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[PROFILE] Robert A. Underwood

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  • madchinaman
    Spotlight on Robert A. Underwood By TJ DeGroat / ©Asian Diversity http://www.asiandiversity.com/articles/97060923.htm As Guam s Robert A. Underwood winds down
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 16 1:09 AM
      Spotlight on Robert A. Underwood

      By TJ DeGroat / ©Asian Diversity

      As Guam's Robert A. Underwood winds down his five-term career in the
      United States Congress, groups such as the Japanese-American Citizens
      League (JACL) are honoring the politician's commitment to the Asian-
      American and Pacific-Islander community.

      The board of the San Francisco-based JACL, the country's oldest and
      largest Asian-American civil-rights group, last month passed a
      resolution commending Underwood's leadership on issues integral to
      the community's fight for equality.

      'Rep. Underwood has been a great champion of [Asian-American] issues
      throughout his tenure in the House of Representatives,' said John
      Tateishi, JACL's executive director. 'I could always expect his
      support on those issues that matter to the community. We're losing a
      real friend in the Congress. He'll be sorely missed.'

      In its resolution, the JACL board pointed out some of Underwood's
      myriad contributions to the Asian-American community. Among them was
      his successful fight to pass a $5.124 million appropriation to
      establish a visitor center at the Manzanar National Historic Site in
      Independence, Calif., the site of an internment camp that housed
      relocated Japanese Americans during World War II.

      During his 10 years as a representative, Underwood also helped
      establish the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific
      Islanders and spearheaded the campaign to overturn English-only
      legislation. For his effort, Underwood was named Citizen of the Year
      in 1996 by the National Association for Bilingual Education.

      Underwood also served as chairperson of the Congressional Asian
      Pacific American Caucus.

      'The integrity, commitment and leadership he brought to his work were
      an asset not only to the people of Guam but also to the entire
      country,' said JACL National President Floyd Mori. 'We thank him for
      his dedication and wish him well back in Guam."

      Guam, the largest of the 2,000 islands in Micronesia, is the
      westernmost territory of the United States. At about 212 square
      miles, the island is nearly 3 times the size of Washington, D.C.

      About 47 percent of Guam's 150,000 residents are the indigenous
      Chamorros, but Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans make up large
      portions of the population as well.
      Underwood was elected to Congress after a successful career as a high
      school teacher and a stint as academic vice president of the
      University of Guam.

      Underwood, his wife and their five children splits their time between
      Alexandria, Va. and Yona, Guam.
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