Local Hero: Alex H. Fukui

Alex H. Fukui

"As minorities within a minority community, the interests of LGBT people of color are often overlooked. I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to participate in organizations that help to represent and protect those interests."

Alex H. Fukui has been involved in community organizing activities for nearly twenty years, with a principal focus on the Asian Pacific Islander (API) and LGBT communities. Mr. Fukui was formerly co-chair of the Gay Asian Pacific Support Network (GAPSN), a volunteer community-based organization dedicated to providing safe and supportive environments for gay and bisexual API men. He has served on its board of directors in one capacity or another for sixteen years. He is a founding member of the Steering Committee of API Equality-LA, which is a coalition that builds support in the API community for LGBT equality and for the right of same-sex couples to marry. He currently co-chairs API Equality-LA's Faith Committee. He was also one of the coalition's leads in coordinating its field activities in the campaign to defeat Proposition 8.

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Mr. Fukui has played a key role in training volunteers to change the attitudes of Asian Americans, building support for marriage equality for same-sex couples here in Los Angeles and across the country. He has also organized phone banks to educate and mobilize API voters, helped sign up thousands of new supporters, and secured the endorsements of numerous Asian American elected officials, leaders, and organizations. In November of 2009, he traveled to Maine at his own expense to volunteer for the campaign to defeat Question 1, a measure designed to repeal the right of same sex couples to marry in that state.

Mr. Fukui has represented both GAPSN and API Equality-LA on the Asian Pacific Islander Pride Council, a consortium of API LGBT organizations in the greater Los Angeles area. He has also served for five years on the Community Funding Board of the Los Angeles Lesbian and Gay Community Fund.

Mr. Fukui is also active in the API legal community. He is a past president of the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA), and he continues to serve on its Board of Governors. He is the current treasurer of the JABA Educational Foundation, which is the 501(c)(3) charitable affiliate of JABA. He also serves as JABA's representative to the Multicultural Bar Alliance, which is formed by a coalition of minority bar associations in the greater Los Angeles area. Mr. Fukui is a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association as well.

Mr. Fukui is a corporate and business transactional lawyer by profession. He is currently a staff attorney with California Bank & Trust and, in that capacity, specializes in commercial lending. Prior to going in-house, Mr. Fukui practiced with the law firms of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, L.L.P. and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP for the first fourteen years of his career. Through various introductions during his law firm practice, Mr. Fukui continues to serve as pro bono counsel to a variety of social service agencies and community-based organizations that serve people of color and youth. These foundations include Horses in the Hood, A New Way of Life, and the Shakespeare and Friends Foundation.

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