September 2, 2014

Asian American Action Fund endorses Mark Takai (HI-1) for US Congress

Mark Takai for US Congress, Hawaii 1st Congressional District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 28, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Gautam Dutta (415) 236-2048

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, the Asian American Action (AAA) Fund announced their endorsement of Mark Takai to represent Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Takai has served for almost 20 years in the Hawaii State Legislature where he is currently the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans, Military, and International Affairs, and Culture and the Arts. In the past, he has been the House Vice Speaker and Chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education.

His legislative accomplishments include introducing legislation to establish Hawaii’s Dream Act and being the main architect behind legislation that recognizes the efforts of several Americans of Japanese ancestry, such as Fred Korematsu, who challenged the validity and constitutionality of wartime actions. During his time in the state legislature, he has also served as a member of the Hawaii National Guard for 15 years.

“Given the way he commits himself to the progressive causes he champions and his dedication to working hard for the people he represents, Mark will be a true asset to the Hawaii Congressional Delegation and the Asian Pacific American community‎,” said Deputy Executive Director Melissa Unemori Hampe.

“It is an honor to have the support of the Asian American Action Fund,” Takai said. “Team Takai and I will be working very hard through November’s General Election and, if elected, I’m looking forward to working with the Asian Pacific American community.”

AAAF logo

DC: Sept 10: AAAF Fundraiser for Mark Takai (HI-1)


Mark Takai for Congress

Please join Hawaii’s Senator Brian Schatz, Senator Mazie Hirono, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard
to support their choice to be Hawaii’s next Congressman

Our Co-hosts
Air Line Pilots Association, Asian American Action Fund,
United Food and Commercial Workers
(committee in formation)

Mark Takai
Democratic Nominee for U.S. Congress
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
at Johnny’s Half Shell
400 North Capitol Street, N.W
Washington, DC

Suggested Contribution Levels
Individuals, $2600 or $1000 PACs $5000 or $2500

For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Robert Olker at Robert@MarkTakai.com
or (808) 781-2283

Donate/buy tickets online

Or mail this form to Mark Takai for Congress, PO Box 2267, Pearl City, HI 96782

Contributions and gifts to Mark Takai for Congress are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Paid for and authorized by Mark Takai for Congress

Asian American Action Fund Endorses Leland Cheung for Massachusetts Lt. Governor

AAAF logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 28, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Gautam Dutta (415) 236-2048

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, the Asian American Action (AAA) Fund, a progressive political organization that is dedicated to empowering members of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community across the United States, announced their endorsement of Leland Cheung for Lt. Governor for the State of Massachusetts.

Cheung is the first AAPI candidate running for a state-wide office in Massachusetts. He currently serves as Councillor on the Cambridge City Council and as a member of Governor Deval Patrick’s Asian American Commission. He was also appointed by the Governor to serve on the board of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the state’s economic development agency.

As a long-standing advocate for issues of importance to Asian Americans in his community, Cheung has fought for increasing funding for Hepatitis B programs and for saving a Chinese immersion school. He has also led efforts to disaggregate reported statistics on the employment of minorities, women, and people with disabilities to assess diversity at all levels of employment. In his role as Councillor, he has also advocated for the removal of the “Exclusion of Chinese” in the United States Immigration Code.

“Our Board is delighted to support Leland in his historic bid. His dedication for championing issues important to his constituents, including the AAPI community, in an innovative manner highlights the type of leadership he will bring to the state level,” said AAA Fund Secretary Monisha Santamaria.

“I’m honored and humbled by the endorsement of the AAA Fund,” Cheung said. “The office of Lt. Governor needs a reboot and my goal is to make it more relevant to residents. I’ll focus on building grassroots support for issues of long-term importance – namely investments in education, infrastructure, and each other. What Asian Americans in Massachusetts need are the same things that families who have been in Massachusetts for generations need – safe streets, a great education for their kids, and career opportunities to provide for themselves and their families. I look forward to working with the AAA Fund to providing the leadership necessary to deliver solutions to those needs.”

Asian American Action Fund Endorses Clay Pell for Governor

AAAF logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 25, 2014
Contact: Devin Driscoll
devin@claypell.com
Mobile: (541) 729-6159

Contact: Gautam Dutta (AAA-Fund)
Office: (202) 236-2048

PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, the Asian American Action Fund (AAA-Fund) announced their endorsement of Clay Pell in the Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial primary.

“We were extraordinarily impressed with Clay’s depth of experience in Asia, from his knowledge of Chinese, studying in China as a young man, his extensive travel throughout the region, his time in the United States Coast Guard working with foreign military counterparts, and his work on the Asia Pacific Rebalance as a member of President Obama’s national security team,” said Bel Leong-Hong, chair-elect of the AAA-Fund’s executive board.

The AAA-Fund is a progressive political organization that is dedicated to empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the United States. Through the AAA-Fund, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPI) from different ethnic groups and from all over the country work together to increase the voice of the AAPI community in local, state and federal government. They do so by helping to elect AAPI and other political candidates who have a demonstrated commitment to the community, and by engaging the AAPI community in the political process.

“I’m deeply honored to have been endorsed by the AAA-Fund,” said Pell. “From an early age, and throughout my professional career, I have worked to cultivate strong ties with the Asia Pacific region. I plan to take advantage of that experience when I am Governor to ensure Rhode Island has a global audience for its economic development opportunities.”

Ferguson riots

[Written August 11th. This is as much an update for friends and family as it is a perspective from someone who is new to town.]

So I moved to St. Louis 6 weeks ago. Been out of town for about 3 of those weeks. Let’s count it as 3 weeks on the ground. Everyone is very friendly, strangers talk to you on the street. My A/C broke and my neighbors who I had only ever met once before offered me the use of both of their fans. (We only needed one for the bedroom.) Then I bumped into a new neighbor whom I had never met, and she offered to lend me her fans. Overall, St. Louis is great.

Everyone talked about the racial divide, the Delmar divide. We saw glimpses of it here and there. Fireworks in Forest Park and the 2 separate stops for folks coming from the East side and the West side. White and black divided by railcars moving in different directions. I was in Los Angeles, the site of racial riots in 1992, this weekend for the OCA convention when the Mike Brown shooting happened. Picking me up from the airport this weekend there was a police blockade. Now the cops are throwing tear gas bombs in Ferguson and shooting rubber bullets. My AFLCIO coworkers were at the FTAA in Miami in 2003 when they got shot with rubber bullets. They hurt. And actually were moved off the non-lethal list of weaponry. Last night a Walmart was looted and a gas station went up in flames. This is real and this is live. Here’s a good article about why Ferguson, why riots: http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-special-occasions/parenting/aisha-sultan/why-ferguson-burned-explaining-st-louis-area-riot-to-kids/article_725f501f-ba21-538a-acaf-f00221add91d.html

Brown’s own family members have said the destruction in their hometown is salt in their wounds. When peaceful protests turn to a city’s self immolation, there is no justice for anyone. What’s left is a community used to being unheard, roiling in the wake of a deadly police shooting. A powder keg of unemployment and poverty, of neglect and frustration, and those willing to exploit a tragedy for personal gain.

–Caroline

AAA Fund Congratulates Erika Moritsugu on her Confirmation as Assistant Secretary for HUD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 7, 2014

AAA-Fund Congratulates Erika Moritsugu on her Confirmation as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Washington, D.C. — The Asian American Action Fund congratulates Erika Moritsugu on her confirmation as Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations at the Department of Housing an Urban Development.

Ms. Moritsugu has previously served as Executive Director and on the Advisory Board of the AAA-Fund, a Democratic political action committee. Directly prior to her appointment, she was Deputy Assistant Director for Legislative Affairs at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Earlier, Ms. Moritsugu was the Deputy Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, and Acting Staff Director for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

“On behalf of our Board, we heartily congratulate Erika,” said AAA-Fund Executive Director Gautam Dutta. “We salute her leadership and commitment to public service,” he added.

Ms. Moritsugu received a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Government and Fine Arts and a J.D. with honors from the George Washington University Law School. She was raised in Hawai’i.

AAA-Fund Deputy Executive Director Melissa Hampe stated, “I look forward to Erika continuing to serve with distinction. From her time at the city prosecutor’s office in Honolulu, to her Senate and other high-level federal service, to now, she has been a talented leader in policy development. We are thrilled to see someone with her depth of experience and expertise leading one of our nation’s most vital agencies and working to improve access to housing for all Americans.”

###

–Caroline

AAA-Fund Endorses Stephanie Gray Chang for Michigan State Representative

AAAF logo

JULY 29, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gautam Dutta (415) 236-2048

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Asian American Action (AAA) Fund is pleased to announce the endorsement of Stephanie Gray Chang for Michigan State Representative (MI-6).

AAA-Fund Executive Director Gautam Dutta said, “We are excited to support Stephanie. Her proven ability to bring people together will make her an effective leader in the statehouse.”

Stephanie has deep experience as a community organizer, coalition builder, and advocate who attended the University of Michigan. She strengthened Asian and Pacific Islander American civic participation by co-founding APIAVote-Michigan, advanced nonpartisan voter registration and protection, and initiated a documentation project with Youth Leadership Corps.

Stephanie also defended affirmative action, mentored Hmong and Bangladeshi American youth in Osborn and Hamtramck with Detroit Asian Youth Project, and organized a coalition for a fair public defense system with Campaign for Justice.

Stephanie previously served as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the James and Grace Boggs School. She has the endorsement of outgoing State Rep. Rashida Tlaib and a host of other local organizations.

AAA-Fund Board Member Caroline Fan stated, “I’ve known Stephanie for a decade. As the daughter of immigrants, she has tirelessly worked to uplift the voices of the disenfranchised.”

After receiving the AAA-Fund’s endorsement, Stephanie tweeted, “Thank you @AAAFund for the endorsement! I am excited about this opportunity to further serve my communities. #Chang2014″

Futility of Peace

War Is Peace

I’ve blogged here since 2008 specifically about the toxic mix of religion & politics & notably how religion self-justifies personal flaws.

Today, let’s categorize Middle East crisis (now in its 2,500th year) camps:

  • Rational Historians: There’s been plenty written for centuries, especially recently, about the Mideast crisis. Most of what’s to be said has already been said.
  • Gave Up: A religious war 2500 years long with which self-justifies the mutual killing will end only when religion ends. Which is never.
  • Idealists: Let’s make peace! The endless stream of preachey & arrogant social media posts (i.e. “A Plea to Christian, Muslim and Jewish Friends“) by outsiders, especially white saviors & their kind
  • Jews: Peace is killing all the other side & taking their land.
  • Islamists: (see Jews)
  • Lawyers: Let’s defend religious expression with ethics and the rule of law. (as always, such folks are clueless & useless)
  • Killers: Busier killing the other side instead of bothering with futile social media posts like our friends’ & blogs like this.

So it goes on. And on. Until the end of time mortal. That’s not news, that’s daily life.