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For Immediate Release
December 18, 2012
Contact: Erin Pangilinan
KAYA Statement on Passing of Senator Daniel K. Inouye
Washington, DC – This week, KAYA mourns the loss of the late United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii. Senator Inouye was Hawaii’s first Congressman, the second-longest serving Senator in the history of the chamber, and served as the President pro tempore of the United States Senate, making him the highest ranking Asian American politician in United States history. Senator Inouye was a World War II veteran, a Medal of Honor recipient, and a champion of Filipino WWII veterans equity. He was among the first to speak out against racial injustice, whether it was the Japanese American internment or the plight of Filipino veterans who were denied recognition after serving during World War II.
KAYA recognizes his distinguished leadership, service, and contributions to the Filipino American community. Senator Inouye has worked tirelessly for decades on Filipino WWII veterans equity and in 2009, was instrumental in the passage of language recognizing their service—almost 63 years since the Rescission Act took away veteran status from 250,000 Filipinos who fought for the U.S. The law authorized a one-time payment to eligible Filipino WWII veterans, and more than $221 million has been awarded and distributed.
Senator Inouye’s commitment and advocacy on behalf of this group of veterans is lauded both by Filipino Americans and overseas. Rep. Antonio Diaz filed a bill in the Philippine House of Representatives to confer Senator Inouye with honorary citizenship, along with Senator Daniel Akaka and Rep. Bob Filner, for their instrumental work to honor Filipino WWII veterans.
KAYA sends thoughts and prayers to Senator Inouye’s family.
About KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress
KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress was founded in January 2009, to build a political infrastructure to ensure that the Filipino American community is represented in the electoral process and governance. KAYA was born from the Filipinos for Obama Campaign during the 2008 Presidential election. KAYA’s mission is to mobilize the Filipino American community and build partnerships to increase our electoral power, advocate policies that affect our community, and develop leaders to represent us at every level of government.