April 16, 2014

Daily Until June 3: Phone Bank for Mike Honda

Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17) is a longtime supporter and friend of the AAA-Fund. His work has directly matched and aided our own mission and goal. We encourage all to support him as he has supported us all in all his work.

Phone bank for Mike!

Mike Honda at San Jose High School

Join Mike Honda’s campaign and help re-elect him to Congress. Phone banks are held at the DCCC building, 430 S. Capitol Street S.E., Washington, DC. Every Wednesday from 6:30pm-9:30pm until the June 3rd primary, with additional times announced for the general election. Sign up here.

Congressman Honda is running to represent CA-17, the Silicon Valley district. He has been delivering for his district for over a decade in Congress. As Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and Vice-Chair of the DNC for 6 years, Mike has been a leading voice in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community & a progressive champion for underserved and under-represented communities & a fierce advocate for the middle class, fighting for legislation that nurtures the tech industry in his Silicon Valley district and grows our innovation economy. His service has been recognized by his many endorsers, including President Barack Obama, Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, CA Attorney General Kamala Harris, and the California Democratic Party, among others.

His opponent Ro Khanna has amassed a questionably funded war chest and high-paid consultancy team which threatens to end Mike’s career of delivering for CA-17 and fighting for the progressive values we hold dear. We’ll even pardon Khanna’s unsavory ethical questions. Working on behalf of people like you inspires Congressman Honda’s work every day. Thus we hope you will help Mike in his time of need.

To volunteer, fill out this form or contact Seth Stein at 503-974-6026 or hondavolunteer@gmail.com. Forward this to anyone you think would be interested in helping Mike.

Thank you!

DOL Labor Hall of Honor Inducts Chinese Railroad Workers

Editor’s Note: We re-Tweeted the DOL’s Tweet about this news.

Chinese Railroad Workers

The United States Department of Labor invites you to join Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez for the induction of The Chinese Railroad Workers into the Labor Hall of Honor

Friday, May 9, 2014
11:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.

U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave NW
César Chávez Memorial Auditorium
Washington, DC 20210
Vistor’s Entrance: 3rd & C Streets NW

Registration and identification are required to attend. This invitation is non-transferrable.

Register at webapps.dol.gov/DOLEvents/Event/View/288 before Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

Contact Jeremy Bishop, Special Assistant to the Secretary
in the Office of Public Engagement, at bishop.jeremy@dol.gov with any questions or concerns.

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.

AAA-Fund Endorses Swati Dandekar to Make History in Iowa

Editor’s Note: Stay atop Election 2014 here at our blog, at our Facebook & at our Twitter.

AAAF logo

For Immediate Release March 14, 2014

Contact: Gautam Dutta
202-236-2048

AAA-Fund Endorses Swati Dandekar to Make History in Iowa

Dandekar would be First Iowa Woman to Win Federal Office and First South Asian Woman Ever in Congress

WASHINGTON, DC— Today, the Asian American Action (AAA) Fund announced their endorsement of Democrat Swati Dandekar for U.S. House of Representatives in Iowa’s First Congressional District. Dandekar is running in an open race to fill the seat of congressman and current Senate candidate Bruce Braley.

“It’s high time Iowa finally elected a woman to Congress. We are honored to support such a dedicated public servant,” said Gautam Dutta, Executive Director of the AAA-Fund. “Swati Dandekar has a proven record of success advocating for Iowans. Her experience fighting for greater educational access and science research to spur economic competitiveness make her an ideal candidate for Iowa. Her unique life story as a first-generation immigrant from the heartland would break new barriers if she were to become the first South Asian female elected to Congress.”

Dandekar holds a bachelor’s in biology and chemistry from Nagpur University and a graduate degree in dietetics from Bombay University in India. She lives in Marion, Iowa with her husband and two sons.

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The AAA-Fund is a Democratic political action committee whose goal is to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on every level of local, state and federal government in America. To achieve this goal, we address the chronic under-representation of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) as campaign volunteers, campaign contributors, and candidates for political office. The AAA-Fund has endorsed candidates across the country.

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.

In Support of Rep. Mike Honda (CA-7)

Rep. Mike Honda at California Democratic Party 2014

This past weekend, the Daily Kos endorsed Mike Honda in his 2014 re-election and received 92% of the California Democratic Party’s votes. We’ve long supported Mike Honda and are proud to help his campaign continue his service to CA-17 & nation.

Actions you can take include

Korean American Linda Bryant VA’s 1st AAPI Deputy Attorney General

Editor’s Note: The below is from our friends at Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia (DAAV).

January 16, 2014
Jennifer Oh | 571 225 1930 | daavmedia@gmail.com

Attorney General Mark Herring Makes Historic AAPI Appointment. Korean American Linda Bryant has been named the Commonwealth’s First AAPI Deputy Attorney General and the First Korean American Attorney appointed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney General.

DAAV (Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia) is pleased to congratulate Linda Bryant of Chesapeake, Virginia as she has been appointed the first AAPI Deputy Attorney General in the Commonwealth of Virginia by Attorney General Mark Herring. Linda will be one of four deputy attorneys general who report to the chief deputy attorney general and the attorney general. Linda will also be the first Korean American attorney to serve in the Commonwealth’s Attorney General Office.

Linda, a Korean American was raised in Springfield, Virginia and graduated from Robert E. Lee High School. Linda received undergraduate degrees in History and Spanish from the University of Virginia before completing her law studies at the College of William and Mary.

Following law school, Linda joined the United States Army. She completed basic training and parachutist training. She did her tour of duty as a Captain with the 7th Transportation Group – then co-located at Fort Eustis and Fort Story in Newport News and Virginia Beach. The 7th Transportation Group is known as the “Army’s Navy.” In the 1990s, when Linda served, it was one of the most deployed units of the U.S. Army. The 7th Transportation Group’s mission was to operate seaports, rail terminals and truck transportation routes to make sure our military forces could successfully enter and move forward anywhere in the world during any military deployment.

In 1996, following her tour of active duty service in the United States Army, Linda became an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She moved up through the ranks and became a Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney and then a Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney in Norfolk, VA.

Since 2010, Linda has been an educator, serving as an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary, Marshall Wythe School of Law.

Linda has been recognized for leadership and service to the Commonwealth of Virginia with a Virginia“2010 Leader in the Law” award, given to a handful of Virginia attorneys who have improved the Virginia legal system; a “Virginia 2010 Duval Distinguished Prosecutor Award” for fair and ethical service as a prosecutor; and, a “2012 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award” for combatting violence and racism in the Hampton Roads community. She is currently on the Advisory Board for Operation Renewed Hope Foundation, which finds housing for homeless vets.

Family life is very important to Linda as she is the proud mother to daughter Alex Connell and wife to Scott, who is a 23-year Naval Special Operations Officer, with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit stationed at Little Creek. He and his unit deactivate bombs around the world. Linda’s mother is Kim Fox. Her maiden name is Myungi Kim and resides in Falls Church, Virginia.

Seung Baik, President of the Korean American Bar Association for the Washington, DC Area, said “We are so glad to see the first Korean American attorney appointed to serve the Attorney General of Virginia. The Korean American community is proud of Linda and we look forward to many more years of her leadership. We hope her appointment will inspire young aspiring attorneys all over the Greater Washington, DC Area.”

Mary Thexton, President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Virginia, commented “The AAPI legal community is so pleased to see Attorney General Mark Herring make such an early and noteworthy start to honoring his commitment that the Attorney General’s office be a reflection of Virginia’s diverse population. We applaud this first step and look forward to partnering with the Attorney General’s office in pursuit of justice in our commonwealth. ”

Linda Bryant is expected to begin her service January 27th, 2014.

FAIRFAX, VA—Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia (DAAV) is a constituency group of self-identified Asian Pacific Americans recognized by the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA). DAAV is dedicated to increasing APA community engagement in the political process through such efforts as supporting increased voter registration, education awareness programs and pro APA community candidates.

NYC, Jan 22: Franklin Odo Speech about Japanese immigrants

Editor’s Note: The below is from our friends at NYU APA Studies.



The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU presents

Voices from the Canefields: FRANKLIN ODO

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
6:30PM

A/P/A Institute at NYU
8 Washington Mews

RSVP to A/P/A by Monday, January 20

Yuko ka Meriken yō
Kaero ka Nihon
Koko ga shian no
Hawai koku
Go on to America
Or return to Japan?
This is our dilemma
Here in Hawai‘i

Through the poetic lyrics of holehole bushi (Japanese folksongs), FRANKLIN ODO (Founding Director, Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Program) traces the experiences of Japanese immigrant plantation sugar workers caught in the global movements of capital, empire, and labor during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From despair and defiance to love and lust, the sentiments conveyed in the lyrics of holehole bushi illustrate both the evolving local conditions and global context within which the workers, and particularly women workers, found themselves.

We celebrate the publication of Voices from the Canefields: Folksongs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawai‘i with a selection of readings, song, and film.

Co-sponsored by the Japanese American Association of New York, Japanese American National Museum, and Hālāwai.

Franklin Odo retired in January 2010 as founding Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American [APA] Program. He served in that capacity since its inception in 1997. During his tenure, six major exhibitions on Asian Pacific American ethnic groups were created or hosted at the Smithsonian. He was Interim Chief of the Asian Division, Library of Congress in 2011. He has been Director of Research and Education at the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation and a Senior Advisor to the International Student Conferences. He leads a “Theme Study on Asian American Pacific Islanders” for the National Historic Landmarks Project of the National Park System and is Senior Advisor to Densho.

Odo was a professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawai`i and visiting professor of History and American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Hunter College, Princeton, and Columbia Universities in the 1990s. He received an MA in East Asia Regional Studies from Harvard and a PhD in Japanese history from Princeton University.

His book, No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawai`i during World War II, was published by Temple University Press in 2004; he edited the Columbia Documentary History of the Asian American Experience, published by Columbia University Press in 2002. His new book of folk songs from Japanese immigrants working on Hawaii’s sugar plantations was published by Oxford University Press in October 2013. These translated lyrics depict the richness of life and work in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, especially among women workers.

Among his awards are the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Asian American Studies, a Distinguished Service Award from the Asian American Justice Center, Leadership Awards from the Japanese American Citizens League and the Organization of Chinese Americans. Odo was appointed Humanist in Residence at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University in April 2013.