February 10th, 2023

Washington, DC — Leaders of the largest coalition of national Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander civil rights and nonprofit organizations came together to support Julie A. Su, current Deputy Secretary, to lead the U.S. Department of Labor as Secretary of Labor. 

We are thrilled to lend our voices to the calls to nominate Julie A. Su as the next Secretary of Labor. As the current Deputy Secretary of Labor, she is preeminently qualified and has been an outstanding advocate for our community. Her experience as California Secretary of Labor and expertise in building equitable labor practices for all workers makes her candidacy unmatched. 

Her awaited leadership as our nation’s next Secretary Labor would make her the first Asian American Cabinet Secretary in the Biden Administration and would be a high mark on an already sterling record of AANHPI representation. We strongly encourage President Biden to nominate Deputy Secretary Su and deliver on his promise of curating a diverse cabinet. 

Steven Moy, First Vice President of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, said:

“APALA strongly supports elevating Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su as the next Secretary of Labor. Deputy Secretary Su would become the first Asian American to lead a federal agency in the Biden Administration. As Deputy Secretary of Labor, she has been a strong advocate for bringing workers’ voices to the department and carrying on the work started by outgoing Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh.”

Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) stated: 

“As the daughter of Chinese immigrants and a lifelong advocate for low-wage workers, Deputy Secretary Julie Su has a proven record of protecting those who are most marginalized, including immigrant women and women of color, and is immensely qualified to serve as our next Labor Secretary. NAPAWF is proud to support her nomination.”

John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC commented: 

“Julie Su has more than two decades of experience fighting for workers’ rights and ensuring the health and safety of all working people, including people of color, immigrants, and women. She is a proven leader who has worked tirelessly for our community. Her lived experience as a daughter of immigrants, a woman of color, and an Asian American make her uniquely qualified to serve in the Biden Administration, which at present does not have a single Asian American serving as the head of a Federal Department. She is eminently qualified and uniquely positioned to lead the Department of Labor. We urge President Biden to select Julie Su as the next U.S. Secretary of Labor.”

Adam Carbullido, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) said:

“AAPCHO supports Julie Su to be the next Secretary of Labor. As Deputy Secretary, Ms. Su has been a critical champion in rebuilding our country’s workforce and promoting equity for all communities. She is exceptionally qualified to lead the Department starting on day one as it continues to implement important initiatives to address labor challenges, especially in our health and mental health workforce. We encourage President Biden to appoint her and ensure Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders are represented in his cabinet.”

Thu Nguyen, Executive Director of OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates said: 

“Julie Su is a tireless advocate for working Americans. She is an experienced public servant who will be able to continue to expand economic opportunities and ensure protections for our country’s workers. Ms. Su’s track record of leading community advocates as well as the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency before becoming Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor uniquely qualifies her to carry out the workforce and employment goals of the Biden Administration.”

Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke, President and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) commented: 

“Deputy Secretary Julie Su has been an indispensable leader within the Department of Labor, working side-by-side with Secretary Walsh to resolve national crises and collaborating with leadership across government to advance President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda for a more inclusive economy. Su brings a level of insight and representation to foster, promote and develop the welfare of American workers. Women and communities of color are the fastest growing sectors in the workforce. As our country’s economy moves toward diversity, equity and inclusion, reflecting its people, so must its leadership.”

Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote said:

“Time and time again, Deputy Secretary Julie Su has proven she has the exemplary work experience needed to become our nation’s next Secretary of Labor. Su has worked as a civil rights lawyer, California’s Secretary of Labor, and now Deputy Secretary of Labor for the nation. In whichever position she’s served in, Su has always fought for and stood side-by-side with African American, Latino, Asian American and LGBTQ communities to ensure our labor and civil rights are protected. Jobs and the economy are among the top issues motivating Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to vote. Our communities deserve a Secretary who will fight to ensure our labor rights are protected and strengthened for all. Our nation needs a leader like Julie Su to be our next Secretary of Labor.”

Hope Atuel, Chief Executive Officer of Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) stated: 

“Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su will ensure that the Department delivers on its mission to protect workers’ rights and ensure equitable wages for all Americans. AREAA supports her nomination to be the next Labor Secretary.”

Juliet K. Choi, President and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) said: 

“Julie Su is eminently qualified to serve as our next Secretary of Labor. She is best positioned to grow our nation’s economy and ensure the health and well-being of our workers. As Deputy Secretary of Labor, Ms. Su understands the Department, its initiatives and will be in a position to deliver immediately on the goals of the Biden administration with respect to labor, workforce and employment issues.” 

Thang D. Nguyen, CEO & President of Boat People SOS, (BPSOS) said:

“We strongly support the nomination of Deputy Secretary Julie Su to be the next Secretary of Labor. With her outstanding track record of promoting a fair and just workplace for both employees and employers in California, one of the most ethnically diverse states, she would be well positioned to ensure equity in the enforcement of federal labor laws and to protect and promote worker’s rights for all.”

Estella Owoimaha-Church, Executive Director of Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) stated: 

“Julie Su’s work on cases in defense of workers’ rights demonstrate she understands the gravity of uplifting marginalized communities, including Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. As a longtime unionist myself, I recognize the significance of having an advocate and champion for workers serve as the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Labor. With her extensive experience, we have faith that she will further advance equity for the Department and support the Administration in achieving its goals with the utmost care our communities deserve.”

May yer Thao, President & CEO of Hmong National Development (HND) commented:

“As a longtime champion for the poor, Deputy Secretary Julie Su has a track record of advocating and driving systemic change in labor law and workforce development, particularly for disenfranchised communities. And with a critical shortage facing America’s employers, her leadership is needed now more than ever, to ensure fair and equitable resources, practices, and policies are in place to protect our communities, many of whom are low-wage workers. HND is proud to support her nomination.”

David Inoue, Executive Director of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) commented: 

“Deputy Secretary Julie Su is eminently qualified to succeed Secretary Marty Walsh to lead the Department of Labor and would ensure the Department does not miss a step during the transition. With a second Asian American cabinet level appointee, President Biden can further demonstrate the administration’s commitment to an administration that reflects the diversity of our nation.”

Vimala Phongsavanh, Board Chair of Laotian American National Alliance (LANA) stated:

“Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su has proven over the course of her career that she is dedicated to improving labor, workforce, and employment issues. Her early work representing low-wage and immigrant workers resonates deeply with the Laotian community, who often work in lower wage industries with approximately 41% of the community being in low income households. LANA is confident that Deputy Secretary Su will continue to advocate for worker’s rights and underserved communities as Secretary of Labor.”

Linda Akutagawa, President and CEO of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) commented:

“LEAP supports Deputy Secretary Julie Su to become the next U.S. Secretary Department of Labor. Her qualifications and experiences will be an asset to the Biden administration. Deputy Secretary Su has first hand knowledge and the motive to improve the varying workforce experiences here in America because of her experience as a child to immigrants and winning the case that freed 72 Thai enslaved garment workers. Additionally, she has proven her leadership capability in delivering results as she served as California’s former Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development.”

Sandra Leung, President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) stated: 

“Julie Su is the most qualified candidate for U.S. Labor Secretary and is the best choice to advance the policies of the Biden Administration. As Deputy Secretary of Labor, she was instrumental in working with Secretary Walsh to avert a nationwide railroad strike. In addition, she has partnered with federal agencies to implement the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act with a focus on good-paying, accessible jobs. Prior to her confirmation as Deputy Secretary, Ms. Su was Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency – the country’s largest in a state that ranks as the fifth largest economy in the world, makes her extraordinarily well-prepared to serve as our next Secretary of Labor.”

Seema Agnani, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) commented: 

“We urge the nomination of Deputy Secretary Su as the next Labor Secretary. As a seasoned leader who understands the realities of working people across communities – she would be an exceptional leader during these historic times in the labor movement.” 

Becky Belcore, Executive Director of National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) said: 

“We strongly urge the appointment of Julie Su to lead the US Department of Labor. We have found Deputy Secretary Su to be a brilliant and skilled leader, and ensures businesses and workers are treated fairly under the law. As a national Asian American organization, we would feel proud to have her in this role.”

David Kim, President and CEO for the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) said:

“Deputy Secretary Su would be an excellent choice as the 30th Secretary of Labor. NAPCA supports the inclusion of an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander member as a Cabinet secretary, which has been lacking in the Biden Administration, the first time in 20 years. We urge the President to take this opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to supporting the AANHPI community.”

Brendan Flores, Chairman of National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) commented: 

“The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) believes Deputy Secretary Julie Su has the qualifications and character to lead the Department of Labor as Secretary. With a growing number of Filipino Americans in the workforce, we believe it is critical that leadership in all levels of government reflect the increasing diversity of Americans. Deputy Secretary Su certainly has the track record for supporting diversity, equity and inclusion efforts”.

Kenrick I. Ross, Executive Director of National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) said:

“During his State of the Union address, President Biden once again committed to rebuilding the US economy from the ground up and the middle out. We believe that Deputy Secretary Julie Su, a champion of workers rights and dignity, fairer labor practices, and an economy that benefits all, is ideally placed to lead that effort. The National Queer API Alliance is honored to call on President Biden to nominate her to be the next Secretary of Labor.”

Samira Khan, President of the South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA) stated: 

“Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su has dedicated her career to advancing justice on behalf of poor and disenfranchised communities, including communities of color and immigrants, by improving the workforce, combating wage theft, and ensuring health and safety within the workplace. Secretary Su is immensely qualified to be the next Labor Secretary, and the South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA) is proud to support this nomination.”

Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council ofAsian Pacific Americans is a coalition of thirty-eight national Asian Pacific American organizations that represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns.