County Council recognizes history, heritage of Asian Pacific Americans

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
The Metropolitan King County Council today recognized the heritage and contribution of all county residents of Asian Pacific Islander descent with the declaration of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in King County.

05-07 APA_print “People of Asian Pacific American descent have helped shape King County’s economy, politics, and culture,” said King County Council Vice Chair Claudia Balducci. “Asian Pacific American’s entrepreneurship, labor and innovation have been integral to making King County the dynamic place it is today. I was honored to stand with my King County colleagues today to pronounce May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.”

“I was honored to be joined today by leaders Assunta Ng and Diane Narasaki to recognize Asian Pacific American heritage month,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “The rich diversity of the Asian Pacific American community and their contributions and experiences have greatly enhanced our region and deserves acknowledgement and appreciation.”

The majority of Asian Pacific Americans living in Washington state reside within King County, which is the country’s 13th-largest and second-fastest growing county in the United States. People of Asian Pacific Americans account for nearly half of King County’s population growth in the past ten years, and at 17 percent of the total population, compose the county’s largest minority group.

The Council recognized the hardships endured by Asian Pacific Americans throughout history, including exclusionary laws surrounding housing, marriage, immigration, and naturalization, as well as the persisting gaps in achievement, opportunity, and accessibility to in-language services.

Despite the historical struggles and the contemporary challenges posed today, individuals of Asian Pacific descent have made significant contributions in every aspect of society, making King County one of the most vibrantly diverse, economically vital, and culturally rich regions in the United States.

The month of May became Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in 1990 and has been recognized as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the Washington State Legislature since 2000.

Editors: Cutline for attached photo is: “Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) Executive Director Diane Narasaki and Northwest Asian Weekly Publisher Assunta Ng join members after the Council declared May Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in King County.”

Front Row (l-r) Councilmember Claudia Balducci, Diane Narasaki, Assunta Ng, Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Larry Gossett.

Back Row (l-r) Councilmembers Pete von Reichbauer, Dave Upthegrove, Kathy Lambert and Joe McDermott.





WHEREAS, diversity is essential to the strength and vitality of King County; and


WHEREAS, Asian Pacific Americans compose the single largest community of color in King County; and


WHEREAS, people of Asian Pacific Island descent have lived in the Pacific Northwest for generations and have helped shape our county’s culture, economy, and identity; and


WHEREAS, the Asian Pacific American community is diverse within itself, comprising over 49 ethnic groups and 100 different languages and dialects; and


WHEREAS, despite economic hardship, restrictive and exclusionary laws, pervasive racism, and attacks on civil rights, Asian Pacific Americans have contributed to every major industry and profession in this region, playing an essential role in making King County one of the most vibrant and culturally rich regions in the United States; and


WHEREAS, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was established in 1990 to commemorate two events that occurred during the month of May: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, by workers who were mostly Chinese immigrants; and


WHEREAS, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated nationwide to honor the achievements of Asian Pacific Americans and recognize their significant contributions; and it is an opportunity to educate ourselves on the personal sacrifices and accomplishments made by people of Asian Pacific Islander descent in American history;


NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, proclaim May 2018 as




in King County and encourage all residents to join in this celebration and participate in the many festivities planned to recognize Asian Pacific Islander heritage.


DATED this seventh day of May, 2018.