State Assembly Observes API Heritage Month, Honors 6 API Californians

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, reports that the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Caucus of the California State Assembly celebrated the accomplishments of six Asian Pacific Islanders at the State Capitol today.

"Our distinguished honorees have defined the landscape of California and this nation," said Ting.  "As high as their success has taken them in life, they never forgot their roots in the API community.  This makes their achievements as individuals equally inspiring as their advocacy for the well-being of API people across generations."

The 2014 honorees were recognized for excellence in various professional fields, activism, and athletics.  This year's honorees include the following.

  • Professor Bill Ong Hing, of the University of San Francisco School of Law, was honored for excellence in education.  He is the founder of, and continues to serve as General Counsel for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco.  Hing also chairs the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission.
  • Dale Minami, partner at Minami Tamaki LLP of San Francisco, was honored for excellence in law.  He operates a consumer-oriented legal practice and co-founded the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, and the Asian Pacific Bar of California.
  • Courtni Pugh, Executive Director of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99, was honored for excellence in labor.  She oversees the largest SEIU education workers' union in California.
  • Diane Ujiye, former Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islanders California Action Network, was honored for excellence in public service.  APIsCAN is the only statewide network of health, human service, education, community development, and immigrant rights organizations.
  • Jose Antonio Vargas, journalist, filmmaker and immigration activist, was honored for excellence in civil rights.  While at The Washington Post, he was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for covering the Virginia Tech massacre.
  • Nathan Adrian, Olympic Gold Medalist, was honored for excellence in sports.  He is a four-time Olympic medalist, including three gold medals, in swimming.  He also won 11 national titles while a student at the University of California at Berkeley.

Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) carried Assembly Concurrent Resolution 133 to recognize May 2014 as API Heritage Month in California.  It passed the State Assembly today with 74 co-authors.

Contact: Anthony Matthews, tel. (916) 319-2019,