August 27, 2014

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.

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.

Ro Khanna Donors Want Refunds

Editor’s Note: Below is by Richard Chen speaking for himself not as Editor.

Mike Honda at San Jose High School

To follow up to how important it is to have Mike Honda and not Ro Khanna representing CA-17, the juicy headline “Ro Khanna Hasn’t Been Elected Yet, But Some Donors Already Want Refunds” gets at too many issues:

  1. if you’ve someone who’s taking big tech money then doesn’t want to be associated per PR with money heavy tech giants, you think he’ll represent all the people of Silicon Valley?
  2. if he’s already keeping monies he knows from the donors wasn’t intended to be used against Mike Honda, what’ll he do with money he gets from corrupt lobbyists as will happen if elected (banish the horrid thought of such representation)?
  3. if he’s so defensive in office against his own donors and potential subjects, imagine what he’d do on his own while in office?

All the ways not to conduct a campaign suggest someone who’ll do even more unethical to corrupt doings in office.

In lighter news, happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! I’ll be reposting/reTweeting our partner’s hand picked posts and events to our Facebook and Twitter as always.

And don’t forget to phone bank for Mike Honda in DC daily until June 3.

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 503-974-6026 or hondavolunteer@gmail.com. Forward this to anyone you think would be interested in helping Mike.

Thank you!

Update: A new signup is also available!

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.

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.

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

Living vs dead Chinatowns, gentrification & elections

AALDEF, the NYC based Asian American civil rights organization, has a new report out about the rate of gentrification in Chinatowns in NYC, Boston, and Philadelphia. (I guess DC was just a lost cause.) In conjunction with the discussion of this article, I want to propose the idea of “living” (these three cities, Chicago, San Francisco) versus “dead” Chinatowns (DC.) In my mind, when I walk the streets of a given Chinatown, “living” connotes active engagement and residency by the Chinese American community versus the slick, big box retail feel of Washington, DC Chinatown, which most Chinese Americans fled decades ago for Montgomery County, MD, and Fairfax, VA. The shops in DC Chinatown are adorned in bright signs with Chinese characters, but have very little daily relevance to Chinese or Chinese American culture, such as the skateboard shop, the Ann Taylor, and the Legal Seafood.

It’s a very read-worthy report, and I’ve gone on the walking tour of Boston Chinatown where you can see how highway I-93 literally cuts through the enclave, with a half-sheared building standing mute but providing powerful testimony to interesting municipal planning. The report illuminated that the AAPI population in Boston Chinatown went from 70% in 1990 to 46% in 2010. Philadelphia Chinatown has been encroached upon by developers, and was under threat from a proposed casino for a significant period. NYC Chinatown was at one point overtaking Little Italy, but now with the New Museum and the gentrification of the Bowery, is being pressed upon by towering luxury apartment buildings. Not to mention, Park Row, a residential community adjacent to South Chinatown, and nearby commercial buildings (shops and restaurants) have been under the shadow of 9/11 for 12 years, with limited access for a substantial period of time (9/11 cleanup), depressing retail sales. To this day, there are armed police stations that guard the entrance path to Park Row.

San Francisco Chinatown has managed to thrive due to a high intra-ethnicity turnover rate, and Chicago Chinatown (of which, really, there are 3 – historic Chinatown, “new” Argyle (largely Vietnamese-Chinese American) Chinatown, and “new new” Chinatown, which is across the street from historic Chinatown, and includes a number of residential properties that have lured second and third generation Chinese Americans back to the city center. (There is some small degree of this happening in other cities as well, but in my mind, Chicago has done a better job than most.)

The reason that I keep rotating back to this issue of whether Chinese Americans who have “made it” come back is because it is also a large part of why “living” Chinatowns become essentially “dead” Chinatowns. Moving out of Chinatown and to the suburbs is intrinsically seen as one of the markers of success for first, second, and third generation Chinese Americans. This is antithetical to keeping Chinatowns vibrant. This is separate from biased and discriminatory urban planning decisions hatched in concert with the stereotypically greedy developers. And it absolutely doesn’t discount folks who want to stay but get pushed out – I’m just bringing this up because it’s also a real thing.

Don’t get me wrong – DC Chinatown/Verizon Center is more bustling and lively than a decade ago, and is now an economic engine and one of the hearts of the city, but the business owners by and large do not live there. Although the DC AAPI population has risen 60% since 2000, according to the 2010 Census.

In NYC, the press of developers on the boundaries of Chinatown has caused friends who have lived, breathed, and worked in Chinatown for decades to move to Harlem, where elected officials like City Councilor Melissa Mark-Vivitero have noticed the increase of AAPIs. This follows on a previous out-migration to Queens (Flushing, Woodside, etc.), Brooklyn (where there is another Chinatown), New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester, and Connecticut.

So how do we keep the living nature of Chinatowns across the country? The report proposes several solutions: reinforcing and constructing more low-income housing, subsidizing local small businesses, prioritizing green spaces, strengthening the links between satellite Asian Am enclaves in the suburbs to the Chinatown cores, and engaging in dialogue with traditional community land owners like the family associations. All of these are great, and I’m going to a step further.

What I’m fundamentally saying is that keeping Chinatown affordable and full of vitality is partially dependent upon the people in elected office. They hold hearings and have influence over city planning to varying degrees. Former At-Large Boston City Councilor Sam Yoon came out of the fight to keep one Boston Chinatown. Michelle Wu and Suzanne Lee are running for city council in Boston (different seats.) Philadelphia has yet to elect a progressive AAPI city councilmember, whereas SF has a plethora of AAPI electeds (and folks in the pipelines to run when the inevitable term limits hit.) AAAF Greater Chicago helped get Alderman Ameya Pawar, the first AAPI alderman ever in Chicago, elected in 2011. Progress is slow, but steady.

Not that AAPI candidates are necessarily going to be informed about the community’s issues, or even live in the Chinatown district. It is incumbent upon the community and those who work to keep living, breathing Chinatowns to educate candidates and elected officials, regardless of their ethnicity. Because we all need allies and champions in this effort, and sometimes people surprise you.

–Caroline