The White House is using APA month in May to launch its Asian American Pacific Island Initiative, which hopes to continue what the Clinton administration had started and what the Bush administration ignored.
Kiran Ahuja, the White House initiative’s executive director,acknowledged that the Clinton administration did a lot of work in the tail end of its tenue by identifiying issue areas like education and health as Asian American community concerns. But the Bush administration, she said scaled back the scope and focused on entrepeneurship in its day before finally letting the White Hous initiative die.
Now Ahuja said she plans to build on the work of the Clinton administration, essentially making up for lost time and lost momentum.
“We’re ready to hit the ground running,” Ahuja told a telephone news conference. The broader focus will include data collection on education, health care and jobs to help identify where Asian Americans are underserved. “We know across the board there are barriers to the community being engaged.”
Ahuja was not specific but said the May roll out will begin an effort that will include high level agency heads in the government meeting with community leaders.
Again, a good first step as a show of concern for our community. But it does also show how the community has been ignored in some vital areas during the Bush years.