In the beginning, we were worried. We felt that we had so much talent in Washington state but the pool was being overlooked by President Obama for his cabinet. However, we now have three nominations for cabinet: King County Executive Ron Sims, Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, and the clincher — former Gov. Gary Locke.
This was a lesson in patience. It shows that we need to give people time to do what they should do. Clearly, Obama has not failed us, and we are grateful that he has noticed the people of Washington state. Hopefully this is an indication of things to come.
A Northwest native with an extensive background in trade with Asia, Locke will bring experience and authority to the commerce secretary position. This comes at a crucial time, coming off a period where the United States was very unpopular abroad. Locke, with his proven track record and being Chinese American, is the perfect liaison between the United States and Asia.
We think that Asians, with the fastest growing economy in the world, will be more receptive to someone with a familiar background that also knows the issues. Both Asians in the United States and those overseas, especially Chinese Americans, love him and have been discussing his nomination nonstop.
Additionally, after two successful terms as Washington state’s governor, Locke’s understanding of Northwest issues will become an important point of conversation in the White House. He will know how to speak for the Northwest in a way only a successful two-term governor would. We
can rest assured that we have one powerful ally in D.C.
If confirmed, Locke would be the third Asian American in Obama’s cabinet after Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and Eric Shinseki at the Department of Veterans Affairs. We should not only be proud that there are Washingtonians serving in the Cabinet but also that there are many Asian Americans and people of color. This is truly a modern government to match our changing demographics.
Many have said that Locke is more than a politician. His personal rags-to-riches story brings an important attitude to the White House: Progress only comes through hard work and not with shortcuts. In this way, he is a lot like Obama.
Born into an immigrant family, Locke lived in the Seattle public housing projects for most of his life. Exceptional grades put him through Yale University and then Boston University Law School. It’s the hard work ethic many in the community knows well.
We applaud Obama’s appointment of Locke as the commerce secretary. He not only has the ability to excel in the position,
but he is also honest, smart, and has proven to us that he is a leader to be reckon with. (end)
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