For Immediate Release
March 7, 2022
CALLING IT 21st CENTURY CHINESE EXCLUSION, CHINESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY STRONGLY CONDEMNS HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP FOR EXPELLING AMERICANS OF CHINESE DESCENT HISTORY MONTH BILL FROM WA STATE LAW
Bellevue Washington – March 7, 2022 – Outraged by House Democratic Leadership’s expulsion of the Americans of Chinese descent history month bill from WA State Law, the Chinese American community calls out the House Democratic Leadership for ignoring the Chinese American community.
If passed, ESB 5264 would declare January as Americans of Chinese descent history month and encourage (not mandate) public schools to commemorate Americans of Chinese descent’s lives, history, achievements, and contributions.
“It would be the easiest bill in the world to run in only a few minutes, yet House Democratic Leadership chose to take the time to pass the pickleball bill at the very end of session and ignore the Americans of Chinese descent history month bill.” Said Linda Yang, Director of Washington Asians For Equality, “It was a long overdue bill, yet, Americans of Chinese descent’s 237 years of history in this country carries little weight in the eyes of House Democratic Leadership, in comparison to the pickleball bill. I have been sending all WA legislators a daily note of Chinese American history since January 10th. We are deeply saddened that the rich history of Americans of Chinese descents can’t convince them to support this bill, but pickleball made the cutoff. After several tries, it seems they simply do not want to make the Americans of Chinese descent history month bill a law. This is deeply puzzling to us, considering Speaker of the House, Laurie Jinkins, is from Tacoma, a city with such a dark Chinese exclusion history. In 1885, Chinese immigrants were forcefully expelled from her district in Tacoma. The city later built Chinese Reconciliation Park to commemorate this terrible history of hatred, murder, and repression. Rep. Jinkins apparently has not learned from Tacoma’s dark past.
Last year, Senator Wagoner sponsored SB 5264. The bill has zero fiscal impact, and was passed out of committee unanimously. Yet, Senate Democratic Leadership sat on it and let the bill die twice. The Chinese American community strongly condemned Senate Democratic Leadership for being missing in action last session.
This session, Senate quickly passed ESB 5264 by 48 to 0 in January! This would allow this bill enough time to navigate through the House. However, the bill was let sit in the House State Government and Tribal Relations committee for 4 weeks, and finally reached House floor calendar on February 26. House Democratic Leadership had plenty of time and all the power to bring this bill out for an all member vote, yet, they intentionally blocked this bill. By contrast, House Democratic Leadership swiftly passed the pickleball bill, which just reached the floor calendar on cutoff day!
“They have deeply insulted the Chinese American community. Their message was clear: Chinese Americans’ contributions and sufferings are not worth recognition. The Washington legislature passed Japanese Remembrance Day bill in 2003, Korean American Day bill in 2007, and Filipino American History Monty bill in 2019. Yet, they think the Chinese American community should settle for less. We feel that they are practicing bias without even an ounce of concern or compassion. This has been going on for a very long time. In the past, Americans of Chinese descents were always silent when these things happened to them. The House Democratic Leadership is where this bill was killed in the 2022 legislative session and there must be some accountability. Their action is a direct insult to the Chinese American Community”.
“This was not the first time we experienced anti-Chinese bias from leadership in the Legislature. We are calling this out now because this has to stop “, said Kan Qiu, President of American Coalition For Equality. “The Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific Americans Affairs gave strong testimony supporting this bill at the House Public Hearing. Seattle Public Schools, Bellevue School District, Lake Washington School District, Tacoma Public Schools all signed up supporting this bill. Our schools were ready to embrace this bill. House Democratic Leadership failed the Chinese American community, failed our schools and our students. Now they need to provide the general public and Chinese American community an answer and closure.”