Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the Vice President has invited him to the White House signing ceremony to recognize Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and to announce the President’s new Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
“Vice President Cheney will officially represent the President at this signing and I am pleased that William P. Afeaki of Utah has been selected to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I have known Bill Afeaki for many years and, in my opinion, he is one of the most respected Pacific Island leaders in our country. Since 1996, Bill has served as the Director of the Utah State Office of Pacific Islander Affairs and advises the Governor of Utah on matters relating to our Pacific Island community.”
“Utah has one of the highest concentrations of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in the nation and William Afeaki has done an admirable job in addressing the needs and interests of Pacific Islanders. William Afeaki’s work has focused on helping Pacific Islanders flourish in America. He has emphasized the role of education in getting a good paying job in the U.S. and has also developed programs which teach Pacific Islanders about financial management and home-buying.”
“He has also practiced law in the Pacific Islands and has served as a member of the Tongan Parliament. I commend my good friend, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah, for nominating William Afeaki to serve as a member of the President’s new Advisory Commission,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I also thank Senator Hatch for seeking my input about who should be nominated to best represent the President’s interests. Bill has demonstrated his ability to unite rather than divide people and I have every confidence that William Afeaki will well serve the President of the United States.”
“At this time, I thank President Bush for selecting William Afeaki to serve as a member of his new Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and I also thank Vice President Cheney for inviting me to attend tomorrow’s signing ceremony. Unfortunately, invitations to tomorrow’s signing ceremony just went out today and the Vice President’s office personally apologized for the lateness of the invites and for holding this ceremony while Congress is in recess.”
“Although I am deeply disappointed that my schedule does not permit me to attend, I have offered my personal congratulations to Bill and I intend to personally thank Senator Hatch when I return to Washington, DC for making Bill’s appointment possible. Again, I look forward to working with my good friend, William Afeaki. As the Vice Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), I also commend President Bush for establishing a new Advisory Commission which I am hopeful will serve and support the interests of our Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” the Congressman concluded.