04/22/2018

Take Immediate Action to End Mass Shootings

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The Asian American Action Fund calls on politicians at all levels of government to take immediate action to end mass-shootings in the United States.

Mass shooting and active-shooter events have become too common- place and must be addressed. Data from the Gun Violence Archive reveals there is a mass shooting nine out of every 10 days on average. The FBI reports that the number of active shooter incidents has steadily increased. While in 2000 there was only one active shooter incident, in 2015 the nation suffered from 40 deadly shooters.

By not acting, our leaders are endangering every member of society, especially school-aged children. We are risking children’s lives and teaching them to live in fear. Rather than passing reasonable gun control laws, over 40 states have required active shooter drills in schools. Children are taught to hide and remain silent while actors pretend to open classroom doors. As a result the New York Times has labeled school aged-children the “mass shooting generation”.

Other nations have shown that laws can reduce the number of mass shooter events. In Australia the nation enacted sweeping gun-control laws as a result of a 1996 shooter who killed 35 people. In the 18 years before 1996 there were 13 mass shootings in Australia. There has not been a single mass shooter in the 21 years since the implementation of the gun control laws. Canada, the U.K, and Japan have also imposed effective gun-control laws.

Ultimately our mission is to secure the safety of the AAPI community and to create economic and educational opportunities for each member. Gun violence is an especially significant issue for the AAPI community as mass shootings have been linked to hate crimes. Effective gun reform will also address gun violence throughout the AAPI community, including the use of guns in cases of domestic violence and street crime.

We ask every politician to pass laws which will protect all lives and end the phenomenon of mass shootings.

DNC On AAPI Women’s Equal Pay Day

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Editor’s Note: The below is a repost of “Marking AAPI Women’s Equal Pay Day“. We’re participating in today’s #AAPIEqualPay Tweetstorm with our many allies including @PPact (Planned Parenthood Action Fund) and @emilyslist (Emily’s List), esteemed leaders in women’s rights and political action and active mutual supporters in our shared causes for our shared communities.

To mark AAPI Women’s Equal Pay Day, DNC Women’s Caucus Chair Lottie Shackelford and DNC AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong-Hong released the following statement:

“Across the country, women are rising up and making their voices heard more loudly than ever in the political sphere. They’re getting involved on the ground level as organizers, volunteers, activists and campaign managers, and they’re running for office in record numbers. But even in the midst of this powerful movement, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women still only make 87 cents to every dollar white men are paid. In the year 2018, this is unconscionable, and for certain groups in the AAPI community the gap is even wider. Over a lifetime, this disparity can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In many cases AAPI women simply do not have access to well-paying jobs for a sustainable livelihood. This isn’t just unjust; it also severely hinders AAPI women’s long-term financial growth and stability, hurts hardworking families, and is bad for the economy.

“The Democratic Party is proud to champion equal pay for equal work, a fundamental principle of our platform. Women are the core of our party, and we will not rest until all women and all working families receive fair and equal pay, so we can create a stronger America for all.”

Asian American Action Fund Outraged over Trump Cancellation of DACA

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Program Granting Work Permits to Immigrant Youth to End in Six Months

The board of the Asian American Action Fund is united in its outrage over President Trump’s proposal to end the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which permits undocumented minors and young adults up to the age of 26 to come out of the shadows, apply for college and graduate studies, and hold work permits.
DACA recipients are our friends, neighbors, relatives, and coworkers. According to the Center for American Progress, there are 18,000 AAPIs who applied for DACA status. DACA recipients are serving in the military, as frontline healthcare workers, and as educators. They were brought to America by their parents and this is the only home they have ever known. Because of President Obama’s vision and leadership, many of these children are on their way to fulfilling their potential and becoming productive members of society.
President Trump’s decision to end DACA puts an end to the dreams of the hundreds of thousands of children who received DACA status. More disturbingly, it puts these young Americans, who were brave enough to come out of the shadows, in legal jeopardy, as the government knows their immigration status and where they live.
AAA Fund vehemently disagrees with President Trump’s cruel decision to end DACA and looks to Congress for answers and relief. We promise to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions and treatment of the most vulnerable Americans.

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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.



After the flood, rebuilding

There is the moment and moments, or the days and weeks of fire or water or manmade disaster. In that time, in my experience, many people behave admirably and humanity shines. Everyday people become outstanding heroes. They bear the loss of electricity and water remarkably well. It’s the aftermath, the time long after the flood lights and news cameras leave. (In Ferguson, on Canfield Lane, one of Mike Brown’s neighbors told me that she had a hard time sleeping because the press was always there.) It is the future time that reasonable people look forward to and are full of hope that they can expect to be normal and whole again, except that the situation is still different, and there are still holes. The walls of your home are still moldy, and you can’t just patch them up but you still have to live there.

Many people are fortunate to not know how long it takes to rebuild after a storm.

In the moment of Sandy, first responders and medical providers carried babies and patients down 20 flights of stairs. They didn’t and couldn’t carry all the laboratory mice who were being used in potentially life-saving cancer research. They couldn’t take the specimens that scientists had been working on for years. We talk about the lives that were lost, the homes and property that was damaged, but no one thinks about the lives that could have been saved from the decades and hundreds of millions of dollars of research. Many of those primary investigators left.

It was the months and year afterwards, where they couldn’t even see patients, and had to rotate at other hospitals. So the patients flowed, conceivably, or maybe just didn’t show up and prolonged what might have been treatable diseases had they caught them earlier. Stacking the health care safety net system is like stacking the initial rows of cannonballs or molecules. How you place them, what shape, what geometry determines the final shape of the pyramid. That’s how it goes with patient flow.

The photo above is where my husband graduated from residency at NYU Bellevue. The high water mark is 11 feet, taller than any of the graduates or speakers. 5 months later, Hurricane Sandy hit and I was on a campaign in another state. Someone asked me if I was worried for my husband and I said, “He’ll be okay, Bellevue is a fortress and it has backup generators.” And it is and it was. But the backup generators were underground, and they flooded. For a while afterwards, I was slightly obsessed with FEMA.

For all the Congressmembers and Senators who voted no or equivocated and dithered on Hurricane Sandy funding and claimed that the money in the relief package was “pork,” the money was for rebuilding. So that the tri-state area has coastlines with natural defenses against the rising waters due to climate change. As opposed to building houses for low income families or rich people right along the ooast.

Rebuilding and recovering resilience takes a very long time. We should let people go on with their lives, but instead, people who have been lucky to escape with their lives, but who have lost their homes and memories are forced to tabulate everything that they have lost for insurance adjusters. My friend who lost her home in a fire told me, “It felt like reliving the trauma.”

All this is to say, people will be hurting for months if not years after. Their lives will be altered. Limited English proficient folks sometimes get overlooked because they don’t understand how to apply for grants or loans. OCA Houston and AAPI nonprofits have set up an AAPI Harvey Relief Fund. Please give.

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