Mark Takai, member of the United States House of Representatives. Photo from the U.S. House of Representatives.

The following is a statement by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)

“JACL mourns the passing of Congressman Mark Takai. We are grateful for Rep. Takai’s support for issues affecting the Asian American Pacific Islander communities.

In 2015, during the 50th anniversary commemoration of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, a group of JACL youth gathered in Selma to be part of the re-enactment of the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. During the ceremonies, Rep. Takai took the time to meet with the JACL youth delegation to relate the story of how Dr. Martin Luther King and others came to wear leis during the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. The presence of the leis affirmed the participation of Asian Americans in this important civil rights milestone, and it conveyed the message of peace and brotherhood during those tumultuous times.

We are grateful for the way Rep. Takai inspired our youth and provided reflection for imagining a brighter future.”

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