Profile: Library of Congress Fellowship
- The late Congressman Daniel Akaka was born in 1924, served his country for 36 years, and died at the age of 93.
- Congresswoman Doris Matsui served in several committees including the House Energy and Commerce Committee; the Health, Environment, and Climate Change subcommittee; and Consumer Protection and Commerce subcommittee.
- Dr. Betty Lee Sung is the co-founder of AAARI (Asian American/Asian Research Institute). She wrote a memoir titled "Defiant Second Daughter: My First 90 Years," following her granddaughter's request to know more about her grandmother's life and experiences.
This research presents an overview of Arturo G Pacho, Daniel Akaka, Mike Honda, Daniel Inouye, Doris Matsui, Norma Mineta, David Wu, Betty Lee Sung, Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier, Christine Toy Johnson, and Dori Jones Yang. In order to provide adequate information for these individuals, the research team needed to access historical records of these individuals. As such, some sources that have been used are older than the two-year limit of the recency benchmark. Additional insight into the research paths taken has been presented in the Research Strategy section at the end of this report.
#1. Daniel Akaka (congress)
- Akaka was born in 1924 and was the first Native Hawaiian that made it into the US Senate and served there for 36 years. He died at the age of 93 on April 6, 2018, in Honolulu, where he had been hospitalized for several months. He is "survived by his wife, Mary Mildred "Millie" Chong, four sons, a daughter, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
- Akaka was an educator in Hawaii, served in the US Army, the House, and the Senate.
- One of his notable achievements was sponsoring federal legislation in 1996 which resulted in awarding 22 Asian-American soldiers the Medals of Honor. This is the Army's highest honor for bravery. Later on, he became the chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.
#2. Mike Honda (congress)
- Mike Honda was born on June 27, 1941, in California. Honda represented "the 17th Congressional District of California and in the House of Representatives for over 12 years." He served between 2001 and 2013 and between 2013 and 2017 in the 17th District as a Democrat.
- His district includes silicon valley, the hub of several tech companies and startups, and has worked in the areas of "education, civil rights, national service, immigration, transportation, the environment, and high-tech issues."
- He also served as the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and earned the title of coalition builder. By establishing the LGBT Equality Caucus, he championed the rights of this community.
#3. Daniel Inouye (Congress)
- Inouye was born on September 7, 1924, in Honolulu and died in 2012. He was a representative and senator of Hawaii as a Democrat. He enlisted to join the army but was denied. After petitioning the ruling, he joined in 1943 and served in US Army hospitals for a period of 20 months.
- In the 1950s, several young Japanese-American World War II veterans returned to Hawaii and immersed themselves into the region's political system. They received a warm reception as war heroes as they had also recently earned a college degree.
- He was elected into the US Senate in 1962 and in the 1970s, he joined the Senate Watergate Committee as a member and received a national distinction. In 1987, he became the chairman of the Senate Iran-Contra Committee. Having been a member for a long time, he also chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee for a three-year period (2009 to 2012). He passed away while he held the position of the Senate’s president pro tempore: 2010 to 2012.
#4. Doris Matsui (Congress)
- Matsui was born on September 25, 1944, in Arizona. She is the wife of Robert Matsui and has served the city of Sacramento since 2005. She has one son, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. In 2020, she married Roger Sant had four children, each one has a spouse and a total of six grandchildren.
- She has served in several committees such as the House Energy and Commerce Committee; the Health, Environment, and Climate Change subcommittee; and Consumer Protection and Commerce subcommittee.
- Matsui currently holds the role of the Vice-Chair on the Communications and Technology subcommittee. Her desire is to strengthen Sacramento by addressing the following: "flood protection, ensuring quality, affordable health care for all, promoting a clean energy economy, and creating a vibrant region where families can live, work, and play."
- Some of her notable achievements include serving in President Clinton's transition board, held the position of Deputy Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Public Liaison, and succeeded her husband after he passed on in 2005. He had served in Congress between 1979 and 2005.
#5. Norma Mineta (congress)
- Norma Mineta was born on November 12, 1931. Although he was a US citizen, he was imprisoned because of his Japanese ancestry. After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, the American government reacted and ordered the relocation of 120,000 Japanese Americans into prison camps. 30 years after this incident, he became instrumental in making permanent changes to the United States House of Representatives to ensure that something like this does not happen again and that the government is held accountable.
- After they returned to their homes, it took the community about 20 years to rebuild what had been destroyed in 1942. Later on, he responds that it was that moment of imprisonment and the struggles after that inspired him to get into politics.
- In 1971, he ran against 14 other candidates to become the next Mayor of San Jose. In 1978, he became the representative of California. Following the frustrations he had with the Republican party, he shifted and became a Democrat.
- Some of his notable achievements include:
- "The first Asian American mayor of a major city (San Jose, California)"
- "The first Japanese American from the mainland to be elected to Congress"
- "The first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet"
#6. David Wu (congress)
- Born on April 8, 1955, in Taiwan, he came to the US as an infant when his father went to study in New York. WU is the representative of Oregon and is a Democrat.
- In 1998, Wu won the elections to represent the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. After settling in Portland, he clerked for a federal judge and went on to become a successful lawyer for tech companies. This granted him the opportunity to run when the person representing the area that had a lot of these tech companies decided to step down. He courageously chose to fill the role, although he had a competitor and he had never held a political role before. However, after landing an endorsement with the Oregonian newspaper, he won this position with a 53% victory. Later on, he won the representative seat for Oregon with a 50% vote. This was the closest he came to losing. From then henceforth, he won with no less than 55%. In fact, riding the Obama wave, he had a landslide victory of 72%.
- He was assigned to the following committees:
- Education and Labor
- Education and the Workforce
- Foreign Affairs
- Science and Technology (he was the chairperson of the Technology and Innovation committee)
- Science, Space, and Technology
#7. Betty Lee Sung (author sociologist)
- She was born on October 3, 1924, in Baltimore and is 97 years old in 2021. She is the co-founder of AAARI (Asian American/Asian Research Institute). Following her granddaughter's request to learn more about her grandmother's history, she wrote what became a memoir titled "Defiant Second Daughter: My First 90 Years." In this book, she addresses the struggles, triumphs, and life as the daughter of a "Paper Son, teaching Asian American Studies at CUNY."
- Dr. Sung is considered a leader in the history of the Chinese in America. Her first book released in 1970 is titled "Mountain of Gold." This book is the core literature in Asian American studies at City College of New York, where she stayed on until she retired in 1992.
- Following her retirement, she worked on the database of the Chinese immigrant records which she completed two years later. In 1996, she was awarded the honorary doctorate, Doctor of Letters. Other organizations that honored her include "the Cosmopolitan Lion’s Club, the Organization of Chinese Americans, the Asian American Higher Education Council, the American Library Association, the Chinese Communities in Houston and Philadelphia, among others."
#8. Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier (playwright/author)
- Although she is from the Philippines, she was born in California, USA. She has traveled across Asia as a journalist and has worked as a writer for several years.
- Some of her notable achievements include writing two widely known books: "Seeking Thirst (Firstfruits, 2003)" and the novel "Autobiography of a Stranger (1990)" She has also been a writer at various venues such as Our Own Voice. She has produced short stories, poetry, and reviews.
- An extensive search of the public domain did not provide extensive information into Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier. Although the source is old, the information availed here is the most recent publicly available information available on this author. Thorough searches through social platforms, profile platforms such as LinkedIn, and other scholarly information only presented her as a list of contributors to various writings. For this reason, the research team has presented the information available and provided this summary for additional insight into data availability.
#9. Christine Toy Johnson (playwright)
- Christine Toy Johnson is a playwright, actor, and advocate for inclusion based in New York, US. She has won various awards and has been a pioneer in her field. Her specialties include "acting, singing, playwriting, libretto and lyric writing, television writing, screenwriting, content management, film production, grant writing, logistics, Macromedia director, materials management, negotiation, organizational skills, press releases, production, research, and storyboarding."
- Her first theater film was titled "The New Deal" and she wrote several after that. Johnson's professional experience includes broadway, off-broadway, regional, concerts/cabaret, education, TV/film, and tours. She has taken on the role of theatrical lyricist, book writer/liberalist, and singer/songwriter. She has been tremendously successful and has a net worth of $20 million.
- Her official website provides an overview of all the work she has done in the past and provides additional insight into how she is breaking barriers and walls. She provides a preview of various demos that she has done for TV shows. Examples here include Law and Order, Special Victims Unit; The Speed of Life, Royal Pains, among others. She also presents other videos that she has done and a scrapbook page that showcases some photos.
#10. Dori Jones Yang
- Dori Jones Yang is an award-winning journalist, speaker, and renowned author.
- Her website showcases eight books, a list of her speaking engagements and an option to book her, and a blog page that offers insights into the different topics that she is passionate about.
- One key area that is notable in her writing is the concept of cross-cultural understanding. She believes that this is the key to harboring peace between nations. She addresses the struggles of Chinese children immersed in an American setting and the struggles that they would typically face.
- Dori Jones Yang has worked as a foreign correspondent in Asia with the purpose of bridging cultures. Although she grew up in Ohio from the age of seven, she had the opportunity of traveling to France, which sparked her interest in bridging the gap between various cultures and generations. She worked for a newspaper in her hometown and later decided to go teach English in Singapore. She had the opportunity to understand the culture deeper and also studied the Chinese culture deeper.
To address the profiles of these individuals, the research team has had to use sources that are older than the research team's recency benchmark: two years. When gathering the history of these individuals and their achievements, we began by searching for their profiles on sites such as LinkedIn, in order to determine their achievements. However, most of these individuals did not have a LinkedIn account. For this reason, we opted to search through service records, for those that hold or have held public office. For those that did not serve in public office, we conducted a search for self-published or autobiography information. The research team was able to identify personal websites for some, where they showcase their works and provide a bio of their achievements.
For those that we were unable to identify such sources, we provided information presented on sites that have showcased their works. Although these platforms may not provide conclusive information, we have presented what we have found and provided additional insight into our research attempts. Additionally, despite all our research attempts, the research team was unable to provide the date of birth or age of the last three individuals. All the sources that provided insights into these individuals did not present this data.