Prodded to act on racial justice, Biden picks liaison to Asian diaspora

Moritsugu was most recently vice president at National Partnership for Women & Families, a non-profit where her portfolio included congressional outreach and advocacy on policy issues affecting women of color. She also has significant experience on Capitol Hill, including working for Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat who had threatened to block Biden's nominees over insufficient Asian American representation in his administration.

Reuters | Updated: 15-04-2021 06:31 IST | Created: 15-04-2021 06:31 IST
Prodded to act on racial justice, Biden picks liaison to Asian diaspora

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday named a liaison to Asian Americans, who are contending with rising violence, after facing pressure to ensure greater diversity among top administration officials.

Biden picked onetime congressional aide Erika Moritsugu to spearhead outreach to the increasingly politically significant Asian American and Pacific Islander diaspora. In a statement, the White House said Moritsugu would be "a vital voice" to advance the administration's priorities. Moritsugu's hire coincided with White House efforts to mollify concerns among Democrats over Asian American representation in the administration's senior leadership after the community was targeted in the aftermath of lockdowns to cope with the novel coronavirus, which was first identified in China in 2019.

Biden tapped Kamala Harris, an Asian American as his vice presidential running mate, and he has named other officials of Asian descent to top jobs, including Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Yet, other than Harris, Biden's senior-most "permanent" Cabinet positions include no Asian Americans. Moritsugu was most recently vice president at National Partnership for Women & Families, a non-profit where her portfolio included congressional outreach and advocacy on policy issues affecting women of color.

She also has significant experience on Capitol Hill, including working for Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat who had threatened to block Biden's nominees over insufficient Asian American representation in his administration. Duckworth dropped that ultimatum after Biden agreed to create the new liaison role. Biden has promised action on racial equity, calling it one of his top priorities.

The administration backs a Senate bill that would expand Justice Department reviews of anti-Asian crimes. Senators on Wednesday moved to let an up-or-down vote be held on the bill. A recent report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, showed that crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders jumped by 145% in 2020.

Asian-American voters turned out in record numbers in presidential battleground states in the 2020 election, helping tip states such as Georgia to Biden.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Blockchain in Healthcare: Opportunities and challenges

The use of blockchain in healthcare is a relatively new innovation with many of its uses still being explored and related technologies being developed, improved, and scaled. ...

Debate surrounding vaccine passports and development misses bigger picture

... ...

Blockchain vs IOTA: Looking for a better alternative

... ...

For stability, Iraq needs to crack down on corruption

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Senate Democrat proposes $52 billion for U.S. chips production, R&D

U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled revised bipartisan legislation late Tuesday to approve 52 billion to significantly boost U.S. semiconductor chip production and research over five years. The emergency funding proposal wi...

Cricket-Australia to open Ashes summer against Afghanistan

Australia will play their first test against Afghanistan in November before taking on England in five Ashes tests over five weeks around the New Year, Cricket Australia said on Wednesday. The inaugural test against Afghanistan was called of...

Won't support bipartisan deal for 9/11-style commission to probe January 6 Capitol riot: Kevin McCarthy

The US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday said he will not support bipartisan legislation for the 911-style commission to probe the January 6 Capitol riot as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to negotiate in good faith on ...

Texas bars mask mandates for schools, defying latest CDC guidance

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday ordered all public school districts in his state to lift mask-wearing requirements next month, contradicting the latest student-safety COVID-19 guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Pre...

Give Feedback