Highlights at the RNC Convention 2016

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Day 1:   Asians here at the Convention represent a “minority within a minority,” but there was wonderful camaraderie among us.   It’s really important for Asian Americans to be engaged in and participate in American democracy.   It’s truly a privilege, and the way we can see positive changes for our community.

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Day 2:  Another great day!   It was amazing to walk into the Convention Center for the first time.   I had seen it many times on television, but it was something else to be there live.   Media were swarming the place and I had my first interview with a Korean newspaper.   Koreans have taken a keen interest in my political involvement.

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Kimberly Lee, the Arizona State Senator, was a speaker for the afternoon session.   The evening session included a great panel of speakers.  My favorite was Rudy Guiliani, who said that “majority of Americans today do not feel safe. They fear for their children and they fear for themselves.”   The theme of safety was timely, given the terrible shootings in Baton Rouge and Dallas.

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Day 3:  Today I joined Michelle Park Steel, a Korean-American elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, for an unexpected press conference with the Korean media.   Michelle was poised and calm through it all, while I was flustered and overwhelmed.   Like I posted yesterday, Koreans have taken a keen interest in me, and are astounded that I was chosen to speak at the Convention.  There were several requests for more interviews.  One reporter said he was proud of me, and was glad that Koreans would have a voice with Mr. Trump.  This is a remarkable turn of events.   When my parents submitted news of my being a NM delegate to a local Korean newspaper, they were told that it would violate IRS rules to publish it.   Korea Times never responded to my requests for coverage, even paid advertisement.

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The RNC roll call vote was exciting.   A spokesperson from states gave a short, but rousing speech.   Donald Trump officially clinched  the Republican nomination.

Day 4:  Today’s highlight was the RNC Convention Asian Pacific American National Forum.   It was held at the Hard Rock Cafe and was an incredible time of fellowship and networking.  Speakers included:  Reince Priebus, Elaine Chao, Michelle Steel, Alan Cobb, Sean Reyes, David Wang, Harmeet Dhillon, Helen Van Etten, Governor Eddie Calvo, and Mayor Ron Folconi.   It was encouraging to see so many Asian-American Republicans serving in or running for public office.

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Day 5:   The Speech:    Finally, the day I had been waiting for, with both dread and anticipation.   I had been reciting the words to myself, over and over again, but my big fear was being overcome by stage fright.   Thankfully, there were rehearsal times that included practice with the teleprompter.   I got VIP service to and from the rehearsals, with check points by the Secret Service.  I am so glad that I focused on the crowd before me.  I delivered my speech differently than I had rehearsed it, due to the energy, passion, and participation of the people.  Wow!  It was a once-in-a-lifetime event.