"I was born and raised in Hawaii, but moved to Washington State in 1997. One day in 2004, Drena, my wife, asked me if I knew a politician in Illinois. I told her that I knew State Senator Barack Obama, as we'd been classmates from 5th grade through 12th grade at Punahou School. Drena then said: "I just saw him on Oprah, and Oprah said he's going to be the next President of the United States."
I smiled and thought to myself that I'd be thrilled to support my classmate– but I thought it would be at least 2016 before he eventually ran for the office.
I became aware of the "Draft Obama" movement in 2006, and I joined the Obama campaign as a volunteer in 2007. I've continued to be a strong supporter of the President ever since."
Why He Supports the President:
"I'm Sansei (3rd generation Japanese–American), an active Democrat in Washington State, and I truly value the President's multicultural heritage. His sister is Asian. His brother in-law is Asian. We both grew up in Hawaii with many other AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islanders) – this President understands the multicultural reality of American society.
He also was raised with strong middle class values instilled in him by his mother and grandparents. These values of education, family, and hard work are shared by AAPI, both immigrants and native born Americans alike."
Why You Should Come to His House Party:
"Every Presidential election is important. Re-election efforts, even more so, as there are policies like the DREAM act and the Affordable Care Act that need to be re-enforced or re-introduced. Continuity in Presidential leadership is the key to this.
I also tell people that it's not just about voting– it's about participating. The best way to have a voice in the process is to be "hands on" and to volunteer to help. Spend time getting to know other AAPI with similar interests and work together as a team to support the President."
Meet Dean and other volunteers on Saturday in Tacoma at the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Obama – Washington launch party. Click here for event and RSVP details.