October 2, 2014

Mark Takai for Congress

Mark Takai for Hawaii in the US Congress

Editor’s Note: Rep. Mark Takai (HI House District 33 (Aiea)) is a current and former AAA-Fund endorsed candidate now running for election to represent HI-1 (Honolulu, Kaimuki, Aiea, Mililani, Pearl City, Waipahu, Waimalu). He is already the Democratic Nominee for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional district. We encourage HI-1 voters to look seriously at his past & candidacy at Facebook.

HI CD1 endorsee Mark Takai is only 4% down against former Rep. Djou with 12% undecided (Civil Beat). We the AAA-Fund are supporting his campaign through online donations to enable him to successfully represent HI-1.

Mark Takai for Congress

Statement by the President and Attorney General Eric Holder

Editor’s Note: The below is a re-posting of “Statement by the President and Attorney General Eric Holder“. Our mission means we pay especially close attention to civil rights issues including the DOJ’s work in the such.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 25, 2014
4:30 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody.  Please have a seat.  Bobby Kennedy once said, “On this generation of Americans falls the full burden of proving to the world that we really mean it when we say all men are created free and equal before the law.”

As one of the longest-serving Attorney Generals in American history, Eric Holder has borne that burden.  And over the summer, he came to me and he said he thought six years was a pretty good run — I imagine his family agrees.  Like me, Eric married up.  He and his wife, Dr. Sharon Malone, a nationally-renowned OBGYN, have been great friends to Michelle and me for years.  And I know Brooke and Maya and Buddy are excited to get their dad back for a while.

So this is bittersweet.  But with his typical dedication, Eric has agreed to stay on as Attorney General until I nominate his successor and that successor is confirmed by the Senate.  Which means he’ll have a chance to add to a proud career of public service — one that began nearly 40 years ago as a young prosecutor in the Department that he now runs. 

He was there for 12 years, taking on political corruption until President Reagan named him to the bench as a judge.  Later, President Clinton called him back.  So all told, Eric has served at the Justice Department under six Presidents of both parties — including a several-day stint as acting Attorney General at the start of George W. Bush’s first term.  And through it all, he’s shown a deep and abiding fidelity to one of our most cherished ideals as a people, and that is equal justice under the law. 

As younger men, Eric and I both studied law.  And I chose him to serve as Attorney General because he believes, as I do, that justice is not just an abstract theory.  It’s a living and breathing principle.  It’s about how our laws interact with our daily lives.  It’s about whether we can make an honest living, whether we can provide for our families; whether we feel safe in our own communities and welcomed in our own country; whether the words that the Founders set to paper 238 years ago apply to every single one of us and not just some.

That’s why I made him America’s lawyer, the people’s lawyer.  That comes with a big portfolio — from counterterrorism to civil rights, public corruption to white-collar crime.  And alongside the incredible men and women of the Justice Department -– men and women that I promise you he is proud of and will deeply miss -– Eric has done a superb job.

He’s worked side by side with our intelligence community and the Department of Homeland Security to keep us safe from terrorist attacks and to counter violent extremism.  On his watch, federal courts have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terror cases, proving that the world’s finest justice system is fully capable of delivering justice for the world’s most-wanted terrorists.

He’s rooted out corruption and fought violent crime.  Under his watch, a few years ago, the FBI successfully carried out the largest mafia takedown in American history.  He’s worked closely with state and local law enforcement officers to make sure that they’ve got the resources to get the job done.  And he’s managed funds under the Recovery Act to make sure that when budgets took a hit, thousands of cops were able to stay on the beat nationwide.

He’s helped safeguard our markets from manipulation, and consumers from financial fraud.  Since 2009, the Justice Department has brought more than 60 cases against financial institutions, and won some of the largest settlements in history for practices related to the financial crisis, recovering $85 billion –- much of it returned to ordinary Americans who were badly hurt.

He’s worked passionately to make sure our criminal justice system remains the best in the world.  He knows that too many outdated policies, no matter how well-intentioned, perpetuate a destructive cycle in too many communities.  So Eric addressed unfair sentencing disparities, reworked mandatory minimums, and promoted alternatives to incarceration.  And thanks to his efforts, since I took office, the overall crime rate and the overall incarceration rate have gone down by about 10 percent.  That’s the first time that they’ve declined together, at the same tim, in more than 40 years. 

Eric’s proudest achievement, though, might be reinvigorating and restoring the core mission to what he calls “the conscience of the building” — and that’s the Civil Rights Division.  He has been relentless against attacks on the Voting Rights Act –- because no citizen, including our servicemembers, should have to jump through hoops to exercise their most fundamental right.  He’s challenged discriminatory state immigration laws that not only risked harassment of citizens and legal immigrants, but actually made it harder for law enforcement to do its job. 

Under his watch, the Department has brought a record number of prosecutions for human trafficking, and for hate crimes — because no one in America should be afraid to walk down the street because of the color of their skin, the love in their heart, the faith they practice, or the disabilities that they live with. 

He’s dramatically advanced the cause of justice for Native Americans, working closely with their communities.  And several years ago, he recommended that our government stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act — a decision that was vindicated by the Supreme Court, and opened the door to federal recognition of same-sex marriage, and federal benefits for same-sex couples.  It’s a pretty good track record.   

Eric’s father was an immigrant who served in the Army in World War II only to be refused service at lunch counters in the nation he defended.  But he and his wife raised their son to believe that this country’s promise was real, and that son grew up to become Attorney General of the United States.  And that’s something.  And that’s why Eric has worked so hard — not just in my administration, but for decades — to open up the promise of this country to more striving, dreaming kids like him.  To make sure those words — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — are made real for all of us.

Soon, Eric, Sharon, and their kids will be a bit freer to pursue a little more happiness of their own.  And thanks to Eric’s efforts, so will more Americans — regardless of race or religion, gender or creed, sexual orientation or disability, who will receive fair and equal treatment under the law.

So I just want to say thank you, Eric.  Thank you to the men and women of the Justice Department who work day in and out for the American people.  And we could not be more grateful for everything that you’ve done not just for me and the administration, but for our country.  (Applause.)  

ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  I come to this moment with very mixed emotions:  proud of what the men and women of the Department of Justice have accomplished over the last six years, and at the same time, very sad that I will not be a formal part — a formal part — of the great things that this Department and this President will accomplish over the next two.

I want to thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity that you gave me to serve and for giving me the greatest honor of my professional life.  We have been great colleagues, but the bonds between us are much deeper than that.  In good times and in bad, in things personal and in things professional, you have been there for me.  I’m proud to call you my friend.

I’m also grateful for the support you have given me and the Department as we have made real the visions that you and I have always shared.  I often think of those early talks between us, about our belief that we might help to craft a more perfect union.  Work remains to be done, but our list of accomplishments is real.

Over the last six years, our administration — your administration — has made historic gains in realizing the principles of the founding documents and fought to protect the most sacred of American rights, the right to vote.

We have begun to realize the promise of equality for our LGBT brothers and sisters and their families.  We have begun to significantly reform our criminal justice system and reconnect those who bravely serve in law enforcement with the communities that they protect.

We have kept faith with our belief in the power of the greatest judicial system the world has ever known to fairly and effectively adjudicate any cases that are brought before it, including those that involve the security of the nation that we both love so dearly.

We have taken steps to protect the environment and make more fair the rules by which our commercial enterprises operate.  And we have held accountable those who would harm the American people — either through violent means or the misuse of economic or political power. 

I have loved the Department of Justice ever since as a young boy I watched Robert Kennedy prove during the Civil Rights Movement how the Department can and must always be a force for that which is right.  I hope that I have done honor to the faith that you have placed in me, Mr. President, and to the legacy of all those who have served before me.

I would also like to thank the Vice President, who I have known for so many years, and in whom I have found great wisdom, unwavering support, and a shared vision of what America can and should be.

I want to recognize my good friend Valerie Jarrett, whom I’ve been fortunate to work with from the beginning of what started as an improbable, idealistic effort by a young senator from Illinois, who we were both right to believe would achieve greatness.

I’ve had the opportunity to serve in your distinguished Cabinet and worked with a White House Chief of Staff — a White House staff ably led by Denis McDonough that has done much to make real the promise of our democracy.  And each of the men and women who I have come to know will be lifelong friends.

Whatever my accomplishments, they could not have been achieved without the love, support and guidance of two people who are not here with me today.  My parents, Eric and Miriam Holder, nurtured me and my accomplished brother, William, and made us believe in the value of individual effort and the greatness of this nation.

My time in public service, which now comes to an end, would not have been possible without the sacrifices too often unfair made by the best three kids a father could ask for.  Thank you, Maya.  Thank you, Brooke.  And thank you, Buddy.

And finally, I want to thank the woman who sacrificed the most and allowed me to follow my dreams.  She is the foundation of all that our family is, and the basis of all that I have become.  My wife, Sharon, is the unsung hero.  And she is my life partner.  Thank you for all that you have done.  I love you.

In the months ahead, I will leave the Department of Justice, but I will never — I will never — leave the work.  I will continue to serve and try to find ways to make our nation even more true to its founding ideals. 

I want to thank the dedicated public servants who form the backbone of the United States Department of Justice for their tireless work over the past six years, for the efforts they will continue, and for the progress that they made and that will outlast us all.

And I want to thank you all for joining me on a journey that now moves in another direction, but that will always be guided by the pursuit of justice and aimed at the North Star.

Thank you.  (Applause.)

END
4:41 P.M. EDT

DC, July 21: AAAF’s Political Speednetworking Event

Editor’s Note: Join the Facebook Event at our Facebook Page.

AAAF logo

Asian American Action Fund * Asian American Action Group * America’s Opportunity Fund * PowerPAC+
Present
Political Speednetworking Event: Midterm Elections: Where and How Do I Help the Democratic Cause?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work on a political campaign, or how to become a fundraiser, campaign manager or press secretary? Do you want to know how working on a campaign can further enhance your job prospects once Election Day is over?

AND most importantly, ARE YOU READY to help Democrats win back the House and keep the Senate?

Bring your resumes, be part of the 2014 election cycle resume bank AND JOIN the Asian American Action Fund and other leading progressive groups for a very special professional speednetworking event! We know for Democrats to succeed, we need to have both candidates and campaign staff that reflect the diversity of America. Learn how you can get involved in this critical 2014 political cycle and come hear first-hand candid advice from distinguished political veterans who have been on the campaign trail and in Washington!

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

Raghu Devaguptapu, Principal with Adelstein Liston, first Asian American to be named Political Director of a national party committee, first at the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and then at the Democratic Governor’s Association

Panelists confirmed include:

Jessica Byrd, Manager of State Strategies, EMILY’s List, former Obama for America 2008 staff

Lisa Changadveja, LGBT Americans Director/Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Director at Ready for Hillary

Joon Kim, Vice President of New Partners Consulting, New Mexico Statewide Field Director, Kerry for President 2004

Alissa Ko, Deputy Director at Ready for Hillary, Former Organizing for America Operation Vote Director – VA

Parag Mehta, Former Director of External Communications and Director of Training for the Democratic National Committee

Madalene Mielke, Principal, Arum Group, Former Director of Training and Curriculum for the Ron Brown-Paul Tully Institute for Political Action

Oscar Ramirez, Principal, Podesta Group, DNC Member and First Vice Chair, Maryland Democratic Party

Mario Salazar, Coordinated Campaign Director at Democratic Party of Virginia, Former Operation Vote Director for Obama for America – Nevada

Nina SmithPress Secretary for Governor Martin O’Malley, former publicist for TheRoot.com

Brandon Thompson, National Training Director, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

DATE/TIME: Monday, July 21
Pre-event networking: 5:30 PM, Program promptly starts at 6:15 PM

LOCATION: Hunton & Williams, LLP, 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW (Foggy Bottom Metro, directions)

RSVP REQUIRED: Seating is limited, RSVP for free online

Republican Opponent Jim Cunneen Endorses Rep. Mike Honda

Editor’s Note: The below is a reposting of “Former Republican Opponent Jim Cunneen Endorses Congressman Mike Honda” from our friends at Mike Honda for Congress. We endorsed his 2014 campaign. Mike is an AAA-Fund Honorary Board member.

Mike Honda for Congress

Silicon Valley, CA – Today, prominent Republican Jim Cunneen endorsed Congressman Mike Honda in California’s 17th district following Vanila Singh’s 3rd place finish in the June primary. Former Assemblymember Cunneen was Congressman Honda’s Republican opponent during the 2000 Congressional election. Cunneen is also a former President and CEO of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, and has held executive positions at Applied Materials and Cisco Systems (both headquartered in CA-17).

“I am proud to support Congressman Honda this November,” said Cunneen. “I’ve admired Mike for as long as I’ve known him. In the Assembly, we worked together on technology and education issues. Most of all, Mike’s integrity and good character have served our region well. His hard work and seniority has consistently delivered for Silicon Valley, including his bipartisan work to secure funding for the BART extension that is delivering thousands of jobs. As a previous supporter of Republican Vanila Singh, who is no longer in the race, I ask that other Republicans join me and switch their support to Mike Honda, who will continue working hard to represent all of us in Silicon Valley.”

Mr. Cunneen joins local Republican elected officials that have endorsed Congressman Mike Honda, such as: Sheriff Laurie Smith, County of Santa Clara; Vice Mayor Jim Davis, City of Sunnyvale; Vice Mayor Jerry Marsalli, City of Santa Clara; Councilmember Patrick Kolstad, City of Santa Clara; Councilmember Tara Martin-Milius, City of Sunnyvale; Trustee Khoa Nguyen, Berryessa Unified School District; Commissioner Cyndy Mozzetti, Fremont Planning Commission; Director Bernard Stewart, Washington Township Healthcare Hospital System; and Former Mayor Denny Weisgerber, City of Milpitas.

The latest public poll available in this race, commissioned by CBS and cited in Ro Khanna campaign memos, has Honda currently leading among registered Republican voters (19% to 18%). The poll also shows a huge lead for Congressman Honda in key demographic groups for the district, such as Moderates (44% to 26%) and Democrats (57% to 21%). Full poll results are available here.

Voters in California’s 17th Congressional District made it clear on June 3rd that they overwhelmingly support Congressman Mike Honda to any of his opponents by 20%, despite being outspent by Ro Khanna’s campaign by a more than 2 to 1 margin. The Honda campaign now has more resources than Khanna, and is in a good position to continue building upon this lead.

CAPAC Chair on Resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki

Editor’s Note: The below is a reposting of “CAPAC Chair on Resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki” from our friends at CAPAC (Facebook, Twitter).

May 30, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Obama accepted the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), released the following statement:

“Secretary Eric Shinseki served our country in many capacities – as an officer in the Army, a General, and a distinguished public servant,” said Chairwoman Chu. “A wounded veteran and four-star general, he dedicated his career to safeguarding our nation and ensuring the well-being of our men and women in uniform.”

“Moving forward, we must return our attention to the problem at hand, which is to ensure that our promise as a nation is kept to each and every veteran. The VA faces grave and systemic problems, and we must assess them and provide the solutions our veterans need and deserve.”

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.

Honda leads Khanna by 20 points, despite being outspent 2:1

Editor’s Note: The below is a reposting of “New Poll: Honda leads Khanna by 20 points, despite being outspent 2:1” from our friends at Mike Honda for Congress. We endorsed his 2014 campaign. Mike is an AAA-Fund Honorary Board member.

Mike Honda for Congress

Silicon Valley, CA – With just over a week remaining until the June 3 primary in California’s 17th Congressional District, a new public poll released today shows that Honda has twice as much support amongst voters in California’s 17th District than his closest opponent.

The poll numbers are: Mike Honda 40%, Ro Khanna 21%, Vanila Singh 8%, Joel VanLandingham 6%, with 24% undecided and a sampling error of 4.4%.

Today’s release of the poll follows yesterday’s release of the last FEC fundraising numbers before the primary. Those reports showed that Ro Khanna has spent $2.7M through May 14 – more than twice as much as Rep. Honda’s campaign so far. The report also showed that Honda’s campaign outraised Khanna’s campaign again, and that Honda has more cash on hand going into the General Election.

Campaign Manager Doug Greven said: “This poll shows that voters overwhelmingly prefer Congressman Honda and want him to continue his record of delivering for the district. Mike Honda has a strong 40% in a four way primary race, while Ro Khanna has squandered what was once a $1.3M advantage last year to barely get half the support that Congressman Honda has.”

If Khanna advances past the primary, as the poll suggests, he will be starting the general election in a tremendously weak position against Rep. Honda, who has spent less than $100,000 in advertising so far, compared to over $1 million from Khanna’s campaign. The Honda campaign has always maintained that it will have the resources necessary to win in the November election.

The poll was conducted between May 20 and May 22 by SurveyUSA and paid for by KPIX-TV San Francisco, which is owned by CBS. Full results are available online at http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=74be73a6-5bf7-45d7-b9df-1194cf911807

Update: Honda won the June 3 primary! Thank you to everyone who helped in any way, we celebrate together!

AAA-Fund Endorses Suja Lowenthal for CA Assembly

Long Beach Leader Seeks to Become First South Asian to Serve in CA Statehouse

AAAF logo

MARCH 21, 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 Dr. Suja Lowenthal for California State Assembly.
Dr. Lowenthal, the first South Asian to serve on the Long Beach City Council, would be the first South Asian American elected to the California state legislature. She is running to represent the 70th Assembly District (Long Beach) in Los Angeles County. Dr. Lowenthal’s public service includes over 12 years of experience in elected office.

As a Councilmember, Dr. Lowenthal has authored legislation designating Cambodia Town in the City of Long Beach and has brought over 15 years of experience in the water industry to reform rate policies in Long Beach.

AAA-Fund Executive Director Gautam Dutta said, “We’re excited to endorse Dr. Suja Lowenthal, a proven leader who will not need any ‘on the job’ training. Her experience and expertise will make her a leader from day one in the legislature.”

After receiving the AAA-Fund’s endorsement, Dr. Lowenthal stated, “I am deeply honored to have earned the endorsement of the Asian American Action Fund. They join the California League of Conservation Voters, Long Beach’s Democratic clubs, educators, business leaders, hotel housekeepers and Senator Ricardo Lara in an ever-growing base of support for my candidacy.”

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APABA: Celebrating 50 Years of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Editor’s Note: The below is from our friends at the Asian Pacific American Bar Association. We support their many years of service to our community with continued postings about their activities.

Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County

Please join APABA and Kollaboration at our upcoming APA Heritage Month Event: Celebrating 50 Years of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The event will begin with a light reception followed by a performance by local artists and a panel discussion. 1 hour of MCLE credit will be provided by APABA. See the event page for flyer and further details.

Celebrating 50 Years of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Wednesday, May 28
6:30pm Reception & Performances (Co-sponsored by Kollaboration)
7:30pm Panel
9:00pm Close

Location: Greenway Court Theater
544 N Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(near the corner of Fairfax and Melrose)

Speakers include:
Ahilan Arulanantham, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU
Warren Furutani, Director of the Serve The People Institute and Former California Assemblymember
Joann Lee, Directing Attorney of the API Unit at LAFLA
Anna Park, Regional Attorney for the LA District Office of the EEOC
Moderator: Karin Wang, VP of Programs and Communications at Advancing Justice

This event is free, but RSVPs are requested to contact@apabala.org.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact co-chairs Kathy Khommarath at khommarath.kathy@gmail.com and Arnold Lee at arnoldlee.law@gmail.com.

May 8, DC: DNC Reception, Briefing

Editor’s Note: Note today’s DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Our Board Member Be Leong-Hong is also the DNC AAPI Caucus Chair. Many DNC actions to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month include the Presidential Proclamation. See our Facebook and Twitter daily for even more that is better posted there than here!

Democratic National Committee

CHAIR DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ,
VICE CHAIR TULSI GABBARD AND
DNC AAPI CAUCUS CHAIR BEL LEONG-HONG

CORDIALLY INVITE YOU TO A RECEPTION AND BRIEFING
IN HONOR OF

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

FRIDAY, MAY 8TH, 2014
1:30-3:00PM
WASSERMAN ROOM
DNC HEADQUARTERS
430 SOUTH CAPITOL STREET, SE
WASHINGTON, DC

To RSVP, email tobias@@dnc.org

PAID FOR BY THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE, WWW.DEMOCRATS.ORG. THIS COMMUNICATION IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY CANDIDATE OR CANDIDATE’S COMMITTEE.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on AAPI Heritage Month

Editor’s Note: The below is a repost from our friends at the DNC. Many events happening like our Election 2014 coverage, Annual Banquet and Reception June 18, phone banking daily until June 3 for Mike Honda in DC daily until June 3 and regularly updated Facebook and Twitter celebrate our colorful and engaged community, past, present & future.

Democratic National Committee

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2014

Contact: DNC Press, 202-863-8148

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Washington, DC – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement in recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month:

“This May we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and honor the community’s valuable contributions to our nation. A thriving AAPI community is an integral part of our nation’s prosperity and the product of generations of struggles and sacrifices. Their successes are a testament to the enduring power of the American Dream.

“Under President Obama, Democrats have made progress on the priorities that AAPI communities share with so many American families. We have invested in education and cut taxes for middle-class families. The Affordable Care Act has increased access to quality, affordable health care, including preventive care with no co-pay and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans. AAPI small business owners have been empowered by small business loans, tax cuts, and credits to provide health insurance for their employees. Democrats are also committed to enacting common sense reform that will fix our nation’s broken immigration system, facilitate family reunification, and provide a path to citizenship for those already here, including DREAMers.

“Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity that makes our nation stronger, and to rededicate ourselves to the shared values that bring Americans together.”

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Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! We’re reposting/reTweeting posts and events to our Facebook and Twitter at least daily.