April 21, 2014

Colleen Hanabusa (2/2)

Colleen Hanabusa

Naturally, President Obama endorsed his own Hawaii state campaign head Brian Schatz for US Senate over the proven lead Colleen Hanabusa. I wrote 2 months ago about how Hanabusa provides not just any leadership or the party’s most well connected leadership but the most principled, focused & ideal leadership. Ignoring sustained junk politics like her age (which is a plus, but mean politics never sees that), we can all see the President will back his campaign staff while other Democrats back Hanabusa as it’s an all-Democratic field which leads to disillusionment over the political process that leads to political fragmentation & polarization that makes Congress what it is today.

Also, Obama’s been so unwilling to help any US Senate candidate except 1 other (then again, it’s desired). Unfortunate but understandable.

Today’s Honolulu Star Advertiser poll asks, “Should President Obama have endorsed his candidate in Hawaii’s Democratic race for U.S. Senate?” where you can vote your say. You know my say.

Update: Poll results agree, Obama should’ve stayed out of it.

Leland Yee Disappoints

Editor’s Note: Richard’s opinions are his alone, no one else’s.

Leland Yee arrested

Leland Yee‘s arrest is a severe disappointment to Toisanese, Chinese-Americans, his electorates, the state of California & the AAPI community all. FBI busted, raided & arrested him with 26 members of Ghee Kung Tong, a Chinatown gang for a huge array of charges, all serious & when summed, astounding.

The AAA-Fund has never had a relationship with him in any way & reminds us all how important vetting our endorsed candidates carefully & thoroughly is not just for us as an organization but for our own morality & consciousness. Voting for a candidate is a lot more than who had the most negative ads, who spent the most, whose polls got the most media buzz, who had the most lobbyists donate money to gartner favor, and other demoralizing inane parts of the politics industry. It’s about representing the public for the public good. I tell my friends to do work for the love of the purpose & politicians should likewise take heed.

2014 Elections

Editor’s Note: Richard’s writing below means he’s tracking it but not that the AAA-Fund gives an endorsement.

Election 2014 is well underway! Ones I’m looking at include:

Elected already

  • Suchada “Sue” Langley – elected Chair of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, the largest committee in Virginia. Dr. Langley is a retired USDA economist and Thai American.
  • Clarence Tong – elected Chair of the Alexandria Democratic Committee. Clarence works in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs (CI) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). He is Chinese-American & was the Communications Director and Policy Director for Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA), who lost to and is running again in 2016 against Senator Toomey.

I’ll update this post regularly (3 edits already) for my own purposes, but all comments welcome below.

Good to do for any/all would be to tag politicians’ Wikipedia pages for Category:Members of the United States Congress of Asian descent or to edit this Wikipedia article.

Dr. Danielle Martin schools Sen. Richard Burr

My homeland of Taiwan has a single payer healthcare system which is famed for its affordability and Western levels of care and service. Canada also, though conservatives want to market their for-profit healthcare systems as superior to all the rest of the world. You’ve already heard the stats about how behind the US is for overall health and GOP hardheads spew the stereotypes which are ridiculous to everyone else, but here’s something to make you smile.

Dr. Danielle Martin schools Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on national healthcare. Dozens of articles repeat the delicious exchange. For audio, see “Canadian doctor schools U.S. Senator on public health care“.

I could go on & on abut how conservatives are paid off by healthcare and pharmaceutical lobbyists but worse than legalized corruption is how Americans are too lazy to lobby their representatives (thus lobbyists work) & won’t want to change the system until they’ve a $10,000 doctor’s bill. And even then, they’re too lazy to do much other than fight a menial fight with the insurer. Don’t be that person.

Phung Jefferson for Judge

Editor’s Note: As our mission here is to support AAPIs in any & every way, we feature Phung Jefferson, a private attorney running for Clark County District Court Judge for Department 2. Filing for candidacy begins an often long road of many steps for all in US politics and we want you to publicize & support all AAPIs in this work. Note her June 10 primary election and Nov 4 general election dates so read, volunteer & publicize! Below is her biography which we share with you.

Phung Jefferson

My name is Phung Jefferson and I am running for Nevada Clark County District Court Judge in a nonpartisan race. I have a strong commitment to upholding the principles of equality and justice. There is no greater honor than being allowed the opportunity to serve our local community.

I was born in Nha Trang, S. Vietnam in 1970. My Vietnamese mother, American father and brothers arrived in the United States in 1976. I became a U.S. citizen at the age of 9 in 1979. I earned my Bachelor of Science from UNLV and Juris Doctor at Western State College of Law, in Fullerton, California. I opened my own private law practice in 2003 and argued an appeal for the Nevada Supreme Court shortly thereafter. This appeal resulted in a Court opinion which became controlling legal authority in Nevada [Hudson v. Jones, 138 P.3d 429 (Nev. 2006)].

Throughout my career, I have represented clients in jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, and hearings. I have served as legal council in many different areas, including criminal proceedings, family law matters, civil defense cases, and personal injury claims. I work hard to ensure that all clients I represent are provided with a deep understanding of the intricacies of their case, feel their interests have been presented accurately, and are able to fully communicate their needs.

In my spare time, I try to do my part to help to enrich our local community by providing free seminars regarding important topics such as domestic violence and how to plan for a career in law.

My heritage and my life experience have given me a unique perspective and a great deal of understanding. I am grateful to my family for providing me with a strong work ethic and a firm dedication to upholding that which is right. Please feel free to visit my webpage at www.phungjefferson.com.

Editor’s Note: We’ve also featured another AAPI in running for Clark County Judge, Judge Cheryl Moss.

Judge Cheryl Moss

Editor’s Note: As our mission here is to support AAPIs in any & every way, we feature Judge Cheryl Moss (JudgePedia, official website and biography, campaign website), a Judge of the 8th Judicial District Court, Family Division, Clark County, State of Nevada. She campaigns for another 6-year term in this year’s election. Having filed begins an often long road of many steps for all in US politics and we want you to publicize & support all AAPIs in this work. Note her June 10 primary election and Nov 4 general election dates so read, learn, volunteer & publicize! Below is her biography which we share with you.

Judge Cheryl Moss

Judge Cheryl Moss was elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2002 and 2008 to the 8th Judicial District Court, Family Division, Clark County, State of Nevada. She is currently serving a six-year term until 2014.

Judge Moss is the first Asian-American to be elected to a statewide judicial office in the State of Nevada’s history. She has served in public office as a District Court Judge since January 2001.

Judge Moss attended college at George Washington University then law school at the Catholic University of America, both in Washington, D.C. Judge Moss graduated in the top 25% of her law school class in 1994. She is licensed to practice law in Nevada, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

After graduating law school and working as a judicial law clerk for Superior Court Judge John H. Bayly, Jr., in Washington, D.C., Judge Moss relocated in 1995 to Las Vegas.

In 1998, Cheryl owned and managed her solo law practice, The Law Office of Cheryl B. Moss, Chartered, practicing mainly in family law and personal injury law. In 1999, she received the Shining Star Award from the Clark County Pro Bono Project for her unselfish representation of low-income clients.

During her first year as a Family Court Judge, Judge Moss became the first Judge to implement a pilot program for referring parents in child custody cases for Problem Gambling Assessments. Judge Moss successfully launched the program with the help and coordination of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling.

Judge Moss served on the Board of Trustees of the Clark County Law Library. She also volunteers her time judging in local and statewide competitions such as the UNLV Law School Moot Court Competition, the High School Mock Trial Competition, and previously with the Trial By Peers Program. Judge Moss also collaborates with the Southern Nevada Gang Prevention Task Committee.

Judge Moss has given several lectures in legal and medical seminars dealing with substance abuse disorders and addictive behaviors. She gave presentations for the National Business Institute, the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, the National Center for Responsible Gaming, Nellis Air Force Base, the Nevada Army Reserve Training Center, and at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Judge Moss has earned over 1000 hours of continuing legal education with a concentration in domestic relations law.

In August 2007, Judge Moss was the first Judge to graduate from the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program wherein Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officers are trained to respond to emergency calls involving the mentally ill or those in crisis.

In 2011, Judge Moss was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S.

In 2013, Judge Moss received The Golden Pear Award for Professional Achievement from the Filipino American Heritage Foundation of Nevada.

This is now her 14th year as a Family Court Judge. Judge Moss is dedicated to her career in public service. Judge Moss is currently pursuing re-election to a 4th term on the bench this November 2014.

Feb 20: National AAPI Community Google+ Hangout

Editor’s Note: Below is a reposting of “National AAPI Community Google+ Hangout: February 20“. We’ve also Re-tweeted a lot about this event! Re-tweet with us.

Please join the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), as well as government, civic and business leaders from across the country on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 3 PM ET for our National AAPI Community Google+ Hangout!

Building on key topics highlighted in President Obama’s State of the Union address, we’ll discuss national priorities for AAPI communities and launch a drive to engage the AAPI community. We’ll also announce new efforts we’re working on with our partners around critical issues facing the AAPI community.

White House and Administration officials will talk about what we’ve learned and done nationally, and our next steps. Konrad Ng, Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, will announce this year’s AAPI Heritage Month theme. And, most importantly, we’ll have an opportunity to hear from people like you.

You can submit questions anytime on Twitter using #WHIAAPI, email them to WhiteHouseAAPI@ed.gov, or submit them on Google+ before or during the Hangout, but the inaugural National AAPI Community Google+ Hangout depends on your thoughtful participation, so please sign-up and join the conversation.

NATIONAL AAPI COMMUNITY GOOGLE+ HANGOUT

Hosted by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

DATE:      Thursday, February 20, 2014
TIME:      3 p.m. ET (12 noon PT)
LINK:      http://bit.ly/AAPIGoogleHangout

Kiran Ahuja is Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.


Editor’s Note: Below is more about this special & important event from our friends at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.” Note that Education Secretary Arne Duncan and WH AAPI Initiative director Kiran Ahuja will deliver remarks and talk with students at the East Coast Asian American Student Union’s (ECAASU) 2014 Conference in Washington on Friday discussing several of the points below while encouraging students to pursue mission-oriented work.

White House Initiative
on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY, FEB. 20, 2014
CONTACT: Rebecca Lee at 202-245-6353 or rebecca.lee@ed.gov

WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE ON ASIAN AMERICANS AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS TO EXPAND ON PROGRESS MADE

Federal Officials Announce New Efforts to Expand Opportunities for AAPIs on Community Google+ Hangout

WASHINGTON – Building on themes outlined in President Obama‘s State of the Union address to Congress last month, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Executive Director Kiran Ahuja today announced new plans to expand opportunities at the national level and increase community engagement at the local level.

Joined by federal officials and community members across the country on a Google+ Hangout held today, Ahuja outlined key elements of a regional strategy designed to build upon the Initiative’s success over the past four years improving access to services and protections for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country.

Officials on the Hangout also highlighted activities the Initiative is taking, including a comprehensive report on what federal agencies have accomplished to increase access for AAPIs, the launch of a campaign to raise awareness of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), a call for proposals to leverage the skills and talents of people across the country with the Initiative, and the official theme of this year’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May.

Ahuja said the Initiative is providing the building blocks toward accessible education, affordable health care, and secure retirements for all. And that they are building on what they’ve learned and done nationally and offering new ideas to meet the demands of the nation’s fastest growing demographic.

“A better America is possible, one with policies that strengthen us and a government that serves all of us, including the AAPI community” said Ahuja. “We’re reinforcing relationships, forging coalitions, bolstering institutions and the capacity of community based organizations in order to ensure the federal government better serves us all.”

Regional Working Groups

On the Hangout, Ahuja said regional interagency working groups of officials representing more than 20 federal agencies and sub-agencies have been formed and trained to work with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Regional working groups in New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles have already hit the ground running. In the last few months, they heard directly from community members about their challenges and have started to demystify the work of the federal government and its programs and services and create new partnerships with community leaders.

Federal Agency Feedback

On the Hangout, officials released a comprehensive plan and report of what each federal agency will do and has done to improve and expand access of AAPIs to resources this year. The policies represent the federal government’s commitment to increasing access to services for the AAPI community, with an emphasis on four priority areas: data disaggregation, language access, workforce diversity and capacity building.

To solicit feedback on the plans, the Initiative launched an interactive module where the public can “like” specific aspects of each plan and make comments about particular activities.. The feedback module will be open until March 31, 2014 and can be found on aapi.ideascale.com.

Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions

To meet President Obama’s goal of having America produce the highest proportion of college graduates in the world once again by the year 2020, actor Maulik Pancholy said on the Hangout that there should be a focus on underserved students in the nation’s fastest growing demographic, many of whom also have the lowest rates of college attainment.

Pancholy announced the Initiative’s #AANAPISIstory campaign on the Hangout, which seeks to raise awareness about Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), the educational institutions that provide culturally relevant services and have high AAPI populations, to help meet President’s Obama’s 2020 goal.

Using #AANAPISIstory on social media platforms, the Initiative will collect stories in the form of photos, videos and writing about what AANAPISIs mean to members of the AAPI community. To share a story and learn more about AANAPISIs, please visit bit.ly/AANAPISI.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

During the Hangout, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center director Konrad Ng announced its theme for this year’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May: “I Am Beyond.”

“This year’s theme captures how AAPIs have met challenges and excelled beyond them in shaping the nation,” said Ng. ” ‘I am Beyond’ recognizes the depth, breadth and richness of America’s Asian Pacific heritage.”

Ng said the Center is inviting organizations, individuals and communities across the country to join the commemoration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and share their interpretation of the theme over social media using #IAMBEYOND. Visit www.apa.si.edu soon for more information. Expressions can include, but are not limited to, visual art, literary work, or multimedia. The theme aims to enrich the appreciation of the Asian American and Pacific Islander contributions to the American story.

About the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

On October 14, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Executive Order reestablishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (Initiative). The Initiative, chaired by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and led by Executive Director Kiran Ahuja, is housed within the U.S. Department of Education. The Initiative works to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by facilitating increased access to and participation in federal programs where they remain underserved.

The Initiative seeks to highlight both the tremendous unmet needs in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities as well as the dynamic community assets that can be leveraged to meet many of those needs. The Initiative focuses on crosscutting priority areas that may reach across all issue areas and agencies, including, for example, advancing research, data collection, analysis and dissemination for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and ensuring access, especially linguistic access and cultural competence, for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and encouraging Asian American and Pacific Islander involvement in public service and civic engagement opportunities.

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**NOTE: To learn more about the Initiative, visit www.whitehouse.gov/aapi. A recording of the Google+ Hangout can be accessed at bit.ly/AAPIGoogleHangout.**

Happy Lunar New Year

We the Blogteam want to wish you and yours a prosperous, healthy and wealthy Happy Lunar New Year in this Year of the Horse. Please comment below with your wishes and greetings!

An Evening full of Conversation and Delightful Wine Pairings with Congressman Ami Bera

Editor’s Note: This article follows up our earlier invitation. Both Dr. Bera & Rep. Honda are 2013 AAAF Endorsed Candidates.

Dr. Ami Bera, Representative Mike Honda

The Asian American Action Fund kicked off its fundraising efforts for 2014 with an evening with Congressman Ami Bera (CA-D). An intimate group of AAA-Fund supporters and board members gathered at the Capitol Hill home of Monisha and Rob Santamaria on Wednesday, January 18 to hear the Congressman’s thoughts on a range of issues from international relations with China and India to skyrocketing college tuitions. The evening was highlighted by delicious food, catered by Joseph Marcolin (a.k.a. Joey Garlic of The Pug), and delightful wine pairings.

During the event, Congressman Mike Honda made an appearance to join in the festivities for the evening. Both Congressmen explained the importance that elections this year will have on increasing opportunities for APA candidates and the critical role AAA-Fund plays on supporting such candidates. When asked about his favorite memory during his first term, Congressman Bera spoke about being sworn in to Congress as his father, who had emigrated to the U.S. in 1958, watching from the gallery. “In one generation, he saw his son become a member of Congress,” he added.

After the event, Paul Tiao, a returning AAA-Fund Board member said, “It was indeed a delightful event. We had a meaningful discussion with Congressmen Bera and Honda that was filled with policy, politics, jokes and laughter all around. The event was a great success and we need to build on the momentum.”

What It’s Like To Be The Only Asian-American Woman in the U.S. Senate

Senator Mazie Hirono

Today, we’ve another article for you in addition to today’s newsletter trivia answer, “What It’s Like To Be The Only Asian-American Woman in the U.S. Senate“.

We’ve Tweeted this on our Twitter. Waiting for Medium‘s Facebook Page to post it to re-post it to our new Facebook Page.