During my formative years from childhood to high
school, I resided and went to school in the communities not too far
from Lake Erie. I grew up in Parma, went to high school in
Cleveland, and my parents now live in Strongsville. I continue to
carry with me the hometown and Asian Pacific American (APA) values
of hard work, respect for others, the importance of community, and
the power of hope. I also learned what it means to be a minority
growing up in America, and the challenges that we all face on a
daily basis. That is why I believe APA voters in Ohio and
Pennsylvania should support Barack Obama for President.
It doesn’t matter whether we are white, black,
brown, or a shade of yellow, the two most important issues facing
our nation today are the economy and the war in Iraq. Our economy is
one the verge of collapse due to the failed trickle-down economic
polices of the last eight years. The deregulation and hands off,
anything goes attitude of the current presidential administration
led to the financial collapse on Wall Street, and devastation on
Main Street. John McCain, who voted with President George Bush 90%
of the time, would simply be an extension of another 4 years of the
same disastrous economic polices that threaten our nation with
Senator Obama would change the course of our economic
policies to focus on the middle class, rather than the super
wealthy; on hard-working taxpayers rather than large Wall Street
corporations; and on a system of international trade that is fair to
workers in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. We cannot afford
another four more years of the same failed polices; we need change
and Senator Obama is the best candidate to deliver that change.
One of the reasons our country is on the verge of
bankruptcy is due to the enormous amounts of funds spent on the Iraq
War. Senator Obama has called for the country of Iraq, which has a
surplus of money, to pay for essential services and security, rather
than spending American taxpayer funds. John McCain has said he would
have the United States be in Iraq for another 100 years. Senator
Obama has a fundamentally different view, one that calls for the
American military to stabilize Iraq, not occupy Iraq, and to bring
our troops home at the earliest opportunity once Iraq is stabilized.
With regard to the APA community, there is simply
no comparison between Senator Obama and Senator McCain. Senator
Obama grew up in a diverse family (his brother-in-law is Chinese),
he obviously is a minority, and he has spent much of his career on
civil rights issues, fighting for minorities like you and me.
Senator Obama is the only Presidential candidate in history to have
a comprehensive plan for the APA community. His “Blueprint For The
Change We Need For Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” is a
historic document that captures many of the issues and challenges
facing the APA community. Senator Obama has also received
endorsements of numerous APA organizations and individuals,
including the 80-20 organization; Congressman Mike Honda; and
Congressman David Wu.
I also believe Senator Obama will have one of the most
inclusive administrations in our country’s history. As a veteran in
the U.S. Air Force, my last active duty assignment was in
California, which is where I currently reside. Now as an elected
state representative and Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander
Legislative Caucus in the state legislature, I have strongly
advocated for appointing more minority candidates to judicial and
political positions. I believe Senator Obama would make far more
minority appointments if elected President than anyone else
currently running because he fully understands what it means to be a
minority in America today.
The promise of our nation will only be realized when,
in the great words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., people are judged
on the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
The fact that Senator Obama has an excellent chance of being the
first non-white in the White House is already a giant leap forward
for America. When the ocean of tolerance rises, all boats rise with
I was an early endorser of Senator Obama not just
because of his focus on the APA community, but also because I
believed he was the best candidate to unify our country. After eight
years of one of the most divisive Presidents in our nation’s
history, we need someone who can bring our nation together, restore
our credibility in foreign affairs, and inspire all of us to leave
behind a better society to our children.
I ask you to join me in supporting Senator Obama by voting
for him on November 4th.
Ted W. Lieu
California State Legislature
Chair, Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus'