August 6, 2008
City of Chengdu, Sichuan Province
Chengdu is the largest city in the May 12th earthquake area. While it was not largely affected, many of the small towns surrounding it were leveled.
Tomorrow we will visit the earthquake area, but tonight I was an emissary for Governor Gregoire in delivering a message to the leaders of Sichuan Province our sister state.
Before I left home I met with Commissioner Ron Chow of the State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and Dennis Su, a leader in the Seattle Asian community. I knew I would be delivering a special message from the governor and wanted to know as much as I could before leaving home.
Like many Americans with foreign heritage, they want to help in the land of their heritage. They are grateful for the blessings of America and have great compassion for the poor. Thank goodness for generous Americans who outside of the U.S. Government structure, collectively give tens of millions in time and donations each year.
NEW JUNIOR HIGH FOR EARTHQUAKE AREA
In this case, our Chinese American community will be raising funds to build a new junior high school in the earthquake area. On behalf of the governor it was my honor to take that message to the leaders in our sister city.
Dan and I met with several foreign affairs officers over dinner. (Ethan and Novella went to see "Kung Foo Panda.")There are over 200 new schools that need to be built. While the money is being raised in Washington, the leaders here will be making the plans. Where will the new housing be located? Where will the schools be built? It is a planners clean slate. As soon as the rubble is cleared the building will begin.
I met with the same foreign affairs leaders that hosted me last October when I represented the governor in the celebration of the Washington-Sichuan sister city anniversary.
It was fun to see everyone again.