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National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street N.W., Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006


Contact: Aleli Samson

April 16, 2009

(202) 775-9555


Washington, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students, is outraged by the comments made at an April 7 legislative hearing by Texas State Representative Betty Brown, including the statement that Asian Pacific Americans should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.” Representative Brown’s comments are culturally insensitive. Representative Brown’s comments, which were made during deliberation about voting rights legislation, are unacceptable.

“Asian Pacific Americans face many serious challenges at the polls while trying to exercise our fundamental right to vote, and the undue burdens caused by some voter identification requirements are among these challenges,” stated NAPABA President Andrew T. Hahn, Sr. “NAPABA is aware of Representative Brown’s April 9 statement, which focuses on celebrating diversity in Texas. However, the statement is inadequate and we urge her to issue an unequivocal apology in which she acknowledges the need for voting rights legislation to meet the needs of Asian Pacific Americans and affirms her belief in the right of all Americans to vote.”

NAPABA is committed to election protection and, to protect the fundamental right to vote for all Americans, proudly partners with leading civil rights organizations such as the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Asian American Justice Center. NAPABA is also a member of the Coalition of Bar Associations of Color, comprised of national bar associations of color, all of whom are committed to election protection. NAPABA’s affiliates in Texas are the Austin Asian American Bar Association, Dallas Asian American Bar Association, and Asian American Bar Association of Houston.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and approximately 58 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.


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