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On 19 January 2001, Rep. Leo C. Wardrup, Jr. (R-83) introduced HB 2859, which called for the creation of the Virginia-Asian Advisory Board (VAAB) “to advise the Governor on ways to improve economic and cultural links between the Commonwealth and Pacific Rim nations, with a focus on the areas of commerce and trade, art and education, and general government.”[1]

HB 2859 also provided “for the membership of the Board and its powers and duties.” The board was to consist of twenty-one members who were appointed by the governor.  Eighteen members were to be citizens—at least eleven of whom were to be of Asian descent—who were to serve four-year terms. The three remaining members were to be the secretaries of Commerce and Trade, Health and Human Resources, and Education, or their designees. To fulfill its purpose, the board was to collect data, obtain “gifts, grants, or donations” to fund their work, and provide annual recommendations to the governor as well as an annual financial report.[2]

On 3 February, the bill was passed unanimously in the House of Delegates and sent to the Senate the same day.[3] It was referred to the Senate’s Committee on General Laws on 7 February, which proposed the following amendment: “That the provisions of this act shall not become effective unless an appropriation effectuating the purposes of this act is included in the 2001 Appropriations Act, passed during the 2001 Session of the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor.” The Committee on General Laws approved of the amendment unanimously on 14 February, as did the Senate on 16 February.[4] But the House rejected it by a vote of 3 to 97 on 21 February.[5] The following day, the Senate had another unanimous vote to insist on the amendment, and a conference committee was formed to resolve this issue that included Senators Charles R. Hawkins, Malfourd W. Trumbo, and R. Edward Houck, and Delegates Leo C. Waldrup Jr., Thomas Bolvin, and Marian Van Landingham.

The conference committee rejected the amendment and the Senate accepted their decision unanimously on 23 February. The House adopted the bill by a vote of 97 to 1 the following day.[6] On 23 March, the bill was signed by Governor James S. Gilmore and became law as of 1 July 2001.[7]

In 2004, the Virginia-Asian Advisory Board’s purpose was amended. Senator Yvonne B. Miller (D-5) introduced SB 186,[8] and Chief Patron Delegate Robert A. McDonnell (R-84) and Co-Patron Delegate John A. Cosgrove (R-78) introduced HB 1480,[9] both of which called for a sentence to be added to the end of the Board’s stated purpose: “In addition, the Board shall advise the Governor on issues affecting the Asian-American community of the Commonwealth.”[10]

This proposed amendment went through several revisions in both houses to clarify the Board’s purpose.

For SB 186, Delegate McDonnell suggested replacing “Pacific Rim” with “Asian.” In addition, he suggested a merger of the original final sentence and his proposed additional sentence. Consequently, the final sentence became: “The purpose of the Board shall be to advise the Governor on ways to improve economic and cultural links between the Commonwealth and Asian nations, with a focus on the areas of commerce and trade, art and education, general government, and issues affecting the Asian-American communities in the Commonwealth.”[11] These changes were passed by the House on 27 February with a vote of 96 to 2. The Senate voted to concur with the House’s amendments on 2 March.[12]

For HB 1480, the House Appropriations Committee suggested a similar rewording of the final sentence that left out “in the Commonwealth,” and that amendment was passed by the House on 17 February. In addition, Senator Frank W. Wagner (R-7)[13] introduced two amendments: that “Pacific Rim” be replaced with “Asian,” and that the sentence be changed to “In addition, the Board shall advise the Governor on issues affecting the Asian American communities in the Commonwealth,”[14] which matched Delegate McConnell’s amendment to SB 186. These changes were agreed to unanimously by the Senate on 1 March. On 8 March, the Senate amendments were accepted by the House.[15]

By the time they were both enrolled on 23 March, SB 186 and HB 1480 were once again identical.[16] On 15 April, SB 186 was approved and signed by the Governor Mark R. Warner and became Chapter 971 in the Acts of the Assembly.[17] HB 1480 had a different fate, even though it contained the same text. On 6 March, Leon R. Wang, a Virginia-Asian Advisory Board member, suggested in an email to Senator Miller and Delegate McDonnell that the word “on” should be included in the final phrase, which meant that the amendment would conclude with the words: “and on issues affecting the Asian-American communities in the Commonwealth.”[18] Governor Mark R. Warner returned HB 1480 to the House of Delegates on 15 April with the request that the suggestion offered by Dr. Wang be approved.[19] The recommendation was adopted on 21 April, and the Senate concurred the same day. The bill was then reenrolled and became Chapter 1005 of the Acts of the Assembly.[20]

Virginia House of Delegates, Record Group 79, Accession 42995, Barcode 1174215, Original Bills, 2004, Box 14, Folder: H.B. No. 1480.

Consequently, there were two different acts that differed by just one word: “on.”[21] The current Code of Virginia includes the text of Chapter 1005, which includes the word “on.” Therefore, the amended purpose of the Virginia-Asian Advisory Board is “to advise the Governor on ways to improve economic and cultural links between the Commonwealth and Asian nations, with a focus on the areas of commerce and trade, art and education, and general government, and on issues affecting the Asian-American communities in the Commonwealth.”[22]

Even though the Virginia Asian Advisory Board was created in 2001, the first appointments were not made until two years later, on 18 April 2003. The first members were:

  • Ranjana W. Chachra, Blacksburg, VA
  • Wai-Ping Chan, Alexandria, VA
  • Liu-Jen Chu, Richmond, VA
  • Robert Orlando Colorina, Chesapeake, VA
  • Conrado “Dick” Dabu, Norfolk, VA
  • Nalin Jain, Fairfax, VA
  • Manbir “Manny” Kathuria, Fairfax, VA
  • Mark L. Keam, Alexandria, VA
  • Rafat Mahmood, Alexandria, VA
  • Kim P. Nguyen, Falls Church, VA
  • Kritikka Onsanit, Richmond, VA
  • Silvia Y. Patton, Fairfax Station, VA
  • Ravi Prasad, Richmond, VA
  • Dilip Sarkar, Suffolk, VA
  • Francis M. Stevens, Petersburg, VA
  • Leon “R.L.” Wang, Norfolk, VA

Virginia General Assembly, Record Group 78, Accession 42995, Barcode 1174222, Enrolled Bills, 2004, Volume 4: Chapter 1005: Virginia Asian Advisory Board.

On 1 December 2003, one additional appointment was made: Thomas W. McCandlish of Richmond. This left one vacancy on the board. Their appointments were effective from 1 July 2001 until 30 June 2005,[23] which means that they did not have the opportunity to serve full terms. Twelve of the original seventeen were reappointed for an additional term that expired on 30 June 2009.[24] The terms of appointments have changed several times since the first members joined the Board. In 2012 and 2017, appointments were to be staggered to provide a measure of continuity. Consequently, appointments were to be for two, three, or four years. After that set of appointments, terms were to be for four years, and successive terms were permitted.[25]

In 2020, successive terms were limited to two, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security or their designees were added to the membership.[26] More than seventy Virginians have served on the Virginia-Asian Advisory Board in the past nineteen years.[27]

Since their first meeting on 11 December 2003,[28] the Virginia Asian Advisory Board has held periodic meetings throughout Virginia that include guest speakers. In addition, the Virginia Asian Advisory Board hosts networking activities to connect legislatures, civic and business leaders, and others with the Asian American community. Today, the Board has four committees—Business and Trade, Civic Engagement, Education, and Health—that provide recommendations to the governor.[29] The current membership can be viewed on their website as well as annual reports for most of their history. Websites of older boards are archived and available through the Internet Archive.

 

-Cara Griggs, Reference Archivist

Footnotes

[1] Virginia Legislative Information System, “2001 Session, Delegate Leo C. Wardrup, Jr. (R) – House District 83,” accessed 26 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?011+mbr+H96; Virginia House of Delegates, Record Group 79, Accession 42253, Barcode 1165357, Original Bills, 2001, Box 34, Folder: H. B. No. 2859.

[2] Virginia House of Delegates, Record Group 79, Accession 42253, Barcode 1165357, Original Bills, 2001, Box 34, Folder: H. B. No. 2859.

[3] Virginia House of Delegates, Record Group 79, Accession 42253, Barcode 1165357, Original Bills, 2001, Box 34, Folder: H. B. No. 2859.

[4] Senate of Virginia, Record Group 80, Accession 40214, Barcode 1154128, Original Bills, Resolutions, Joint Resolutions, 2001, Box 24, Folder: HB 2859.

[5] Virginia House of Delegates, Record Group 79, Accession 42253, Barcode 1165357, Original Bills, 2001, Box 34, Folder: H. B. No. 2859.

[6] Senate of Virginia, Record Group 80, Accession 40214, Barcode 1154128, Original Bills, Resolutions, Joint Resolutions, 2001, Box 24, Folder: HB 2859.

[7] Virginia General Assembly, Record Group 78, Accession 42254, Barcode 1165404, Enrolled Bills, 2001, Volume 2, Chapter 566: Virginia-Asian Advisory Board.

[8] Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, Senator Yvonne B. Miller (D) – Senate District 5,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+mbr+S24.

[9] Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, Delegate Robert B. McDonnell (R) – House District 84,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+mbr+H62; Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, Delegate John A. Cosgrove (R) – House District 78,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+mbr+H143; Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, HB 1480 Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; purpose,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+sum+HB1480.

[10] Senate of Virginia, Record Group 80, Accession 41652, Barcode 1162945, Original Bills, 2004, Box 4, Folder: SB 186; Virginia House of Delegates, Record Group 79, Accession 42995, Barcode 1174215, Original Bills, 2004, Box 14, Folder: H.B. No. 1480.

[11] Virginia House of Delegates, Record Group 79, Accession 42995, Barcode 1174216, Original Bills, 2004, Box 15, Folder: H.B. No. 1480.

[12] Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, HB 1480 Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; purpose,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+sum+HB1480.

[13] Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, Senator Frank W. Wagner (R) – Senate District 7,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+mbr+S60; Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, HB 1480 Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; purpose,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+sum+HB1480.

[14] Senate of Virginia, Record Group 80, Accession 41652, Barcode 1162966, Original Bills, 2004, Box 25, Folder: HB 1480; Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, HB 1480 Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; purpose,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+sum+HB1480.

[15] Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, HB 1480 Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; purpose,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+sum+HB1480.

[16] Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, SB 186 Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; purpose,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=041&typ=bil&val=SB186; Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, HB 1480 Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; purpose,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+sum+HB1480.

[17] Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, SB 186 Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; purpose,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=041&typ=bil&val=SB186; Virginia General Assembly, Record Group 78, Accession 42995, Barcode 1174222, Enrolled Bills, 2004, Volume 4: Chapter 971: Virginia Asian Advisory Board.

[18] Virginia Office of the Governor, Record Group 3, Accession 42414, Barcode 1174193, Governor Mark R. Warner, Policy Office, Series III: Legislative Files, 2004 Session, Box 124, Folder 2: SB 186 (04) Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; Purpose.

[19] Virginia Office of the Governor, Record Group 3, Accession 42414, Barcode 1174191, Governor Mark R. Warner, Policy Office, Series III: Legislative Files, 2004 Session, Box 122, Folder 1: HB 1480 (04) Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; Purpose.

[20] Virginia Legislative Information System, “2004 Session, HB 1480 Virginia-Asian Advisory Board; purpose,” accessed 27 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?041+sum+HB1480; Virginia General Assembly, Record Group 78, Accession 42995, Barcode 1174222, Enrolled Bills, 2004, Volume 4: Chapter 1005: Virginia Asian Advisory Board.

[21] Virginia General Assembly, Record Group 78, Accession 42995, Barcode 1174222, Enrolled Bills, 2004, Volume 4: Chapter 971: Virginia Asian Advisory Board; Virginia General Assembly, Record Group 78, Accession 42995, Barcode 1174222, Enrolled Bills, 2004, Volume 4: Chapter 1005: Virginia Asian Advisory Board.

[22] Va. Code Ann. §2.2-2448 (2021), online: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title2.2/chapter24/section2.2-2448/.

[23] Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth, Record Group 13, Accession 42418, Barcode 1172188, Appointment Letters, 2002-2003, Box 10, Folder 6: April-May, 2003; Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth, Record Group 13, Accession 42418, Barcode 1172189, Appointment Letters, 2003-2004, Box 11, Folder 2: Appointment Letters, October-December, 2003.

[24] Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, 2003-2004 Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth to the Governor and General Assembly of Virginia (Richmond, VA: N.p.), 95-96; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, 2004-2005 Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth to the Governor and General Assembly of Virginia (Richmond, VA: 2004), 94; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2005-2006, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2005-2006_full_report.pdf.

[25] Virginia Legislative Information System, Acts of Assembly, “2012 Session, Chapter 502,” accessed 30 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+ful+CHAP0502&121+ful+CHAP0502; Virginia Legislative Information System, Acts of the Assembly, “2017 Session, Chapter 395,” accessed 30 April 2021,  https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+CHAP0395&171+ful+CHAP0395.

[26] Virginia Legislative Information System, Acts of the Assembly, “2020 Session, Chapter 57,” accessed 30 April 2021, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+CHAP0057&201+ful+CHAP0057.

[27] Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, 2003-2004 Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth to the Governor and General Assembly of Virginia (Richmond, VA: N.p.), 95-96; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, 2004-2005 Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth to the Governor and General Assembly of Virginia (Richmond, VA: 2004), 94; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2005-2006, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2005-2006_full_report.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2006-2007, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2006-2007_full_report.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2007-2008, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2007-2008_full_report.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2008-2009, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2008-2009_full_report.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2009-2010, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2009-2010_fullreport.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2010-2011, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/Blue-Book-Report-2010-2011.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2011-2012, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/Blue-Book-Report-2011-2012.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2012-2013, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2013_RD39-Report_of_the_Secretary_of_the_Commonwealth_2012_-_2013.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2013-2014, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2014/FullReport2013-2014.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2014-2015, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2015/report-of-the-secretary-of-the-commonwealth-2014-15.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2015-2016, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2016/2015-2016-blue-book-combined.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2016-2017, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/2017/2017-blue-book.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2017-2018, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/1718-bluebook/report-of-the-secretary-of-the-commonwealth-2017-18.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2018-2019, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-the-commonwealth/pdf/bluebooks/Report-of-the-Secretary-of-the-Commonwealth-2018-2019.pdf; Virginia, Secretary of the Commonwealth, “Virginia-Asian Advisory Board,” Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 2019-2020, https://www.bluebook.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/bluebook/2019-2020-Bluebook-of-the-Commonwealth-of-Virginia.pdf.

[28] Virginia Office of the Governor, Record Group 3, Accession 42409, Barcode 1177545, Governor Mark R. Warner, Policy Office, Series IV: Policy Analysts Files, David H. Hallock, Box 199, Folder 5: Asian Advisory Board, 2003.

[29] Virginia Asian Advisory Board, “Documents,” accessed 26 April 2021, https://www.vaab.virginia.gov/documents/.

Header Image Citation

Current Virginia Asian Advisory Board with Governor Ralph Northam, courtesy of https://www.vaab.virginia.gov/

Cara Griggs

Cara Griggs

Reference Archivist

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