09/25/2017

Job Announcement: 2017 Joe Montano Fellow for Virginia State Campaigns

Joe Montano (1968-2016) was a prominent activist for Asian American causes, grassroots campaign organizer, close aide to Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and was Senator Kaine’s Northern Virginia representative. The Asian American Action Fund (AAAFund) and Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia (DAAV) join together to sponsor the Joe Montano Campaign Fellowship Program in his memory.

We are looking for a passionate, hardworking individual who is committed to helping elect Virginia Democrats this year in some of the most hotly contested races in the country.

Role Overview

The Joe Montano Fellow will be responsible for various tasks focused on community engagement and capacity building as an organizer. Candidates with experience building coalitions among diverse groups of people and holding volunteers accountable are preferred. The organizer reports directly to a Regional Organizing Director for the Virginia State Campaigns in Northern Virginia.

Tasks and Responsibilities include but not limited to:

  • Recruit, train and manage volunteers and expand the volunteer network
  • Plan, manage, and participate in phone banks and canvasses door to door
  • Amplify message and create online communities
  • Asian American outreach

Required Skills and Background

  • Exceptionally well organized with the ability to meet strict deadlines
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Disciplined and solution-oriented approach to all tasks
  • Must have access to a vehicle and a cellphone
  • Previous campaign experience preferred
  • Candidates with proficiency in Korean, Vietnamese, or Mandarin are encouraged

Submit your resume and 3 references during Aug 1-8, 2017 to JoeMontanoFellows@gmail.com


Sen. Mazie Hirono is an American Heroine

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Nation’s 1st Asian American female Senator continues lifelong service by voting to keep Obamacare

A few weeks after a devastating diagnosis of stage 4 cancer, US Senator Mazie Hirono (D- Hawaii) reported for duty to the Senate floor, voting to keep Obamacare and healthcare for 20 million plus Americans. On June 26, the night before she went in for surgery, Sen. Hirono spoke on the Senate floor:

Trumpcare would be a disaster to the American people, and we’re fighting it tooth and nail,” Hirono said. “But I also want to be clear, what we’re fighting for. We are fighting for universal health care that is a right, not a privilege, for every American. Tomorrow I’m going into surgery to remove the lesion I have on my rib, but I’m going to be back as quickly as I can to keep up the fight against this mean, ugly, bill.

Melissa Unemori Hampe, Asian American Action Fund board member, stated, “Sen. Hirono is a leading light in the Senate, and has blazed a trail for women and immigrants to be top decisionmakers. Her service and dedication is an example for all of us, and she should be recognized for her willingness to represent her constituents’ interests, despite her personal health. We are fortunate to have her in the Senate and wish her a speedy recovery.”

Sen. Hirono had previously served as Lt. Governor of Hawaii and in the state legislature since 1981. She is the first female US Senator from Hawaii, and the first Asian American female US Senator, as well as one of the first Buddhists in Congress. She is expected to make a full recovery.

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The Asian American Action Fund (www.aaafund.org) is a Democratic Asian American and Pacific Islander PAC founded in 1999. AAAFund’s goal is to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in every level of local, state and federal government in the United States.


Grow the AAAFund

We’re growing the AAAFund and from us here on the media team, we float a few ideas:

  • Facebook/Twitter/Instagram takeover; we want you the average Joe and Jane to do this with us as we get the high profile folks like Congress(wo)men to do it, too
  • media team staff do a Reditt AMA since surely there’re tons of questions out there
  • crowdsource the newsletter and our website (actually run as a blog)
  • Twitter Town Hall, #AAPIPolitics or something, have an expert and you get 24h to ask questions

I must note that we’re re-designing our website, we know it looks dated.

Post your ideas below.

Why To Unite

I’ve been moderating the 12,000 member group AsiansNOW with ~5 similarly experienced AAPI professionals from allied causes for the past many months. As all our readers who’re awoke and enabled know, there’re tons and tons of social concepts being advanced lately from differences within AAPI to AAPI-and-others relations to civic discourse over Internet trolling to fast-forming groups for any range of sub-causes. I’ve wanted to blog about so many such ideas in length because each is so heartfelt so now I get to the idea of solitarity a.k.a. unity. I used to think it was kooky bunk to have unity because everyone should be an independent thinker and not all communities have shared interests, but months of deep diving with experienced pros in this area have shown it’s actually about helping other allies when they need and when our causes have similar points but not a blind wholesale endorsement of everything each other does. For example, our friends at SolidarityIs have long argued for working with “* Lives Matter” groups because the similar themes of being ignored, ridiculed, demeaned, discrimined. Of course, there’re obvious differences: blacks face more regular violence, more intense geographical (food islands, ghettos, housing projects, etc.), etc., but short of repeating a dissertation about the differences and similarities, we can see we both benefit when we together say, the discrimination by race whether AAPI or black or whatever is unjust, unAmerican, and illegal.

Another example of why unity is superior to striking it out only for East Asian causes as is an easy default for orgs like us is SolidarityIs‘s 9/11 statement. While we AAPI could let Muslims and Sikhs and other Asians face intense violent discrimination. We could just ignore their plight and think of all the issues with us Chinese, but why is that narrow view bad?

  1. disserves both communities
  2. avoids sticking to the true basic principle against discrimination thus risks self-contradictory hypocrisy
  3. pretending injustice against 1 is not injustice against all or at least fostering further intolerance ignores its history and all the structural and systemic inequities which arose, intentionally or incidentally
  4. neuters a proper analysis of policies implemented in the name of national security or intelligence but which are later used against all, not just their original intended targets
  5. avoids hearing the voices and perspectives of all Asians who have so much energy, organizing, and intellectual skill to offer all of us
  6. drops ability to mutually support each other as the goals are so similar at their highest ideals
  7. and ignores sharing the best strategies for getting the job done

That said, let’s unite, be happy, and work to empower our communities. AAAFund does this for progressive AAPI in public life thus we’ve tons of allies.

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