Wagoner bill recognizing contributions of Chinese Americans signed by governor
OLYMPIA, Wash., May 9, 2023—After years of delay, Senator Keith Wagoner’s measure designating January as Americans of Chinese Descent Month in Washington was finally signed today in a ceremony held at the Capitol. Washington becomes the first state to honor Chinese American contributions in this manner.
“Today is the culmination of years of hard work by members of the Chinese-American community,” said Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, who himself has been working on the issue since 2020.
“Linda Yang and Asians for Equality were joined by parents, schoolchildren, educators, small business owners and others who brought the measure to me, raised awareness – both inside and outside of their community – and worked diligently for years to see this historic day.
“Their spirit of determination, hard work, and ability to overcome discrimination and other obstacles is exactly what this measure seeks to highlight and celebrate about Americans of Chinese descent in our state.”
Senate Bill 5000, which was the first measure introduced in the Senate for the 2023 regular legislative session, designates each January as Chinese American/Americans of Chinese Descent History Month. The new law also encourages public schools to designate time for appropriate educational activities in commemoration of the state’s complicated history with the Chinese community – the good and the bad – and to remember and honor the many contributions and achievements made by Chinese Americans.
“The history of this legislation, like the history of the Chinese people in America, is complicated with several dark and disappointing moments,” Wagoner added. “But just like that history, the dark moments only make the achievements of the community shine that much brighter.”
The law created by SB 5000 will take effect July 23.