The following statement can be attributed to Dale Minami, CAPA21 President:
The AAPI political action committee CAPA21 expresses its disappointment that the Biden/Harris administration has filled its department-level Cabinet without a single Asian American Pacific Islander nominee.
Despite strong calls from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and numerous Asian American Pacific Islander organizations, the Biden/Harris administration will start on January 20 as the first administration in more than 20 years without an Asian American or Pacific Islander serving as a Cabinet Secretary.
President-elect Biden campaigned on a pledge to build a Cabinet that “looks like America.” More than 24 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are part of the vibrant American population. A Cabinet without an AAPI secretary does not look like America.
The Biden/Harris administration is sending a message to the AAPI community that we are not important enough to merit being reflected in an otherwise diverse Cabinet.
Our critique does not discount the importance of the roles that will be served by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Office of Management & Budget Director-designate Neera Tanden, US Trade Representative-designate Katherine Tai, and other AAPIs nominated to leadership positions in the new administration. We celebrate Vice President-elect Harris and all the AAPIs nominated, but President-elect Biden’s pledge remains unfulfilled.
CAPA21 asks that the Biden/Harris administration explain to the AAPI community how it will make good on its promise of a Cabinet reflective of America.