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Saturday, June 19, 2021
Photo of Francesca Hong.

Rep. Hong introduces bill that would recognize May as APIDA Heritage Month

Rep. Francesca Hong (D-Madison) and Senator Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) introduced a joint bill to the legislation that marks the month of May as Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month in Wisconsin Tuesday. 

This bipartisan resolution recognizes the achievements and hardships faced by the APIDA and community.

“As the first Asian-American legislator [in Wisconsin], it is my honor to introduce a resolution honoring the lives of so many important people in our state,” Hong said in a release.

Hong highlighted the 82% rise in the APIDA population in Wisconsin since the 2000 Census, marking one of the highest increases of any demographic in the state. 

“There is no doubt in my mind that the story of this vast and diverse demographic is intrinsically linked with the story of Wisconsin, particularly that of the resilient Hmong community,” Hong said. “I believe we must look to commemorate APIDA lives, cultures and contributions to our nation’s history every year.” 

Hong thanked Sen. Kooyenga and their colleagues in the legislature for introducing the bill.

“The people this resolution recognizes have long been an important part of the fabric of our state and communities,” Kooyenga said. “I gladly join my colleague Rep. Hong in this nonpartisan effort honoring the cultural contributions to our melting pot from people of Asian, Pacific Island and Desi descent.”

In late March, Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate voted against legislation to celebrate Black History Month and instead honor conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh. 

The future of the bill is currently unclear but, if a majority of Republican lawmakers get on board for the resolution, it could be passed in upcoming floor sessions. 

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