the most part, the different speeches were to rally and motivate the Democratic troops for this November, to talk about the gains of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders elected or running for elected office, as well as to discuss the challenges still facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – especially in getting AAPIs involved in the political process. I thought maybe the caucus would be to discuss the Democratic platform or have more of an active working session to do some sort of planning. Maybe that was being done more in the state delegations during the day (which were held at hotels where official delegates were staying at). You can watch most of the caucus that I videotaped (minus parts of Chris Lu and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden).
0:00:00 – 0:12:15 Congresswoman and Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Dr. Judy Chu
0:12:15 – 0:18:35 Maya Soetoro-Ng, assistant professor of education at the University of Hawaii and the sister of President Barack Obama.
0:18:35 – 0:24:20 Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls
0:24:20 – 0:33:35 Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis
0:36:35 – 0:40:30 Nancy DeParle, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff
0:40:30 – 0:47:20 Pete Rouse, Counselor to the President and former “interim” Chief of Staff at the White House.
0:47:40 – 0:53:25 Chris Lu, Cabinet Secretary and Adviser to President Obama
0:54:00 – 0:58:20 Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan
0:58:20 – 1:00:40 Mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee, first Asian American elected as Mayor of San Francisco
1:00:40 – 1:08:50 Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii
1:08:50 – 1:11:40 Anne Holton, wife of Tim Kaine, former Governor of Virginia and candidate for Senate for Virginia
1:11:40 – 1:21:10 Congressman Mike Honda
1:21:10 – 1:25:47 Closing Remarks and Acknowledgements by DNC AAPI Caucus chair Bel Leong-Hong