Rep. Mark Takano ‘Profoundly Disappointed’ in Lack of AAPI Representation in Biden’s Cabinet

Mark Takano

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) recently expressed his disappointment with the absence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet.

Criticism about the Cabinet: According to the PBS NewsHour, Takano disapproved of Biden’s decisions regarding his Cabinet secretaries, who will advise the President-elect on their areas of expertise, such as education, agriculture and homeland security.

  • “As much as I view myself as a friendly ally of this president,” Takano said, “I think he’s erred in [that] he has chosen to exclude Asian Americans from his 15 Cabinet secretaries.”
  • According to Takano, Biden’s administration will be the first one in 20 years that will not include an Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) as the head of an executive department.

Public letter for the President-elect: Before Takano made these critical remarks, several AAPIs wrote a letter addressed to Biden last year, recommending California Labor Secretary Julie Su.

  • The letter, dated Dec. 11, urged Biden to elect an AAPI as one of his Cabinet members.

  • “As we separate ourselves from the disastrous policies of the previous administration, it will be critically important to nominate professionally and culturally diverse individuals to your cabinet — particularly more Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) — as you look to build an Administration that is better representative of our country and its people,” the letter said.
  • “Secretary Su has exemplified her fervent commitment to tirelessly fighting for justice on behalf of the poor, the disenfranchised, and the vulnerable,” Takano wrote.
  • According to Axios, Biden promised representation and visibility to voters of AAPI descent.
  • However, despite claiming he would create an administration “that looks like America,” Biden did not appoint Su nor anyone else of Asian American or Pacific Islander descent to serve in his cabinet.

Feature Image via Getty

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