TRENTON – On the eve of Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and to mark the second anniversary of the formation of the AAPI Legislative Caucus, Senator Vin Gopal announced today that he will be assuming the role of Chair of the Caucus, while also thanking Assemblyman Raj Mukherji for his service as outgoing Chair.
Senator Gopal and Assemblyman Mukherji worked together in forming the AAPI Caucus in the spring of 2021. Since that beginning, the caucus has more than doubled its membership, reflecting the growing population, influence and positive contributions of the AAPI community in the state. Asian Americans represent over 10 percent of the state’s population, and are the fastest growing racial group in New Jersey.
“First, I want to recognize the commitment and dedication that Assemblyman Mukherji has shown as Chair of the AAPI Caucus, and thank him for his inestimable leadership while serving in that role,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth).
“We are proud to be part of a diverse state whose AAPI population has now reached over 1 million people. The Assemblyman has been a worthy champion of that constituency, and I look forward to continuing where he leaves off and am honored to serve as Chair of our growing and ever-diverse Caucus.”
Senator Gopal, the first South-Asian American elected to the New Jersey Senate, has been instrumental in bolstering understanding and highlighting the cultural heritage and history of the AAPI community. He sponsored two major pieces of legislation, one establishing a Commission on Asian Heritage within the DOE, and one that required school districts to provide instruction on Asian American and Pacific Islander history as part of the state’s learning standards for social studies.
“Though Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to make significant contributions to our state, we too often still remain misunderstood and are sometimes targeted for violence and bigotry,” added Senator Gopal. “One goal I have for the AAPI Caucus is to continue the work of educating residents about our culture and history, and seek better understanding across the board.”
Members of the AAPI Legislative Caucus include:
Senator Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth)
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson)
Assemblywoman Shaima Haider (D-Bergen)
Assemblywoman Sadaf Jaffer (D-Mercer)
Assemblywoman Ellen Park (D-Bergen)
Assemblyman Sterley Stanley (D-Middlesex)
Assemblyman Brandon Umba (R-Burlington)
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month begins May 1.