APALA Mourns the Passing of Tam Tran and Cinthya Felix|
APALA mourns the tragic loss of Tam Tran and Cinthya Felix, two courageous young women leaders in the movement for immigrant students' rights. On May 15, 2010, Tran and Felix were passengers in a car struck by a truck driver who was under the influence.
"We at APALA are devastated by the loss of Tam Tran and Cinthya Felix," said John Delloro, APALA National President. "They represented the best and brightest of this generation, leaving behind a legacy to advance the rights of undocumented students."
Last year, Tran presented at the APALA Convention and was also a participant at the First National Asian Pacific American Workers' Rights Hearing. In 2007, Tran testified before Congress advocating for the passage of the DREAM Act, emerging as a national spokesperson on this important legislation. As an undergraduate student at UCLA, Tran co-founded UCLA IDEAS, an undocumented student group and was one of the featured students in "Underground Undergrads: UCLA undocumented immigrant students speak out."
Felix was attending Columbia University and pursuing a Master's Degree in Public Health. She worked as a graduate student researcher on health care access within immigrant communities and dreamed of becoming a physician. She was recently profiled in a documentary, produced by Tran, on the plight of undocumented students.
"Although we mourn the passing of Tam Tran and Cinthya Felix, we celebrate their lives and their spirit with a new commitment to pass the DREAM Act," said Kent Wong, APALA Founding President.
Both families are accepting donations via a memorial website.
Leadership Profile: Josie Camacho|
The Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO,
has appointed Josie Camacho as its Acting Executive Secretary-Treasurer to lead
the 100,000 member labor organization. Camacho is the first woman of color to
lead the organization, and the first Pacific Islander to lead an AFL-CIO Labor
Council in the country.
Camacho is an Oakland native and one
of 10 children raised by parents from Guam. She began her career as a telephone
operator and member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), then worked
at the City of Oakland under the Service Employees (SEIU). As an organizer for
SEIU for many years, she led campaigns that raised the standard of living for thousands
of workers. As Director of Constituent
Services for Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums in 2007-2009, she organized job fairs
that drew thousands of people.
In 2007, Camacho and her husband, IBEW
595 business manager and Port Commission president Victor Uno, were the Labor
Council's Co-Unionists of the Year. The
award recognized their leadership in the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
and East Bay communities. Their son, Amado
Uno, is the executive director of APALA.
Camacho is a member of the Barbara Lee Advisory Committee, and has
served on the boards of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy and
Asian Immigrant Women Advocates.
APALA members have been busy
sharing their knowledge and expertise with federal agencies and at national conferences in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
Just this month alone APALA worked with the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board to highlight the needs of immigrant workers. Next month, we'll be releasing an exciting new report that is based upon our findings from the First National Asian Pacific American Worker Rights Hearing. The historic report, Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence, documents the struggles that we have overcome and the policy changes that we need to accomplish.
Services like these are why APALA was founded. We were founded to amplify APA workers' voices, and to speak truth to power. We were founded to speak truth to power and to agitate for change. We were founded to be a bridge both here and internationally between workers of Asian descent, and labor unions, and to educate the community about the strength and importance of solidarity. Our members are rising to leadership positions within unions and we are working in cooperation with our local and federal agencies to protect immigrant workers.
From the days of the farmworkers, the shrimp workers, the railroad
workers, APAs have fought for labor rights. Our history is simply
The APALA family continues to break new ground and to surpass barriers. We continue to make our voices heard at every level. This May I am proud of how far we have come since 1996, and I urge all of you to join me as we forge ahead.
Department of Labor Convenes Roundtable of AAPI Workers |
The Department of
Labor (DOL) and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI)convened the first Roundtable Conversation on
Asian American and Pacific Islander low-wage workers on Wednesday, May 19,
2010. Presided over by Secretary Hilda
Solis and facilitated by Patricia Shiu, OFCCP Director, the meeting was also
attended by Chris Liu, Cabinet Secretary and Assistant to the President, Tina
Tchen, Director of the Office of Public Engagement, Kiran Ahuja, WHIAAPI
Executive Director, as well as officials representing over half a dozen DOL
APALA Executive Director Amado Uno, one of five presenters at the
roundtable conversation, provided recommendations to penalize employers who
knowingly commit wage theft, increase resources to hire compliance and
enforcement officers that can effectively communicate with Asian immigrant
workers and advocate for the collection and disaggregation of AAPI
sub-population data, specifically for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Looking ahead, APALA invited DOL officials to
engage in local workers' rights hearings across the country and requested that
the DOL consider hosting a national summit on Asian Pacific American workers'
rights. Other topics addressed at the
roundtable conversation included health and safety, response to the BP oil
spill in the Gulf Coast region, wage and hour violations, and women workers.
APALA Participates in Labor Delegation to Cambodia|
in an exchange program funded by the State Department and organized by the
Solidarity Center from April 28 - May 8, 2010 to strengthen international
solidarity with the Cambodian labor movement.
This visit represented a follow up visit to a delegation in 2005
attended by former APALA National Executive Board Member Jan Tokumaru.
Tracy Lai, APALA
National Executive Board Member and Malcolm Amado Uno, APALA Executive
Director, participated in this program, which consisted of roundtable
conversations, one on one meetings with union leadership, site visits, house
calls, skills building workshops and a May Day action. APALA participated in a May Day rally with
over 7,000 trade unionists in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to demand that the
government increase the minimum wage from $50 a month to $93 a month.
In an attempt to build the capacity of local organizers and
leadership, members from the delegation facilitated workshops on building
political power and developing a communications program in Phnom Penh and Siem
Reap. APALA hopes to continue
strengthening international labor solidarity by bringing a delegation from the
Cambodian labor movement to the 2011 APALA Convention.
|APALA Prominent in Students of Color Conference|
APALA was prominently featured at the
20th Annual Students of Color of Conference on April 22-24, 2010. Over 700 students from more than 48 community
colleges in the state of Washington gathered together under the conference's
theme, "Generations of Change: We Are
the Future!" APALA National President
John Delloro served as the keynote speaker and acknowledged and praised their
current and future role as catalysts for change and harbingers for a new era of
socio-economic justice. Many of the
students in attendance are emerging leaders on their campuses and workplaces.
Additionally, APALA National Executive Board member Tracy Lai,
APALA leader and Regional Director of the Inland Boatmen's Union/ILWU Richard
Gurtiza and Delloro spoke on a panel on Asian American and Pacific Islander
activism in the past, present and the future.
Lai and Delloro sat on another panel about the federal DREAM Act and the
struggle of undocumented students in the nation.
|AFL-CIO Pushes Wall Street Reforms|
The AFL-CIO has been pushing a campaign for good jobs
and marching on Wall Street bankers and K Street lobbyists in pursuit of good jobs for the middle class.
Their efforts have been paying off as the Senate passed a bipartisan financial reform bill on May 20th by 59-39. The bill includes new regulations aimed at preventing the failures that led up to the 2008 financial crisis. Included in the package are greater transparency, a broad audit of the Federal Reserve, and the creation of a consumer protection agency to prevent against predatory lending.
|APALA Keynotes NLRB Event|Entitled "Diverse
Leadership for a Diverse Workforce," APALA Executive Director Malcolm
served as the keynote speaker for the National Labor Relations
Board (NLRB)Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration on May 18, 2010. Organized by the Office of Equal Employment
Opportunity (EEO), the program included remarks by new NLRB Board Member
Becker, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Director Christina Lagdameo, Chief Counsel to Board Member Pearce Kent
and EEO Director Robert Poindexter with NLRB Supervising Attorney Seema
serving as the Mistress of Ceremony.