Tuesday, June 8, 1999

Panel to look
after Asian Americans,
Pacific Islanders

From staff and wire reports


President Clinton has created an advisory commission to improve the quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Clinton's executive order yesterday said those racial groups may be underserved by programs in health, human services, education, housing, labor, transportation and economic and community development.

The 15-member commission will try to increase participation in those programs while also studying whether the programs address the needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. It also will promote the collection of public health data.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D, Hawaii) said Clinton's order will help to ensure federal programs meet the distinct needs of more than 40 diverse ethnic communities. "The concerns of our established Asian American communities often differ from those of our most recent immigrants," he said in a release.

Akaka also noted that the executive order recognizes Hawaiians as an indigenous people, which is important for ongoing talks with the federal government.

U.S. Census 1998 figures show that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up about 4 percent of the total United States population, according to the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum based in San Francisco.

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