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19/01/2009: Ambassador Gaa and Representative Austria to Engage Legislators and Citizens on Issues Important to Filipino Community

At a reception at the Philippine Embassy hosted by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa on the occasion of the inauguration of President Barack Obama on 19 January 2009, Ambassador Gaa and newly-elected U.S. Representative Steve Austria of the 7th Congressional District of Ohio told the leaders and members of the Filipino American community and members of the media who have gathered from all over the United States to participate in the Presidential inauguration activities that they will both work hand in hand to closely engage members of the U.S. Congress on issues and challenges facing the Filipino community in the United States.

Representative Austria said, “It is great to be here tonight to meet with Ambassador Willy Gaa. I believe there are many important issues facing the Filipino community in the coming Congressional session. There is much to be accomplished and I look forward to working with the Philippine Embassy and Ambassador Gaa to educate both legislators and citizens on the issues, near and dear to us.”

Representative Austria expressed his gratitude to the support of the Filipino community for his successful election into the U.S. House of Representatives and of being proud of his Filipino heritage. Representative Austria said, “I am honored to be the first, first generation Filipino to be elected to the United States Congress. I would like to thank the Filipino community for their support over the years; they have been extremely supportive and helpful in getting me elected to Congress. I am extremely proud of my Filipino heritage passed on to me by my father. It was so important in my family, and especially to my father, that we knew and understood Filipino traditions and customs.”

Representative Austria also assured Ambassador Gaa that he will do his best to help energize and mobilize the Philippine-U.S. Friendship Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, along with the other friends and supporters of the Philippines and the Filipino people in the Caucus.

Filipino American Representative Steve Austria to Work Closely with Embassy on Important Issues Facing the Filipino Community

Addressing a crowd of prominent leaders of the Filipino American community from all over the U.S. at a reception hosted by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa on the occasion of the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama at the Philippine Embassy on 19 January 2009, U.S. Representative Steve Austria (R) of Ohio’s 7th Congressional District, the first, first generation Filipino American to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, looks forward to working closely with the Embassy on important issues facing the Filipino community in the U.S. in the coming Congressional session.

In his remarks, Representative Austria noted how proud he was of his Filipino heritage passed on by his father, the late Dr. Clement Austria who hails from Tiaong, Quezon. He also thanked the Filipino American community, especially those in his district, for helping him get elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Amb. Gaa introduces Filipino American Mayor Ruth Asmundson of Davis City, California to Rep. Steve Austria

Rep. Steve Austria delivering his remarks

Rep. Austria and Amb. Gaa, with Mrs. Linda Gaa, fielding questions from the media