AAPI News

January News: Give Us Your Feedback - What Should We Do in 2023?

Like many of you, we were looking forward to celebrating Lunar New Year and starting the year on a positive note.

Instead, we are mourning the 18 lives lost in the California shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. These tragic continuations of the gun violence epidemic in our communities show the desperate need for greater gun control in the U.S. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been 40 mass shootings in 2023. This has to stop: we must continue pressuring our representatives and elect lawmakers who will take the necessary action to end the violence.

We wish all our members, families, friends, and allies a more peaceful, prosperous and, above all, safe 2023, Year of the Rabbit and of the Cat.

Read more

Give Us Your Feedback - Take Our Membership Survey

As we begin our planning for 2023, we want to hear from you! We have put together a short survey to collect feedback about what you would like to see this caucus do. We would appreciate you taking 10-15 minutes to complete the survey and to help our caucus improve. You can even enter for a chance to win an Amazon gift card! We would appreciate your feedback by Wednesday, February 8th.

COMPLETE THE SURVEY


Remembering the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration

RESOURCES


Preserving Our Voices for the Future - remembering the legacy of Japanese American incarceration

On February 19th, Japanese Americans will acknowledge the National Day of Remembrance for U.S. Executive Order 1066. This Executive Order was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and led to the incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans in U.S. concentration camps during World War II. In 2022, President Biden officially made February 19th the National Day of Remembrance of Japanese American Incarceration During World War II. In honor of this day, we have compiled a list of resources to help you learn more about the incarceration of Japanese Americans.

Densho

The longstanding resource for information on Japanese Americans
Follow them on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook

There are a number of resources and links within the Densho website including:

Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project

The project was formed in 1991 by former Japanese Peruvian internees and their families to preserve the remembrances of those who were forcibly taken from Peru and interned in concentration camps in Panama and the United States during World War II. By documenting these family oral histories, JPOHP strives to deepen our understanding of the rich texture of our past -- with the hope that such violations of civil and human rights not be repeated by any government during times of peace or war.

Campaign for Justice: Redress NOW for Japanese Latin Americans!

Follow them on Instagram and Facebook

Through educational outreach and grassroots organizing, the CFJ has helped to inform the public – in the US and internationally – about WWII internment history and redress efforts of the JLAs so that lessons from the past can be applied to prevent and to secure accountability for present day and future violations of civil and human rights. They sponsor a number of events, exhibitions and grassroots advocacy for redress justice.

Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium

Follow them on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube

The Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium (JACSC) is comprised of organizations committed to collectively preserving, protecting, and interpreting the history of the World War II experiences of Japanese Americans and elevating the related social justice lessons that inform current issues today. Members include the ten War Relocation Authority confinement sites, as well as historical organizations, endowments, museums, commissions, and educational institutes, including Densho.

National Park Service

With many of the confinement sites now designated as national Heritage sites (the latest being Amache), the NPS has a number of related resources including a number of links to civil rights.

  • They also have the National Park Services JAC grant program
    • The JACS grants provide funds for the preservation and interpretation of incarceration sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. A summary of 2021 grants can be found here

Japanese American National Museum

Follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Their YouTube Channel has an extensive collection of videos.

Now in its 30th year, JANM was founded to preserve and share the history of Japanese Americans. Its mission evolved to enhance appreciation for America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by documenting the stories of Americans of Japanese ancestry as an integral component of U.S. history. It is an official affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and in 2010 received the National Medal for Museum and Library Services, America’s highest honor for museums. 

On 14 April,2022 JANM was awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Telling the Full History Preservation Fund in support of its exhibition “BeHere/ 942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration,” curated by Japanese media artist Masaki Fujihata and presented by JANM and the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, UCLA. The centerpiece of this exhibition is JANM’s Historic Building, the former Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Built by Japanese immigrants in 1925, the temple was transformed into a place of pain, humiliation, and anxiety about an uncertain future in America when individuals of Japanese ancestry gathered there to board buses for unknown destinations after being forcibly removed from their homes in May 1942.  

University of Wisconsin - Japanese Latin Americans and WWII Event Series

In cooperation with a number of partners, including Densho, the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee’s College of Latin and American Studies is sponsoring a series of in-person and virtual events exploring forced incarceration and racism of Japanese Latin Americans.

Some useful information on Japanese American and Black American Advocacy

There is a growing coalition of a number of organizations working together in support of H.R. 40, a federal bill to establish a commission to study reparations for Black American as well as collaborative advocacy for civil rights.

DA’s GBC and AAPI Caucus recording on YouTube - Why We Can’t Wait 

The two Caucuses sponsored an event in January with representatives from Nikkei Progressives, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, and Human Rights Watch on the history of the Japanese-American post-WWII Reparations and Black Reparations movements, how such redress has impacted both groups, and why we should continue fighting for this legislation at local, state, and national levels.

Reparations Then- Reparations Now was an event that coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians hearings, which marked a turning point in the Japanese American redress movement. As part of the event, it discussed how Black Americans supported the Japanese American struggle for redress and how Japanese Americans are working with Black American groups to pass H.R. 40. Read this article that provides an overview of the event.

Nikkei Progressives

Follow them on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram

Formed in 2016, Nikkei Progressives is a grassroots organization that is a leader in advocating for civil rights for all groups, including redress for Black Americans.

Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (formerly known as National Coalition for Redress/Reparations)

Founded in 1980 NCCR is a community organization committed to educating the public about the wartime injustices perpetrated on Japanese Americans by the U.S. government as well as supporting similar campaigns against injustice today. They, along with other community partners, played a key role in the Japanese American Redress Movement. They work closely with Nikkei Progressives on a number of fronts including redress for Black Americans. Kathy Masaoka, on behalf of both NCCR and NP testified on behalf of H.R. 40 last year.  Read her testimony here: JAs Speak Up for H.R. 40: Commission on Reparations for Slavery and Its LegacyRafu Reports April 13, 2021

Remembering Yuri Kochiyama's Legacy: Her life as a political and feminist activist and champion for racial solidarity.

A virtual conversation on International Women's Day 2022 with Akemi Kochiyama and next generation intersectional activists, organizers, educators and leaders. Moderated by Jaimee Swift of Black Women Radicals.


MLK Day of Service

January 16th 2023 is Martin Luther King, Jr., National Day of Service. The only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service, this designation reflects Dr. King’s vision of a “beloved community” - where there is no space for injustice, prejudice, or discrimination.

This is a defining moment each year when Americans across the globe step up to make communities more equitable and take action to build this dream. In the last 25 years since the institution of MLK Day, the Day of Service has grown, and its impact increased as more Americans embraced the idea that citizenship involves taking an active role in improving communities.

Global Opportunities:

Find an activity that you can participate in from wherever you are below!

  1. Host a Discussion
    • Dr. King's life and teachings
    • Dr. King’s principles of non-violence
    • Host a discussion across generations
      • Generations over Dinner: Honor Dr. King and host your own conversations over dinner (or other meal) that foster a sense of constructive action, civic participation, and belonging and combat the corrosive effects of hate on our democracy and safety. Learn more.
  2. Stock your bookshelves with books about Dr. King.
  3. Climate Change Actions
    • Mulch the base of trees and plants
    • Start a compost 
    • Tend a garden 
    • Learn more about climate justice
  4. Take a virtual tour of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.
  5. Join our Caucus and invite other AAPI and AAPI Allies. More members mean more inclusion, a louder voice, and greater visibility for AAPI Voters worldwide!
  6. Donate to the caucus and support our efforts at DA to promote and inform AAPI Voters globally!

Representation Counts in 2022 Elections

AAPI Represents in our Nation's Democratic Leadership Roles

As reported by Axios, the number of Asian Americans elected to Congress has increased significantly and is currently at a record high, but represents only about 3% of Congressional membership.  As of September 21, 2022, the 117th Congress, which ends on January 3, 2023, includes 18 Asian Americans serving in the House and 2 in the Senate. Once the 2022 midterm election results are finalized, the numbers are expected to remain the same despite one loss of a House seat previously held by an Asian American with the gain of a new seat due to redistricting.  

The House

In the House, all sitting Asian American Democrats were re-elected in the midterms.  Te seat previously held by Stephanie Murphy (D, Fl) who retired was flipped by Republican Cory Mills. 

Redistricting of many of the districts had particularly tight races, but were won by the incumbents, for example Andy Kim (D, NJ)

Shri Thanedar, who gave up his Michigan state house seat, successfully ran for Michigan’s 13th district after the incumbent, Rashida Thaib, due to redistricting, successfully ran in the 12th district.  Jill Tokuda also won the seat vacated by Kai Kathele (who unsuccessfully ran as Governor of Hawaii).

The Senate

Senator Tammy Duckworth won re-election in the 2022 midterms. Senator Mazie Hirono (D, Hawaii) seat was not up for reelection at the midterms, and will continue to represent Hawaii in the new Senate.

Leadership

On Nov. 30, U.S. Rep. Ted W. Lieu (D-CA) was elected incoming vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, the number five position in House Democratic Leadership. Congressman Lieu is the first Asian American elected as vice chair.

While all senators and representatives serve on a number of Congressional committees and caucuses, the following provides a short list of those who are currently chairs or co-chairs:

  • Bobby Scott- currently chairs the Committee of Education and Labor.
  • Doris Matsui - currently co-chairs: Congressional High-Tech Caucus, the National Service Congressional Caucus, the Congressional Caucus to Cure Blood Cancers and Other Blood Disorders, the House Task Force on Aging and Families, and the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC).
  • Pramila Jayapal - currently chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
  • Grace Meng - currently is the Vice Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and a Vice Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus.
  • Judy Chu - currently chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). She also founded and co-chairs the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus, which advocates for the copyright protections of those in the creative industries.
  • Mark Takano - currently chairs the House Veterans Committee, and co- chairs the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC.
  • Raja Krishnamoorthi - currently chairs the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy.

Diversity of representatives: 

Democrat incumbents continuing in 2023 are from a diverse Asian American background:

Non-voting House Delegates

There are currently six non-voting delegates in Congress: a delegate representing the District of Columbia, a resident commissioner representing Puerto Rico, and one delegate for each of the other four permanently inhabited U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Three of the six delegates are Pacific Islanders (2 Democrats, 1 Republican). While they do not vote on legislation, they have a voice in Congress and do vote as appropriate in committees on which they serve.


The Role of AAPI Voters In Midterms

Written by: Esha Banerjee

This Tuesday, November 8, voters will line around the block to commence the long-awaited midterms. With all 435 House seats, 35 senate seats, and 36 gubernatorial positions on the ballot, these midterms will undoubtedly change state and local politics. The impact is even more substantial considering the current division in Congress. It is teetering between a Democratic or Republican majority- the Senate has a 50 to 48 Republican to Democrat ratio, while the House holds a 224 to 213 Democrat to Republican ratio, with 3 vacant seats. Clearly, the upcoming midterms have great significance for U.S. citizens, but what do they mean for Asian Americans specifically? How will the issues at stake affect them, and how might this sway their votes?

Read more

October News: The Election is Now!

 

Election Day for U.S. overseas voters is now! You should have received your ballot by now and we hope it is already on its way back to your local election office. Deadlines to register to vote and request your ballot are starting to pass. If you still need to register or request your ballot, go to VoteFromAbroad.org today! 

  • If you have questions related to voting, please check out our website for state-specific information. We highly recommend that you also track your ballot to make sure that it arrives, especially if you have to return your ballot by postal mail.
  • Additional assistance is available by emailing [email protected]. We have volunteers that can help answer your questions or point you in the right direction to make sure your vote is successfully cast.

This past month, we held two great events, which you can watch on our YouTube channel. On September 22nd, we hosted “Shifting Tides - Reaching Asian American and Latino Voters,” an event with the Global Hispanic Caucus and the California State Team. We spoke with Kathay Feng, National Redistricting Director of Common Cause, and Rudy Espinoza, Co-chair of the California Latinx Dems about the move by Asian Americans and Latinos away from the Democratic Party. On October 12th, we spoke with Kyle Van Fleet, Strategic Communications Associate for APIAVote, about mis- and disinformation as it pertains to AAPI communities. Both of these events were very insightful and left all attendees with a lot to think about. 

With just days to go until the elections, we can still use your support. You can get involved by emailing us at [email protected] or check out these 10 things you can do now to help get out the vote. You can also make a donation to Democrats Abroad on behalf of the AAPI Caucus. Your financial support to our all-volunteer organization will help pay for phonebanking and digital ads.

Democratically yours,

Emily Lines
Chair, AAPI Caucus

News of Note


Thanking Our Collaborating Organizations

As we head into what may be the most important midterm election in U.S. history, the DA AAPI Global Caucus applauds the hard work of our Democrats Abroad members and the local Democrat communities state-side for their tremendous work in getting out the vote. 

We also applaud the organizations who have collaborated with us this year in addressing and clarifying the key issues facing AAPI communities, and for their advocacy and tireless dedication in encouraging participation in the voting process. In the final stretch to the election next month, check out some of our events that you may have missed which feature experts from these important organizations, and links to these organizations with useful information related to voting. 

Read more


Sincerely,

Democrats Abroad AAPI Caucus

Twitter Icon  




Thanking Our Collaborating Organizations

As we head into what may be the most important midterm election in U.S. history, the DA AAPI Global Caucus applauds the hard work of our Democrats Abroad members and the local Democrat communities state-side for their tremendous work in getting out the vote. 

We also applaud the organizations who have collaborated with us this year in addressing and clarifying the key issues facing AAPI communities, and for their advocacy and tireless dedication in encouraging participation in the voting process. In the final stretch to the election next month, below are links to some of our events that you may have missed which feature experts from these important organizations, and links to these organizations with useful information related to voting. 

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)

APIAVote is the nation’s leading nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to engaging, educating, and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities to strengthen their voices and create impact. Their action-driven organization has led national initiatives to ensure AAPIs are represented and heard.

http://apiavote.org/policy-and-research/voting-rights/

AAPI CAUCUS Event - You Tube: Understanding the AAPI Vote: Exploring Voter Data with Christine Chen, Executive Director, APIAVote

AAPI CAUCUS Event - You Tube: Building Trust to Empower our Communities - Understanding and Combatting Voter Mis/Disinformation in our Communities with Kyle Van Fleet, Strategic Communications Associate, APIAVote.  


National Asian Pacific Women's Forum (NAPAWF)

For over 25 years, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum has been the only organization focused on building power with AAPI women and girls to influence critical decisions that affect their lives, families, and communities. Using a reproductive justice framework, NAPAWF elevates AAPI women and girls to impact policy and drive systemic change in the United States.

http://www.napawf.org/vote

AAPI CAUCUS Event - You Tube: Reproductive Justice For Women - Conversion with Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of NAPAWF


PFLAG

Founded in 1973, PFLAG is the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families. Their affinity group PFLAG Connects: Asian American & Pacific Islander Community provides monthly virtual meetings open to parents, family members, and members of the LGBTQ+ community who are AAPI.

http://pflag.org/pflag-academy-demand/pflag-votes-2022-midterms-matter-recording-training-toolkit

AAPI CAUCUS Event - You Tube: Unity, Inclusion, and a Shared Commitment to Human Dignity - Discussion with Diego Sanchez, PFLAG


Common Cause

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. They work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

http://www.commoncause.org/our-work/voting-and-elections/

AAPI CAUCUS Event  - Shifting Tides - Reaching Asian American and Latino Voters with Kathay Feng, National Redistricting Director of Common Cause and Rudy Espinoza Murray, President of the San Mateo County Latinx Dems.

 


September News: Improving Outreach to AAPI and Hispanic Voters

With just 50 days left until the November elections, time is of the essence. As overseas voters, we cannot wait until the last minute to make sure we can vote in the midterm elections on Nov 8, 2022. If you have not requested your ballot yet, visit VoteFromAbroad.org now! Deadlines to request your ballot are approaching, and there is no excuse to not vote this year. There is a lot at stake, and we cannot let Republicans gain control of Congress.

This Saturday, September 24, states will begin sending out ballots. If you asked to receive your ballot by email, you should get your ballot that day (check your inbox and spam folder). Should you not receive anything on the 24th or shortly thereafter, get in touch with your local election office immediately. If you asked to receive your ballot via postal mail, it should arrive soon after Sep 24, 2022. You can still change how you receive your absentee ballot (we recommend email to avoid postal mail delays!) by completing and submitting a new ballot request form at www.votefromabroad.org. Your local election official will note your most recent request and discard previous submissions.

On Thursday, September 22, 2022, join us for “Shifting Tides - Reaching Asian American and Latino Voters.”. We will be speaking with Kathay Feng, National Redistricting Director of Common Cause, and Rudy Espinoza, Co-chair of the California Latinx Dems. Together with the Global Hispanic Caucus and the California State Team, we'll discuss what can be done about the move by Asian Americans and Latinos away from the Democratic Party: What can we do about this, and what do we need to know?

With just weeks to go until the elections, we can use everyone’s support. You can get involved by emailing us at [email protected] or check out these 10 things you can do now to help get out the vote. You can also make a donation to Democrats Abroad on behalf of the AAPI Caucus. Your financial support to our all-volunteer organization will help pay for phonebanking and digital ads.

Democratically yours,

Emily Lines
Chair, AAPI Caucus

Read more

Racial and Ethnic Bias in Asian American Healthcare

As with other forms of structural racism in the U.S., healthcare for Asian Americans has suffered from poor quality data collection and management, along with racialized stereotypes that affect diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing healthcare management.  

Recent studies have noted that clinical decision-making is negatively influenced by providers’ racial biases, disease stereotyping by race, and increasingly by the use of racially biased clinical algorithms for diagnosis and treatment. While some conditions may be more closely linked to patients with certain genetic ancestries, genetic ancestry is often poorly correlated to disproven notions of race, and contributes to ongoing racial disparities in healthcare. 

Read more