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Monday, June 28, 2010

Asian American lawmakers appeal for stamps

Asian American members of the US Congress on Thursday appealed for the US Postal Service to issue more stamps depicting the community, which they said has been sorely underpresented.

The Postal Service has issued 43 stamps with Asian American themes since 1957, when a citizens' committee was set up to propose stamp subjects. Nearly half of the stamps have marked the Chinese New Year, the lawmakers said.

In a letter to the committee, Asian American members of Congress proposed a range of potential honorees for stamps such as Chinese who built the Transcontinental Railroad and Japanese Americans interned during World War II.

Individuals who would warrant a stamp include Chinese American film star Anna May Wong and Indian-born Dalip Singh Saund, who was elected in 1956 as the first Asian American member of Congress, the letter said.

"Stamps are like history teachers, educating us on significant, and often omitted, social, cultural and political occurrences in America's past," said Representative Mike Honda, a Democrat from California and head of the Asian American caucus.

The issuance of more Asian American stamps is "a necessary next step in mainstreaming a minority group that remains marginalized from the postal service's primary platform for remembering America's history," he said.