Leaders of Aurora's Asian American community joined the virtual Aurora City Council meeting last week as the City recognized May as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
"It is my honor to, once again, issue a proclamation to recognize the significant contributions of our Asian American Pacific Islander community," said Mayor Irvin who issued the first proclamation in the City's history honoring the month just last year.
This year, the recognition comes amid the COVID-19 crisis and a growing list of reports of harmful acts toward Asian Americans.
"In the face of rising bigotry and increased hate crimes against the Asian American community, it is important we continue to stand together as one Aurora," said Irvin.
One of the fastest-growing populations, the Asian American community is strengthening the diverse tapestry of Aurora through business, education and service.
"Thank you for making this great City the most welcoming for Asian American families and businesses," said Lily Chen, chairwoman United Chinese American Illinois Chapter, "Let's combat hate with love together."
Chen's organization has helped to bring cultural and educational programs to Aurora and is currently working to feed local first responders during the pandemic.
The proclamation highlights some of the partnerships formed with the Asian-American community during the current administration, including the United Chinese Americans Illinois Chapter First Hmong Alliance Church of Aurora, the Laotian American Association of Aurora and the Windfall Group, the development company behind Pacifica Square.
Mayor Irvin gave special mention to Pacifica Square - the 365,000 sq. ft. renovated former Yorkshire Plaza at the northwest intersection of New York Street and Route 59. Currently under development of its first phase with a half dozen new restaurants and retail already open, Pacifica Square will be the largest Asian-themed shopping center in the United States of America.
International businessman and President/CEO of Pacifica Square, Eddie Ni, was on the call to thank Aurora for being an ideal location for his latest and largest shopping center development.
"We are so blessed to be part of a community that is welcoming and diverse," said Ni who has also donated personal protection equipment during the pandemic.
Ni and Irvin traveled to Chicago last fall for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China where Irvin was a featured speaker and special guest of the Chinese Consul General of Chicago.
"Over the past three years, we have continued to foster business and cultural relationships with the Asian-American community that will only make the City of Lights shine brighter," said Irvin.
You can watch the presentation beginning at 1:40 mark in the video at:
This press release was produced by the City of Aurora. The views expressed here are the author's own.