WASHINGTON, D.C. (KGO) -- I had the honor Tuesday afternoon to join AAPI leaders and visionaries from across the country at a reception at the White House to mark AAPI Heritage Month. It was a surreal experience to be among 150 or so visionaries and community leaders from across the country. I even got a chance to have a short conversation with President Biden and take a selfie together!
In attendance at the Rose Garden, were Daniel Dae Kim, cast members of the movie Crazy Rich Asians, fashion icon Eva Chen, Congresswoman from New York Grace Meng and so many more.
Elected leaders had to enter a lottery system to be invited and winners from the Bay Area included San Francsico City Attorney David Chiu and California Assemblymember Evan Low.
Also there, were the people behind the scenes, who make up the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. This group was formed during the Biden administration to find ways to economically support and empower the fastest growing population in America.
The First Lady spoke along with the first Asian trade representative Katherine Tai. Vice President and Oakland Native Kamala Harris addressed the need for unity, and then the President took to the lectern.
He spoke not only about his relationship with the late Norm Mineta, former transportation secretary and one-time mayor of San Jose, but he also ended with a message of strength and resilience.
"The reason we are strong, the reason we are who we are is because we are diverse, with so many talents, so many. I know this group won't forget it, but I'm going to spend the rest of my term as long as I'm in office reminding the rest of America that they should understand it too," said President Biden.
At the end of his remarks, I was able to introduce myself to Mr. Biden and got unexpectedly choked up telling him about the work I do covering AAPI attacks and xenophobia.
He even took my iPhone and took a selfie of us together. Because of a big shadow across my face, and being the bold TV news reporter I am, I asked the President to move his arm slightly and get a better angle so there would be no shadow! He played along and I think was slightly amused I was telling him what to do!
I'm heading back to the Bay Area tomorrow with memories I will never forget!
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