Some Chinese Americans Won’t Miss Wu

Story tools

A A AResize


Chinese Americans in Portland and the Bay Area have mixed reactions on the resignation of Oregon congressman David Wu, who stepped down on Tuesday after accusations of sexual misconduct, Sing Tao reported. The Democratic congressman is the first Chinese American to serve in the House.

Wu faced a House ethics investigation after allegations that he was involved in an "unwanted sexual encounter" with a teenager. The 18-year-old was the daughter of Wu's friend. Wu indicated on Sunday that he would retire at the end of his term, but that was unacceptable to the House Democratic leadership. On Monday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi called for the ethics panel to review the matter.

New York Assemblywoman Grace Meng said Wu’s departure would be a loss of power for Chinese Americans and the community’s interests, as he has championed Chinese American civil rights issues. She said she hopes another Asian American can fill Wu’s seat.

Local Chinese Americans in Portland said they felt bad for Wu, but added that Wu’s loss wouldn’t have a big impact on them, because the congressman had lost touch with the community in the last few years, including withdrawing his support for U.S-China trade. They also said Wu seldom came to Portland’s Chinatown, and did not fundraise there for his campaign.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Asian American advocacy groups were divided on news of Wu’s fall from grace. Some members of Asian Americans for Good Government (AAGG) and Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) said Wu’s resignation will be a loss for Chinese communities, but some of them didn't view it as a big deal, Sing Tao reported.

Albert Wang, an executive board member of APAPA, said the scandal will ruin Wu’s reputation a lot since it involves an encounter with an 18-year-old girl, according to Sing Tao.

Hsing Kung, an entrepreneur and community leader, said he views Wu’s scandal as Wu’s personal issue, but, as Wu’s friend, he was hoping Wu can manage the crisis.

Lester H. Lee, former member of the Board of Regents of the University of California, said he doesn’t think Wu’s resignation would be a significant concern for Chinese communities, because Wu did not earnestly work on issues related to the welfare of Chinese Americans.