Center for Asian American Studies
Center for Asian American Studies

Professor Ramey Ko emcees the Lunar New Year's Celebration at AFL-CIO Headquarters

Thu, March 3, 2011

Activist Rick Cofer said it most plainly: Although Asian Americans represent a growing percentage of Austin’s population, not one of our 70 or so elected officials, including judges, is Asian American.

Judges Ramey Ko and Cliff Brown

Cofer delivered his message to a supremely diverse audience at the AFL-CIO Headquarters during the Lunar New Year’s Celebration, sponsored by Capital Area Asian American Democrats. Though not of Asian extraction himself, Cofer serves as treasurer for the group headed by his buddy (appointed) Municipal Judge Ramey Ko, who emceed the cultural parts of the program and the awards ceremony.

Barbara Rush and Sonia Kotecha

Helping to usher in the Year of the Rabbit were dancer Regina Jesus and singer Ira Perez. Also present were a many activists, half dozen judges, about as many prosecutors, two Austin city council members and representatives of various high officials.

Austin City Council Members Laura Morrison and Chris  Riley

Winner of the group’s honors set aside for legislators was State Rep. Rafael Anchía of Dallas, who helped this group fight anti-immigrant legislation. The activist of the year award went to Sonia Kotecha, who works with Court Appointed Special Advocates of Texas and has helped reignite the Network of Indian Professionals.

Laura Hernandez and Tanis de Luna

Lifetime achievement laurels were conferred on former Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, who, we were reminded, was an even younger municipal judge decades ago than the youthful Ko is now. And back then, he was tasked with declaring people dead, too. Earle earned a standing ovation from this decidedly partisan gathering, but Ko quickly reminded folks he prosecuted more Democrats than Republicans through his Public Integrity office.

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