John Chen’s leadership of C-100 these past two years successfully engaged our members to get actively involved reinforcing the foundation of the Committee of 100. I am proud to take over as C-100 Chairman and will do my utmost to deliver on the confidence and trust that the membership has placed in me.
Thanks to John and to the outstanding work of our 20th Anniversary Conference Co-Chairs, Clarence Kwan, James Li and Lulu Wang, we held a record-breaking Annual Conference and gala on May 12 in New York City. C-100 is now prepared to develop new programs and strengthen existing initiatives in support of our dual mission.
Our top focus will be the Washington Leadership Initiative, which builds on a program that began in 2005. We recognize that the Committee of 100 has an important role to play in America’s most consequential bilateral relationship, which has a profound impact on how all Chinese Americans are perceived and regarded. Legislators and policymakers have sought out the Committee for our views on policy, both domestic and international. But, we must focus our efforts, build credibility, and expend political capital only when it can make a difference.
Thus, I have appointed two co-chairs, Ben Wu and Debra Yang, to develop the Washington Leadership Initiative and achieve the following goals:
• To serve as an educational resource for Congress and the Executive Branch, as well as state and local officials
• To provide bicultural perspectives not otherwise factored into the legislative and policy-making decision process
• To offer a mechanism for C-100 members to educate political leadership in support of the organization’s dual mission.
This Initiative will also encourage our members to become civically involved on a state, local, and national level, and it will help the Committee formulate a clear, consistent message that can be communicated to our nation’s thought leaders and lawmakers.
On the international front, the Committee is holding its Greater China Conference in Hong Kong from December 4 to 5. A Journalists Delegation will be participating in the Conference, which is open to the public. Co-chairs are Ronnie Chan, Tony Chan, Victor Fung and Zhang Ya-Qin with support from International Co-Chairs David Chang and David Ho.
You also are invited to our 21st Annual Conference in Southern California—in my hometown! It will be held April 19-20, 2012 at The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California. A highlight will be the release of a new C-100 opinion survey, now being planned by our Issues Committee Co-Chairs, Charlie Woo and Frank H. Wu.
I close with a personal note about the untimely loss of member Matt Fong on June 1. Matt was a pioneer who unified Asian American political and community leaders to make a difference and fully participate in the mainstream society. He and I worked together closely when he was the California State Treasurer, we served together on a publicly-traded company board, and we deepened our friendship through the Committee of 100. Last Saturday, Charlie Woo, Charlie Sie, Edmund Pi, Herman Li, Michelle Kwan, Stewart Kwoh, Andrew Cherng and I attended Matt’s memorial in Los Angeles. Among those giving eulogies were California State Controller John Chiang and former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. Let us all treasure our fond memories of Matt.