Congressman Mark Takano, of the 41st Congressional District of California (Riverside, California area) visited San Francisco this past Sunday, February 17th and was a guest of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at a community event held at the Lady Shaw Senior Center in Chinatown. Lee made some opening remarks prior to Takano speaking.
I had blogged about Congressman Takano recently, as he was just elected this past November and made history by being the first openly gay non-white member of Congress. Or as even Takano has phrased it, he’s the first “gaysian”- gay Asian – in Congress.
Earlier in the day, Takano was a speaker for San Francisco’s Day of Remembrance (DOR) – a day to commemorated on or near February 19th, when, in 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, setting into motion the exclusion, eviction, and incarceration of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, both citizens and immigrants. Takano discussed how Congressman Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of Congress, was a staunch supporter of redress and reparations for Japanese American internment, even though Frank had barely an Asian American constituents – because it was the right thing to do. And how later, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), became the first non-LGBT civil rights organization to endorse same sex unions.
Takano also discussed issues around social security and Medicare, which would be of great interest to residents of the Senior Center, which is a low-income independent living complex and activity center for both the elderly residents and the community.