“Hopefully, today will plant the seed for lifelong community involvement,” a
statement by Rep. Pedro Marin (D-96), exemplifies the tone for the purpose of AAPI
The Shirazi Law Group recently attended the 2013 Georgia AAPI Legislative Day (Asian American & Pacific Islander). AAPI has a focus in bringing to the forefront issues
of the AAPI community to the Georgia Capitol.
Approximately 200 leaders in the AAPI community from all across Georgia
convened at the State Capitol to celebrate Georgia AAPI Day. It was an occasion to
see representatives from all over the country at this event. According the press
release, it was the largest known AAPI group to gather at the Gold Dome to this day.
Those leaders in attendance were able to take a group photo with Governor Nathan
Deal and received Senate recognition of outstanding AAPI individuals.
Steering Committee of Georgia AAPI leaders organized AAPI Legislative Day. The
day was lead and sponsored by Legislative Chair, Rep. BJay Pak (R-108). Rep. Pak
is the first Korean American elected to the Georgia General Assembly. Pak is man
behind the House Bill recognizing February 28, 2013 as Georgia AAPI Legislative
Rep. Pak, like the Shirazi Law Group, believes that diversity would serve as
an enormous benefit to the State of Georgia, that having diversity within our
government would promote not only our communities but also our state as a whole.
According to Bonnie Youn, Chair of the 2013 Steering Committee, “The number of
AAPIs in Georgia has increased by more than 83% from 2000 – 2010 according to
the U.S. Census report. Elected officials should take notice that our votes matter.
This day was a terrific opportunity for our voices to be heard, to inform the
legislature of the concerns in our AAPI communities.”
During the course of the day, leaders and others in attendance were able to
participate in an advocacy training session where a panel of experts discussed the
need for a stronger AAPI voice in Georgia.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who shared with the audience that he is
working with legislatures to pass a bill that would amend Georgia Immigration law
HB 87, gave the keynote address. HB 87 is intended to ease state licensing renewal
requirements for U.S Citizens. Kemps office acknowledged at the luncheon that HB
87 “had the unintended consequence of creating tremendous backlog of red tape
that is affecting businesses. We’re keeping physicians, nurses, and cosmetologists
from doing their job…many of whom are AAPIs.”
It was refreshing to witness so many leaders invested in the improvement of their
communities throughout Georgia. The Shirazi Law Group is pleased to have been
able to take advantage of the events that occurred at AAPI Legislative Day.
To find out more of how you can help AAPI or if you are a member of the AAPI
community and have any questions or concerns regarding immigration matters,
please feel free to contact the Shirazi Law Group, a leading Atlanta based
immigration firm, that is here to help.