Republican Rep. Michelle Steel took the stand in Congress to address Korean American Day. She wanted to bring recognition to a day that she says is special and significant to her.
“January 13 is Korean American Day,” said Steel. “A day to recognize the countless contributions of Korean Americans and celebrate the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States in 1903.”
Another Rep. from California, Rep. Young Kim, is also one of the first two Republican Korean women to ever serve in Congress.
“This day is very special to me,” said Steel. “I was just 19 years old when I came to America and I achieved what I never thought was possible to serve this country as a member of Congress. So many Korean Americans like me came to this country with the hope of achieving their own American dream.”
Both Steel and Kim testified before Congress for the first time regarding anti-Asian discrimination. The testimony occurred in the aftermath of mass shootings of Asian-Americans in Atlanta in March.
“Combating hate is not a partisan issue. We can all agree that violence against any community should never be tolerated,” Steel said.
Steel concluded her remarks by promising to continue to fight for the “next generation” of Korean Americans.
“We must work together to inspire and support the next generation of Korean American leaders,” said Steel. “Today, we celebrate the vibrant community of Korean Americans in the United States and all that they have worked to achieve.”