APALA Leader Named to President's Advisory Commission on AAPIs|
APALA congratulates the 17 distinguished leaders who were sworn into the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on Sept. 23. In particular, APALA recognizes the work of newly minted Commission Board Member Rozita Lee, who has served as president of the APALA Las Vegas chapter.
The President's Advisory Commission was re-established by executive
order on Oct. 14, 2009. The Commission is charged with working to
improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and
Pacific Islanders through increased access to, and participation in,
Federal programs in which they may be underserved, by providing advice
to President Obama and the co-chairs of the White House Initiative,
Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
Lee is currently the National Vice Chair of the National Federation of
Filipino American Associations. From 1991 to 2010, she was the owner
of RVL, Inc., a Polynesian/ Hawaiian Entertainment company. Previously,
she served as Vice-President of the Nevada Economic Development
Company, as special assistant to former Nevada Governor Bob Miller, and
as an administrator of the Diversity Training Program at the
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). From 1981 to 1983, she
produced and hosted a television program called SPECTRUM for PBS
Television Channel 10 KLVX TV featuring various ethnic groups in Las
Vegas. She was the founding Chairwoman of the Board for the Asian
Chamber of Commerce.
Remembering the Manongs|
Gregory Cendana, Interim Deputy Director of APALA, commemorated the 45th anniversary of the Delano, California grape strike that brought together Filipino American and Mexican American agricultural workers to form the legendary United Farm Workers union.
"As someone who comes from an immigrant and union family, it is not
only appropriate but also necessary for me to share some history and
give credit to my manongs who helped paved the way for me to be here
This weekend, community members will join Manang Dolores Velasco
(wife of Manong Pete Velasco), Johnny Itliong and Larry Itliong III (son
and grandson of Manong Larry Itliong, respectively), to commemorate the
45th anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike. (Manong is an Ilocano-a
Filipino dialect-term that is given to the first-born male of a nuclear
family. Sometimes it also is used for an older male relative or as a
term of respect for an elder.)"
|APALA Members and Allies,|
Amado and Anna
am proud to announce that Amado Uno, APALA Executive Director, has recently
accepted a position as Special Assistant to Secretary Hilda Solis in the Office
of Public Engagement at the U.S. Department of Labor. Amado, who has served APALA with exceptional
ability, dedication and grace, will be sorely missed. During the past three years, Amado has played
an instrumental role to re-energize our organization through developing
innovative programs, increasing membership engagement and building effective
partnerships. We are confident that when
he joins the Obama Administration, he will continue to advocate for the rights
of all workers.
Anna Stuart, APALA Executive Assistant, has accepted a position with the
AFL-CIO Field Department. As the longest
serving employee at APALA, Anna's commitment and service to APALA has been
exceptional and we are counting on her to remain part of the APALA family as
she moves to the AFL-CIO. We look forward
for the opportunity to thank Amado and Anna for all of their hard work and
am equally excited to announce that we hired Gregory Allan Cendana as the APALA
Interim Deputy Director to assist with the transition. As many of you know, Greg is the former
President of the United States Student Association and longtime ally of
APALA. Greg is incredibly talented and
we are enthusiastic that he will be joining the APALA family.
these transitions, we are committed to continuing our critical work. This past month, Greg played a leadership
role to convene the first Asian Pacific American workers' rights hearings in
Las Vegas, Nevada where Secretary Solis addressed an audience of over 300
attendees. Looking ahead, we are
planning to host local hearings in Seattle, Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles and
New Orleans, in addition to our Biennial Convention in Oakland from July 20-24,
2011. I respectfully ask for your
continued engagement and support to ensure a successful transition.
Secretary Solis Headlines Las Vegas Workers' Rights Hearing |
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), the Nevada State AFL-CIO and the
White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI)
co-sponsored the first Las Vegas Area Asian Pacific American Workers' Rights
Hearing on Saturday, September 25, 2010.
Seven Asian Pacific American workers, representing a broad range of
industries and backgrounds testified to a panel comprised of labor and
community leaders regarding the right to organize and strengthening labor and
community partnerships. Prior to the
worker testimony, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis addressed the 300 attendees
demonstrating her commitment to advocate on behalf of Asian Pacific American
workers, and all workers.
to the model minority myth, segments of the Asian Pacific American workforce
still experience abuses, including wage theft, union suppression and employer
intimidation," said Rozita Lee, Commissioner for the President's Advisory Commission
on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and APALA Las Vegas Chapter President.
must do everything we can to bring the American Dream within reach of people
who work hard and play by the rules," said Kiran Ahuja, director of the White
House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. "As we continue to build the economy, many
workers still find themselves short of cash and credit. We're grateful to hear about the everyday
experiences of hard working Americans and the challenges they face."
to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Asian Pacific Americans
represent one of the fastest growing segments of the United States workforce,
but also among unionized workers.
Furthermore, Nevada is home to one of the fastest growing Asian American
and Pacific Islander populations in the country. Comprising over seven percent of the states
population, the Asian American and Pacific Islander population has grown by
over 300 percent since 1990.
one of the fastest growing segments of the Nevada workforce, it is critical to
ensure that Asian Pacific Americans, and all workers, are able to have a voice
at work," said Danny Thompson, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Nevada
State AFL-CIO. "The Nevada Labor
Movement is proud to stand with the Asian Pacific American community to
advocate for the rights of all workers."
Photo credit: Bobby Macabagdal, Asian Journal
Still Holding out for the DREAM|
In a push for immigration reform before Congress headed home for the midterm elections, the Senate voted on the DREAM Act as an add-on to a defense authorization bill. The largely party-line vote (56-43) on the amendment could not ultimately overcome a filibuster threat by conservatives on September 22.
The bill would have allowed immigrant children who grew up in the U.S. the opportunity to gain citizenship if they commit to two years in the military or college. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that the bill would impact over 2 million young people.
AFT President Randi Weingarten stated:
"College shouldn't be just a dream, it should be a
reality for all qualified students, including immigrants. Demographics -- whether it's a student's background or birthplace --
should not determine a student's destiny."
APALA remains in support of the DREAM Act and urges Congress to pass the bill.