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May 24, 2023

Maryland’s Democratic Party Hosts Event to Embrace Asian American Culture in Recognition of AAPI Heritage Month

Credit: Vision Times

GAITHERSBURG, Maryland — On May 17, in commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Maryland Democratic Party’s AAPI Diversity Leadership Council hosted a much-anticipated event to celebrate the contributions that Asian Americans have made in the United States. The occasion served as a vibrant and joyful celebration to honor and pay homage to the rich cultural tapestry of the more than 24 million AAPI members across the country.

To celebrate the occasion, the event was held at the New Fortune Restaurant in Gaithersburg, drawing the attendance of several key figures, including: Governor Wes Moore (D-MD) and Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller (D-MD). The gathering also served as a captivating convergence — bringing together nearly 600 representatives from different Asian American backgrounds and its surrounding communities.

Celebrating AAPI members
The event served as not only a platform for meaningful speeches and inspiring discussions, but also showcased an array of vibrant performances and scrumptious dishes that captivated the audience and their palettes. Dozens of kids from the community took center stage, filling the atmosphere with joy and cultural pride through lively dance routines and singing.

Governor Wes Moore (D-MD) (5th from left) attended the highly-anticipated event and gave his remarks on the importance of supporting and encouraging AAPI groups to thrive in the state. (Image: Xiao Min/Vision Times)
Their performances added an extra layer of celebration to highlight the many artistic traditions and talents within the AAPI community.

Miller: ‘A more inclusive world for all’
“Governor Moore and I didn’t want to be the first to make history; that wasn’t the assignment,” said Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller.

“The assignment is to make sure that we make this space a lot bigger for everyone else to feel comfortable to be in this space; to know that you can be Lieutenant or Governor or whatever your aspiration may be,” said Miller, as she highlighted the importance of hosting these types of events so that more children can feel represented and supported.

“Because the little kids that are about to dance and perform for us, that’s who we’re running for,” said Miller, adding, “We want to make sure that the world they live in is gentler, kinder, and more inclusive to all.”

The event drew the attendance of nearly 600 representatives from different Asian Pacific American backgrounds and surrounding communities. (Image: Xiao Min/Vision Times)
“That’s what it’s all about. I thank you for investing in our democracy, for being here today, and for being engaged. Without you, we would not be here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she added.

Moore: ‘Building measurements of generational wealth’
During his speech, Governor Moore underscored the importance of providing educational tools and support so that minority groups can thrive and build “generational wealth.”

“We need to support AAPI members so that they can grow their resources, hire more people, and build measurements of generational wealth,” said Moore, adding, “[This] is what our state needs to do. So we need to be able to focus on things like the ‘Innovative Economy Act’ of 2023 — one of our bills — that says that as a state, we are going to make choices and invest in things like telecom, sciences, and biology.”

The audience erupted with resounding applause and cheers in response to Moore’s remarks, acknowledging the importance of advocating for equal rights for every resident in the country — regardless of background, religion, or ethnicity.

Other VIP members in attendance included: MDP Chair Yvette Lewis, along with members of the AAPI DLC, MDP Treasurer Devang Shah and DNC AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong-Hong, Congressman David Trone, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, and Councilmember Will Jawando.

For more information regarding the Maryland Democratic Party’s AAPI Diversity Leadership Council, FAQs, and upcoming events, please visit the official website here.

Vision Times reporter Xiao Min contributed to this report.

DC-area lawmakers unite to oppose bill that would add more daily flights at Reagan National (Mentions Rep. Trone joining a letter to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure)
By Neal Augenstein | WTOP | 05/25/2023 | Link to Article
A proposal to add 28 daily flights, including more long-distance flights at Ronald Reagan National Airport is drawing strong opposition from lawmakers from Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.

“National is currently designed to accommodate 15 million passengers annually,” according to a May 23 letter sent to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, opposing the bipartisan bill introduced earlier this month by Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). “Last year, the airport set a record of 24 million passengers,” the letter stated.

The letter was signed by Virginia representatives Don Beyer, Jennifer Wexton, Gerry Connolly, Abigail Spanberger, Jennifer McClellan, and Bobby Scott. Also signing on were Maryland representatives Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, David Trone, Jamie Raskin, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, and Glenn Ivey, as well as D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

In the letter, the lawmakers said Reagan National “already experiences an above average number of missed approaches,” in part because of weather, high demand, airfield layout and runway length.

The letter argued that adding extra flights would likely exacerbate the situation, “disrupting an already complicated airspace and impacting safety.” The airspace around the nation’s capital is more restricted than in any other part of the country, according to the FAA.

A federal “perimeter” rule restricting long-distance flights was established in the 1960s. With few exceptions, it caps the distance of flights in and out of Reagan National at 1,250 miles.

The proposed bill would loosen the restrictions: “By limiting the number of flights in and out of National Airport, we are squeezing consumers — they are the ones paying the price,” said Johnson, a senior member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, in a statement introducing the Direct Capital Access (DCA) Act.

Without mentioning the bill’s sponsors, D.C.-area lawmakers said the priority should be on safety and efficiency of flights, “not the personal convenience of a comparatively small number of powerful and well-connected individuals.”

“No Member of Congress appreciates another representative meddling with the assets in their state or district,” wrote the D.C.-area representatives. “We, too, strongly oppose any attempts by other Members and special interest groups to dictate operations at these airports for their own personal convenience at great cost to our communities and constituents.”

The D.C.-area lawmakers said Dulles International Airport occupies 11,830 acres, while National airport is just 860 acres. “National was never intended to be a long-haul airport,” they wrote.

In addition, “the $6.8 million, 41-mile-long Silver Line expansion” opened less than six months ago, linking the Washington metropolitan area to Dulles. A recently announced $50 million grant from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide for construction of a new terminal at Dulles, the lawmakers wrote.

It’s not clear when the House committee will discuss HR 3185, the DCA Act of 2023.