API Leaders Meet with Senate Majority Leader|
was part of a delegation that met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
regarding the nomination of Edward Chen to the U.S. District Court for the
Northern California District of California.
If confirmed, Judge Chen would be the first Asian Pacific American to
serve on California's northern district bench.
Other representatives at the meeting included: Floyd Mori, Executive
Director of the Japanese American Citizens League; Karen Korematsu, Co-Founder
of the Fred Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education of the Asian Law
Caucus; Omid Harraf, National Federation of Filipino American Associations, and
Jean Shiraki, Inouye Fellow at the Japanese American Citizens League.
Save the Date: APA Workers' Rights Hearings in Las Vegas and Michigan|
APALA Las Vegas Chapter and the Nevada State AFL-CIO is organizing the Las
Vegas Asian Pacific American Workers' Rights Hearing on Saturday, September 25,
2010 in Henderson, Nevada. Additionally,
the APALA Michigan Chapter, along with several community partners is hosting
the Michigan Asian Pacific American Workers' Rights Hearing on Monday,
September 27, 2010. For details or more
information, please contact APALA at 202-508-3733.
Daphne Kwok Named Chair of WH Advisory Commission on AAPIs|
APALA congratulates Daphne Kwok, former executive
director of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) and of the Asian
Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), who was recently
named the Chair of the White House Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and
Pacific Islanders. In October
2009, President Obama signed an executive order to reinstate the White House
Advisory Commission and Interagency Working Group to address issues affecting
the AAPI community and increase AAPI participation in federal programs. Kwok
is currently the executive director of Asians and Pacific Islanders with
Disabilities of California.
White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific
Islanders Executive Director Kiran Ahuja stated, "Daphne knows what
services and protections Asian American and Pacific Islanders need and what
resources they can bring to the table to build a strong collaboration with the
Obama Administration. Together, we're
going to work hard to let all Asian American and Pacific Islanders know the
resources the Administration has available to help improve their everyday
Kwok's twenty years of experience serving the AAPI
community include board duties for APIA Vote, National Japanese American
Memorial Foundation, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, National Coalition
of Asian Pacific American Community Development and the Asian Pacific American
Caucus of the American Political Science Association. She is also a Founding
Board Member of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund.
Kwok will work with the White House Initiative to increase public- and
private-sector collaboration and community involvement on issues critical to
the AAPI community including education opportunities, housing, jobs, employment
issues and health disparities.
APALA Executive Director Amado Uno said, "I have the
highest praise for Daphne's leadership within the community and for her
tireless work on behalf of AAPIs. The APALA family and I look forward to
continuing to work closely with her in her new capacity."
|APALA Members and Allies,|
is with a humble heart that I step forward once again to lead APALA. Matt Finucane will now serve as APALA's First
Vice-President. Finally, after
consultation with the national officers, and pursuant to the APALA
Constitution, I am proud to appoint Levin Sy as the APALA Second Vice
President, a vacancy created by the tragic passing of our leader and friend
memorial services held in John's honor were touching. Union leaders, elected officials, community
leaders and student activists highlighted the wonderful work he did as a union
organizer, community leader and labor educator.
This has been a very difficult time for APALA and I want to express my
appreciation for the outpouring of support that we received on behalf of
Brother John Delloro.
am pleased that Brother Levin Sy has agreed to accept this leadership
position. Similar to John, Levin was a
student activist and a political organizer prior to joining the staff of the
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local
20, which represents hundreds of Asian Pacific American workers in the San
Francisco Bay Area. He is a delegate
with the San Francisco Central Labor Council, an officer with the Alameda
County chapter and is providing extensive leadership to plan the APALA National
Convention next year in Oakland, California.
John's legacy to support multi-generational leadership within the labor
movement, we have incorporated more young workers and students. Our chapters are mobilizing from coast to
coast to organize APA workers' rights hearings to bring APA workers' untold
stories into the limelight. And our
voices are being heard by decision-makers from local officials to the Senate
APALA National President
Asian Pacific American Women's Organizing Insitute |
Center for Economic and Policy Research recently published a briefing entitled
"Asian Pacific American Women Workers and Unions."The report found that immigrants comprised a
large share of unionized APA women.
Additionally, the report also found that APA women were in a union or
represented by a union at their workplace at a rate that mirrors APA men. However, there are few leadership development
and organizing opportunities targeting this population.
a result, APALA and the Orange County Labor Federation,
with generous financial support provided by the Berger Marks Foundation,
hosted the first APALA Women's Organizing Institute from August 6-8, 2010 in
Orange, California. Over 30 participants
attended the intense, three-day training program to acquire the skills
necessary to become effective union organizers.
Participants were exposed to a range of techniques such as role-play
exercises, public speaking, interactive workshops, panel discussions and a
was an amazing experience," said Denise Tan Agatep, one of the program
participants. "I am so inspired after
attending the first APALA Women's Organizing Institute and so proud of the work
APALA is doing. I highly recommend this
training for any API woman who is passionate about social justice."
program was such a success that participants created an APALA Orange County
pre-chapter, which will be housed out of the Orange County Labor
Federation. APALA would like to formally
thank IBEW Local 441 for the use of their space, AFMSCME/UDWA, SEIU Local 521
and SEIU Local 721 for their assistance to provide trainers and participants
for the program.
Financial Reform at Last|
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed a monumental
bill that calls for sweeping reform of the financial services industry. This
followed an overwhelming Senate vote, 60-39 in favor of the legislation. Here are some of the major provisions:
-The creation of a consumer financial protection bureau
within the Federal Reserve, an actual government watchdog that is designed to
protect homeowners and everyday investors from losing everything. This agency
will enforce existing consumer-oriented regulations that apply to big financial
firms, mortgage-related businesses, and payday and student lenders. It will
also ensure that the fine print on financial services is clear and accurate,
and will maintain a single toll-free hotline for consumers to report possibly
-Breaking up banks before they get "too big to fail": The
FDIC will have the authority to dismantle troubled financial firms whose
collapse might pull down other companies.
-Increased regulation: The bill restrains banks from
trading in financial markets with their own funds and bans proprietary trading.
They will only be able to invest up to 3 percent of their capital in hedge and
private equity investment instruments, and derivatives swaps will face
comprehensive regulation for the first time.
-Mortgage reform: Banks and other lenders have to more
closely review mortgage applicants to ensure their solvency. Additionally,
financial companies that sell off mortgages have to keep at least 5 percent of these
instruments to prevent banks from simply making bad loan and selling them to
These changes, amongst others, are designed to prevent
a financial crisis, and to ensure that banks have a stake and take
responsibility for risky investments made with their customers' money.
|APALA Continues Int'l Solidarity in Taiwan|Hundreds
of thousands of workers from countries all over Asia migrate to other Asian
countries to find work. These workers
have many reasons for migrating. Some do
it to live in another country, some do it to learn new skills sets, some do it
out of curiosity, but most do it because of the economic hardships they face in
their own countries. The worldwide
economic crisis has had a deep impact on workers all over Asia and many are
forced to go outside of their homeland to work to help their families.
are approximately 360,000 migrant workers working today in Taiwan. For most workers it is a land where they can
enjoy opportunities to prosper in good paying jobs. For Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai and Pilipino
migrant workers the lure of higher wages entices them to leave their families and
homelands behind. But this is not the
case for all migrant workers.
the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, better known as the
wanted to make a trip there to work with migrant workers, they approached APALA
for technical assistance for an organizing training specifically for Vietnamese
migrants. In Asia, the Solidarity Center helps workers build
strong unions to defend their basic rights at home and abroad, escape abuse and
forced labor, and hold governments accountable for their economicsecurity. This mission makes the Solidarity Center
and APALA natural partners.
On July 26, 2010, Maria Somma, former
APALA President and currently a union organizer with the United Steelworkers
(USW) and an APALA National Board member accompanied Willy Balawala, a Program
Officer working in the Solidarity Center's Indonesian officer and Tim Ryan, the
Regional Program Director for Asia and Europe, to Taiwan to work with
Vietnamese migrant workers. The
three-day training, coordinated with the Vietnamese Migrant Workers and Brides
Office locally, included leadership development, public speaking, issues
identification and strategic planning.
Taiwan's labor law has recently been changed to allow migrant workers
the right to unionize and there was a great deal of interest in learning how to
utilize the new law to help the workers improve their working conditions.
there they also met with Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, Taiwan International
Worker's Association, Migrante International, Coalition
To Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia, Taiwan Confederation of Trade
Unions, and various other national Union Officials. There is much work to be done to assist
workers in Taiwan and there is also much to be learned from workers there. Hopefully, this will be the first of many
such trips where we can all partner together to work towards improving workers'
lives both in Asia and in the US.