March 31, 2015

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
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.”


Rep. Takano Statement on FAA Delaying Tower Closures

Editor’s Note: The below is a follow-up of “Rep. Takano Sends Letter to FAA Administrator To Keep Riverside Air Traffic Control Tower Open and Operating” from our 2012 endorsed candidate Mark Takano (CA-41).

Congressman Mark Takano

For Immediate Release
Friday, April 5, 2013
Contact: Brett Morrow; (202) 225-2305

Rep. Takano Statement on FAA Delaying Tower Closures

Washington DC – Earlier today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) released the following statement regarding the FAA’s decision to delay tower closures until June 15:

“Today’s decision by the Federal Aviation Administration to delay the closure of all 149 federal contract air traffic control towers, including the Riverside Air Traffic Control Tower until June 15 to review risk mitigations, is a step in the right direction.

“The risks of closing Riverside Air Traffic Control Tower are clear, as it is critical to air safety in Riverside County. The Riverside area conducts nearly 80,000 flying operations each year and has four active flight schools. Additionally, the Riverside Airport is only 12 miles away from March Air Reserve Base, which is home to multiple flying missions and aircraft. At the same time, several arrival routes into Los Angeles International Airport fly over Riverside.

“The close proximity of military air operations, flight training activities, and commercial flights increases the likelihood that air space will be shared and poses a serious safety hazard.

“My hope is that by June 15, the FAA will reconsider closing the Riverside Air Traffic Control Tower and determine the risk too great to our community.”


Write For AAAF

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The Asian American Action Fund Blog invites you to write for us! We’re always receptive to anyone who would like to submit credible, timely pieces about Asian Americans in politics. Submit posts for review and posting with title, your name, and body text to

We read and respond to submissions as promptly as we can.

The Asian American Action Fund Blog has a collobration with Hyphen Magazine, a prominent Asian American magazine about the Asian American experience based in San Francisco. One can also submit stories to them.

Pat Buchanan is a Bigot

Pat Buchanan suggested minorities are inherently bad for America on Fox News’ Sean Hannity Show on October 17, 2011 (source video). Even if

  • our soundbyting his longer piece would cause the same offense that any out-of-context clipping provides,
  • his charm makes his hate speech seem agreeable,
  • and his clever stringing of individually true facts forces you to make false correlations

you know & feel that he’s a bigot at heart. And he’s not ashamed of it, but clever enough not to say it outright. Media Matters does a great job of retrieving the facts to prove that. Normally it’s hard to prove someone’s a bigot but Pat Buchanan‘s history makes it easy to prove. He’d probably even be proud anyone gave him that much attention. It’d take too much education and convincing to discuss how minorities and immigrants provide most of America’s wealth, ideas and economic generation so we’ll skip this minor fact (sarcasm). Proving someone’s a bigot is like excrement: you may not be able to prove it for sure sure, but you sure know it when you see it.

Comment for how you’ll discredit and embarrass the bigot.

– Richard Chen

Friday, May 27: Conversation on Immigration Reform in the 21st Century

Conversation on Immigration Reform in the 21st Century with Hilda Solis
You’re Cordially Invited to a Conversation on Immigration Reform in the 21st Century
U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis.

Friday, May 27th
10:00 am – 11:30 am
East Los Angeles College Recital Hall
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez – Monterey Park


Support Ted Lieu, 5 Days to Go

Ed. Note: The below is from our friends at Ted Lieu’s campaign. Ted is a AAA-Fund Honorary Board member. The AAA-Fund endorsed Ted Lieu for his successful re-election to the California Assembly in 2008. We’ve covered the background behind this special election to replace the late CA Senator Jenny Oropeza. Citizens in California’s 28th Senate District can vote in the special election on Tuesday, February 15, 2011.

Ted Lieu for State Senate

Dear Supporter,

We are only 5 days from Election Day!

The only way we are going to get over 50% of the vote is if we turn out Ted’s supporters.

With your help over the last five weeks, we have talked and identified tens of thousands of voters who support Ted. Now we must ensure they vote on Tuesday, February 15th.

Sign up to help Ted Get Out The Vote.

We have 20,000 door hangers we need to deliver with Ted’s message before Election Day. And we have tens of thousands of his supporters we need to turn out on Election Day.

Please sign up for a GOTV shift today.

With your help we can win this election on Tuesday.

Thank you for your support,

Tony Hale
Ted Lieu for State Senate

P.S. Hope you can also join us for our Election Celebration at 8:30 pm on Tuesday, February 15th at the Auto Air and Space Room, 600 Lairport Street, El Segundo.


Rep. Judy Chu Issues Statement on Shooting of Rep. Giffords, Others in Tucson

Ed.’s Note: Dr. Judy Chu is an Honorary Board member of the Asian American Action Fund and was endsorsed by the Asian American Action Fund in her successful 2008 election in California’s 32nd Congressional District.
Congresswoman Judy Chu, Serving California's 32nd District

January 8, 2011
Contact: Fred Ortega


Rep. Judy Chu Issues Statement on Shooting of Rep. Giffords, Others in Tucson

WASHINGTON – Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., issued the following statement after the shooting in Tucson, Arizona earlier today that left six people dead and at least 12 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:

“My heart and prayers go out to Congresswoman Giffords, her family, staff and all the victims of this senseless and terrible tragedy. This is indeed a sad day for our nation.

“Sadly, this horrible incident is a reminder of how truly dangerous and divisive our political discourse has become. No matter one’s political leanings, attacks on public officials and citizens based on differences of opinion are unconscionable and go against everything our great nation stands for.”


What the Folly: Governator granted 11th hour commutation for son of political ally

Ed. Note: The below is a re-posting of “Governator granted 11th hour commutation for son of political ally“.

Fabian Nunez

Outgoing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted the prison sentence of Esteban Nuñez, the son of Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (left) and ex-Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (right). PHOTO CREDITS: Flickr (Lon R. Fong) & Wikipedia public domain image ex-State Assembly speaker Fabian Nuñez. It seems like the Governator is tough on crime except when it comes to protecting his political crony.

Nuñez’s son, Esteban, was sentenced to 16 years in prison after copping to a plea deal for his role in the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, a student at San Diego Mesa College. The deadly altercation took place after Esteban Nuñez and his friends were refused entry to a fraternity party near San Diego State. Santos was stabbed in the heart and three of his friends suffered stab wounds during the fight. Before settling for a plea deal with the San Diego county district attorney’s office, Nuñez was facing murder charges in Santo’s death and, if convicted, would have faced life in prison.

But Esteban Nuñez is quite lucky because he’s got an influential Daddy. (How many first time violent offenders get their sentences commuted by the Governor?) Fabian Nuñez, a prominent Los Angeles Democrat, was the Governator’s right hand man in the California Assembly. After being term-limited, Daddy Nuñez became a partner at Mercury Public Affairs where former Schwarzenegger staffers (like Adam Mendelsohn, Tracy Arnold, Becky Warren, and Laura Braden) now work. One can reasonably conclude that Daddy Nuñez has the type of political access and influence to persuade Governor Schwarzenegger to grant an 11th hour commutation that reduced Estefan Nuñez‘s sentence to just seven years without even consulting the San Diego county district attorney’s office.

Fred Santos, father of the stabbing victim, told the Los Angeles Times:

The governor did not even have the courtesy to notify the victim’s family…This is dirty politics: cutting backroom deals. I guess if you’re the son of somebody important you can kill someone and get all sorts of breaks.

Too bad Fred Santos is not a career politician or a big-time political donor. Fred Santos is simply a software engineer and heartbroken father who was obviously deemed unimportant by the Sacramento politicians like Fabian Nuñez and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Remember Fred Santos’ pain the next time Fabian Nuñez runs for public office.

Rep. Honda and CAPAC Members applaud unanimous passage of resolution honoring former Secretary Norman Mineta

Ed. Note: The below is from our friends at CAPAC, chaired by our Honorary Board member Rep Mike Honda (D-Ca.).

December 18, 2010 Contact: Gloria Chan
For Immediate Release Phone: (202) 302.8606

Honda and CAPAC Members applaud unanimous passage of resolution honoring former Secretary Norman Mineta

Washington, DC – Yesterday, US Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15), chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), along with CAPAC executive board members, issued the following statements applauding the passage of House Resolution 1377 honoring and recognizing the contributions made by former Secretary Norman Mineta to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and to our nation:

Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15),CAPAC Chair: “Norm Mineta is a champion in Silicon Valley and a national icon, and I was honored to author this resolution for my dear friend and mentor, along with Rep. Judy Chu. As an Asian American, Norm has broken through many glass ceilings, paving the way for Asian American and Pacific Islanders to claim our full rights as Americans. This resolution is a great opportunity to remind ourselves of what a major player Norm has been on a national level—Chairman of the Transportation Committee in Congress, Secretary of Commerce for President Clinton, and Secretary of Transportation for President Bush during the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. From his time as Mayor of San Jose to his rise to the top levels of power in Washington, DC, Norm has remained rooted in social justice and love of country. Norm Mineta’s undying patriotism and loyalty to the United States and our Constitution is an example for all Americans.”

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), CAPAC Executive Board Member: “Secretary Norman Mineta is a role model for Americans of every color, background and creed. His story is a story of sacrifice, hardship, dedication and triumph. I can think of no one more deserving for this body to honor then Secretary Mineta. He is an inspiration to many, including me, and we owe a debt of gratitude for all he has done to put Asian Americans on the map. And it is because of his leadership that America is a better and stronger nation today!”

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (GU), CAPAC Secretary: “I commend Norman Mineta for his years of public service and dedication to promoting civil rights and liberty for all Americans. As the founder and former chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Norm worked to inform Members of Congress of the unique challenges facing Asian Pacific Americans in our nation. I further appreciated Norm’s work to modernize and improve our infrastructure system in America as the longest serving Secretary of Transportation. I join the CAPAC in honoring Norm’s service and accomplishments, and on behalf of the people of Guam, I wish him a sincere Un dangkulo na Si Yu’os Ma’ase.”

Congressman Al Green (TX-09), CAPAC Executive Board Member: “It is with great pleasure that I honor a former colleague in Congress, Norman Mineta. Former Congressman Mineta has obtained numerous respected leadership positions where he was the first Asian American to take presence in that office. He was the first Asian American Mayor of a major United States city where he was able to strengthen ties and provide leadership, including the leadership needed to span the racial divide. Former Congressman Mineta is a strong and dedicated person with the insight needed to serve all people. His accomplishments remind us to push ourselves to fight from total justice for the masses and social justice for all classes. H.Res. 1377 represents the first time Congress formally recognizes former Congressman Mineta for his accomplishments and dedication to serve our country. I am honored that our nation will pay tribute to his greatness.”

Congressman David Wu (OR-01), CAPAC Executive Board Member: “Norm Mineta, a pioneering public servant and my dear friend and mentor, has served this country and the Asian American and Pacific Islander community with great distinction and unparalleled humility. Norm has many firsts to his name: the first Asian American mayor of a major U.S. city, the first chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the first Asian American member of a presidential Cabinet. These milestones dot a career that has been dedicated to bettering lives through efficient transportation, expanding civil rights for all, and strengthening Asian American and Pacific Islander participation in public life. I am privileged to call Norm a friend, and I thank him for his tremendous and longstanding leadership on behalf of our community.”


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. Since 1994, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life. For more information on CAPAC, please call (202) 225-2631 or visit

Kent Wong: The Dream Act and Racial Politics

Ed. Note: The below is a submission for our Dec 2010 Blogathon: Why does America need the DREAM Act? from Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education.


In the new few days the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the Dream Act, which would provide hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth the opportunity to earn legal status through higher education or by serving in the U.S. military. The House passed the Dream Act on December 8, following a spirited debate on the Congressional floor that reflected the deep racial divide that the Dream Act evokes.

Although the vote broke down largely on party lines, several Cuban American Republicans voted in favor of the Dream Act. While African American, Latino, and Asian members of Congress passionately spoke in its support, virtually all of the vocal opponents of the Dream Act were white, many from the South.

Proponents of the Dream Act were careful to promote the broad diversity of the potential beneficiaries, but in reality the majority of those who would benefit from the Dream Act are Latino and Asian immigrant youth. When Republicans are attacking the Dream Act, they are promoting the marginalization of minority youth and are deliberately keeping them out of the workforce and out of the voting booths.

If the vast majority of undocumented youth were instead from Ireland, Germany, and Italy, the Dream Act would have passed long ago. Members of Congress would have passionately spoken of their immigrant roots, shared stories of hard-working ancestors who came from their European homelands, and embraced the proud immigrant tradition of our country.

California Republican Dana Rohrbacher blatantly played on racial fears. He called the Dream Act “affirmative action amnesty” because it would allow immigrant youth privileges denied to “nonminority citizens.” Have Dana Rohrbacher and the conservative Republicans defined their base as only “nonminority” citizens in a country where people of color will one day be the majority?

Other Republicans demonized the Dream Act students as “illegals,” “law-breakers,” and “criminals,” when in fact the young people who were brought to this country as infants and young children broke no laws. Georgia Republican Phil Gingrey also played on racial fears as he spoke of “chain migration,” claiming if immigrant youth became citizens, they could apply for legal status for “something like 179 other individuals.” In reality, Dream Act beneficiaries would have to wait more than a decade after the passage of the bill to petition for legal status for family members.

On the other side of the debate, the Dream Act students have drawn lessons and inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, and the civil rights movement. They have organized freedom rides, hunger strikes, and sit-ins. On a shoestring budget and without paid staff or lobbyists, they have built a powerful national movement that has captured the enthusiasm and support of millions.

The Dream Act students are Americans through and through, including their understanding of democracy and the importance of civic participation. When the Dream Act passes, they will make a huge contribution to our society through pursuing their educational goals, serving in the U.S. military, and using their talents and skills in their chosen careers to contribute to our economy. Without the Dream Act, these young people will forever be relegated to a life in the underground economy. This not only hurts these students, it hurts our economy by preventing them from fully contributing to our society.
America is a land of immigrants. We have benefitted from the contributions of immigrants over the generations. The way we are treating our immigrant youth today is not only mean-spirited, it is racially-biased and un-American. The Dream Act is morally right, economically sound, and would benefit our society as a whole.

Kent Wong teaches Labor Studies and Ethnic Studies at UCLA and edited the book Underground Undergrads: UCLA Undocumented Immigrant Students Speak Out.