AAA Fund Stands With Grace Meng for DNC Vice Chair

Grace Meng

January 20, 2017

AAAF Stands With Rep. Grace Meng for DNC Vice Chair
Nation’s oldest Asian American Democratic PAC Supports Northeast’s first Asian American Congresswoman

The Asian American Action Fund is proud to stand with Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) on her re-election bid to serve as the Democratic National Committee Vice Chair. Rep. Meng was voted in for the first time in July 2016, and currently runs ASPIRE PAC, the political arm of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. The Asian American Action Fund was pleased to support Rep. Meng in her historic first run for Congress in 2012, and in her race to become DNC Vice Chair this summer.

Bel Leong-Hong, Chair of the Asian American Action Fund, and Chair of the DNC’s AAPI Leadership Caucus, said, “Rep. Meng has been a tremendous guiding force at the DNC to encourage outreach to Asian American communities and the rising American majority. It is in part due to her leadership and outreach that 87% of AAPIs nationally voted Democratic in 2016 – one of the highest Democratic turnout results. However, our community is a swing vote, and it’s crucial that the Democratic Party continue to engage Asian American voters by having strong representation in leadership.”

Rep. Meng is a daughter of Queens and the first Chinese American Congressmember on the East Coast. She introduced a bill banning the use of the terms “Oriental” and “Negro” from U.S. law. The bill was unanimously passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2016. Six weeks after being sworn in, she also led an effort to allow for disaster relief funds to be used for the rebuilding of houses of worship after Hurricane Sandy.

Grace is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its Subcommittees on the Middle East and North Africa, and Asia and the Pacific. Grace also serves on the House Small Business Committee where she is the Ranking Member of the Agriculture, Energy and Trade Subcommittee. Grace is also a Senior Whip in the House and a founder and Co-Chair of the Kids’ Safety Caucus, the first bipartisan coalition in the House that promotes child-safety issues. She helped create and serves as Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus which works to mitigate excessive aircraft noise that adversely affects communities. Prior to running for Congress, she served in the New York State Assembly and as an attorney.


AAA-Fund (www.aaa-fund.com) is a progressive political organization that is dedicated to empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the United States.

AAPI Fightback Manual

How to keep government good & working for you? Making good laws? Representing your needs and concerns? Contact them.

It’s a bit of work & there’re few good tools/APIs for making these automatically. Here’s my personal one I use for issues. Everyone’s government setup is different so there’s no easy automatic way to make this list.

Call the feds daily to convey my concerns, poached off my Facebook feed pre-Electoral College

  1. 202-224-5972×1 Sen. Lindsay Graham – “Support the investigation of Russian hacking of US election systems.”
  2. 202-353-1555 DOJ Comments – “Investigate Russian hacking of US election systems.”
  3. 202-225-5074 House Oversight Committee – “Investigate President Elect’s conflicts of interests. You exists to do that job.”
  4. 202-225-3031 Speaker Ryan; 202-225-0600 is voicemail-only – “Support the ACA. It does real Americans good. If anything, it needs to be expanded to truly lower prices, for now it’s sometimes raising them.”
  5. 202-456-1111 White House – “Thank President Obama for an excellent administration and service.”

Local stuff

  1. CD: District 15 (coastal Bk)
    Theresa Scavo
    718-332-3008 bklcb15@verizon.net
  2. NYC Council: District 45 (Flatlands and surrounding)
    Jumaane D. Williams
    718-629-2900 JWilliams@council.nyc.gov

    1. nearby is District 46 (Marine Park)
      Alan Maisel
      718-241-9330 AMaisel@council.nyc.gov
  3. NYS Assembly: District 41
    Helene Weinstein
    718-648-4700 WeinstH@nyassembly.gov (form)
  4. NYS Senate: District 17 (central Bk)
    Simcha Felder
    718-253-2015 felder@nysenate.gov (form)
  5. US House: District 9 (Kings East)
    Yvette D. Clarke
    202-225-6231 or form
  6. US Senate: NY
    Kirsten Gillibrand 202-224-4451 and Charles Schumer 202-224-6542

    • made this shorter because I rarely contact at this level

Now go make your own cheatsheet & fight back.

No political idea will ever justify a hate incident or hate crime. Don’t know their difference? Want to report one (SPLC’s doing a great job, report there alternatively if you wish)? Do it at AAPIHateCrimes.org run by our friends at OCA National for you & our community. More at our article about it.

We will never give up. We will always fight back until there is justice and a strong voice for Asian America.

Would you want to see this manual as a public collaboration (as a Wiki? Google Docs?) so we all edit it? Comment below to tell me.

Mayor Lee’s Statement on Fox News NYC Chinatown Segment

Editor’s Note: This post is a repost of ” from our friend Mayor Ed Lee. Read our Richard Chen’s The Good in Jesse Watter’s Racism.

Mayor Ed Lee

Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement:

As the son of Chinese immigrants, as well as the Mayor of a city with a thriving Chinese population, I must speak out against the offensive and demeaning video that aired on the O’Reilly Factor.

It is not only an attack on the Chinese community but on all people who have come to the United States in search of freedom, prosperity and a life free of persecution. At a time when divisiveness and negativity drives the conversation around immigration, we must remember that our country was founded and built by immigrants. The stereotypes depicted in the segment feed into the racist notions that drive our communities apart and diminish the positive impact our immigrant populations have on our country.

We cannot stand by and watch as entire populations are ridiculed and vilified. Working together as Americans is the only way we can defeat this type of racism and bigotry.

How NOT to do AAPI outreach, part 2 – Asm. Alice Cancel

Previously I wrote about NYS Sen. Toby Ann Stavistsky’s field director foul. Now I’m going to write about an even bigger foul that the candidate themselves (different candidate) pulled. So friends in NYC have been working their butts off on putting together a candidates’ forum for the State Assembly seat (AD 65) that represents Chinatown, a district which is 42% APA. All the major APA orgs in NYC came together to pull this off – APA VOICE, OCA NYC, AALDEF, AAARI CUNY, MinKwon, etc. It was tonight, and they had all the major candidates (six of them) present.

Except for one who left halfway through a debate to go to a fundraiser – the less than 1 term incumbent, Asm. Alice Cancel. This was highly noticeable and left a very bad impression to many in the audience.

“She’s not getting my vote,” said Chinatown resident Annie Tan. “Hundreds of people came to this event. She could have planned the fundraiser at another time.” (Downtown Express)

Really, it would have been better not to even show up than to leave halfway – this wasn’t even the kind of forum where each candidate gets a set amount of time and doesn’t appear on stage with other candidates. It’s a debate, with a back and forth. That means when you leave, you’re not there to defend or promote your views. A debate is about sustained, engaged dialogue. When you leave halfway through to go collect some checks, it means that 1) you don’t care about Asian American votes and 2) you clearly think Asian Americans don’t donate. Maybe you don’t think Asian Pacific Americans in NYC vote. Actually, many of these groups are actively engaged in an ongoing voter registration and education campaign.

This is totally disrespectful to the hundreds of Asian Pacific American (and Latino, and non APA) voters in the audience (translations were into Chinese & Spanish), and to fellow candidates Yuh-line Niou, Jennifer Rajkumar, Gigi Li, Paul Newell, and Don Lee. Who had the respect and decency to stay, listen, and respond to their neighbors and potential constituents.

And as former endorsements chair of a national Asian American PAC that has helped over 100 candidates win through donations and strategic advice, it is particularly galling that you decided to leave like our community just doesn’t matter. I’ve worked campaigns and hosted political fundraisers – you determine what time a fundraiser is. You should have rescheduled your fundraising event.

Now you just wind up with a bunch of media clips that talk about how you left, how bad your fundraising is ($13,000 on hand), and oh by the way, it got reported all over ethnic press too. (In case you pay so little attention to the community that you currently represent that you and your staff aren’t religiously reading the ethnic press.)

For people who aren’t familiar with how Alice Cancel came to be an Assemblymember, the notorious previous Assemblymember Shelly Silver was one of three white men in the room making decisions in Albany for decades. He was incredibly powerful, and alas, devastatingly corrupt. He then was convicted of massive corruption by Preet Bharara (aka He Who Shall Not Be Named in NYC politics) and went to jail, sentenced to 12 years and over $7 million in fines. His handpicked successor was Alice Cancel. Who promptly picked up Shelly’s old staffers. In the special election, the Democratic machine got to pick who ran on the ticket – so District 65 residents didn’t even get to pick until names were already on the ballot. And in the special election, Alice Cancel only got 41% (less than the 42% of APAs who live in the district) on the Democratic line to Yuh-line Niou’s 35% despite Niou running on the Working Families Party ticket. Even Cancel’s employer, Manhattan borough President Scott Stringer declined to endorse her, favoring Niou instead.

So, to reiterate, sitting, not even 1 term Assemblywoman Alice Cancel has $13,000 in the bank, which is embarrassingly paltry for a NYS legislative race (these things cost what Congressional races do elsewhere.) A terribly corrupt politician picked her to replace him in an undemocratic process. And the donors who used to prop up Shelly seem to have abandoned her (because hey, businesspeople understand ROI and there is no return if you don’t return to the legislature) so she disses the largest constituency of voters in her district to pick up some checks. That’s rich. Even if Cancel’s campaign isn’t.

I’m sure some smart mind on Cancel’s campaign if not the candidate herself made a clear calculation that they could afford to disrespect 42% of voters in the district. We’ll see soon enough on Primary Day – September 13th. In case you’re not sure where you vote in NYC, check the Board of Elections.


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