Paul Igasaki is a retired civil rights advocate. From Chicago, he was a lawyer at legal aid in Sacramento, CA, ED at the Asian Law Caucus in SF, Pro Bono director for the American Bar Assoc., DC representative for the JACL, Vice Chair & Chair of the US EEOC, Asian American Liaison for Mayor Harold Washington, and Chief Judge for the US Department of Labor ALRB. A founder of both the National Asian American Bar Association and the Chicago Asian Bar, he served as Chair of the ABA’s Civil Rights & Social Justice Section. He is a graduate of Northwestern and UC Davis Law School. He lives with his wife Lou in Alexandria, VA.
In 2008 Barack Obama was the winner of two AAPI straw polls conducted by the Asian American Action Fund chapters in Los Angeles and Chicago. His AAPI Web site, created by Eugene Kang of Chicago, has generated an energetic base of youth and first-time voters.
His AAPI National Leadership Council represents an interesting cross section of influential AAPI Californians, such as Assemblyman Ted Lieu, chairman of the AAPI Legislative Caucus; Angela Oh, former member of President Clinton’s Initiative on Race; Eddie Wong, executive director of the Center for Asian American Media; former Assemblywoman Wilma Chan; Paul Igasaki, former vice chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Stanley Toy, president of Team Healthcare; Henry Lo, Garvey School Board; Russell Leong, editor of Amerasia Journal UCLA; and Hydra Mendoza, S.F. Board of Education commissioner. There is also a strong representation from the AAPI media and entertainment industry, including actors Cary Tagawa, Kelly Hu, Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) and Janet Yang, producer of The Joy Luck Club. Van Taumon was just announced as Obama’s Southern California chair for APIA outreach.