#ChooseUs Week of Action

#ChooseUs Week of Action

While workers in California struggle to make ends meet, corporate billionaires get richer. That is not acceptable. Community groups, unions, policy groups and philanthropy groups across California are coming together to launch the: 

#ChooseUsNotBillionaires CALIFORNIA WEEK OF ACTION (July 31 – Aug 7th)

We demand that Gavin Newsom and our elected officials #ChooseUs — the people of California — not wealthy corporations. Every day from Friday, July 31st to Friday, Aug 7th, we will demand that legislators invest in a just #RecoveryForAll that reverses historical inequities and creates collective benefits for us all.

Why are we having this week of action?

  • Too many of California’s politicians allow wealthy corporations and their lobbyists to bend the rules and determine our policy and budget priorities.
    • The rich make billions, while essential workers earn less than a living wage. Renters are forced to pay sky high rent to live in unstable housing. Immigrants live in fear and exclusion. All the while, schools, and neighborhoods remain underfunded.
  • With an uprising in the midst of a pandemic, we have a historic opportunity to choose our fellow Californians – Black families, students, essential workers, renters, and immigrants – over billionaires and corporations.
  • Right now, and this election year, is our moment to rewrite our collective future so that all of us – not just a wealthy few – are safe and thriving.
    • This moment isn’t about a lack of resources, especially in a state that is as wealthy as California. There is enough for everyone to have what we need to stay healthy, safe, and connected. The choices we make now on how to use the abundant resources we have will determine our future.
  • California’s leaders must choose, do you work for corporate billionaires or us?
    • We see now more than ever that the status quo that favors the wealthy – and leaves the rest of us sick, poor and over-policed – is an act of systemic racism and inequality. California’s lawmakers must choose a path forward that protects health, safety, and long-term economic well-being for all of us.
  • We are powerful when we act together. We choose us. We choose California. We need Governor Newsom and our other elected leaders to choose us too.
    • Now is the time to #ChooseUs!

There will be in-person and digital actions demanding that California protects essential workers, Black lives, immigrants, students, and renters. Will you #ChooseUs over billionaires?

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AAPI FORCE-EF Condemns Trump’s Memorandum Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from Census Count

AAPIs For Civic Empowerment Education Fund Condemns Trump’s Memorandum Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from Census Count

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 22, 2020

Media Contact: Lan Nguyen, Lan@aapiforce.org

In yet another attack on immigrant communities, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum yesterday requiring the U.S. Census Bureau to exclude undocumented individuals from being counted for the allocation of congressional seats. This memo is unconstitutional and is being challenged by legal advocacy groups.

 

This is a continuation of Trump’s ongoing efforts to defund and disempower immigrant communities. In 2018, the Trump Administration announced a plan to include a question about citizenship status on the 2020 Census, but the attempt was blocked by the Supreme Court last year. The 2020 Census questionnaire does NOT have a question asking about citizenship, and no such question will be added.

 

Trump’s memorandum is shameful and racist by insinuating that undocumented people do not count as “persons” living in each state. He is wrong. Undocumented immigrants live, work, and go to school in every state, and practice civic engagement in a variety of ways to make our communities thrive. Our undocumented communities count.

 

“This memorandum continues Trump’s campaign to sow fear amongst all immigrants and discourage our communities from taking action in the streets and at the ballot box in a moment where their political activity could prove decisive in the 2020 election,” says Timmy Lu, executive director of AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF).

 

Data from the U.S. Census is used to determine representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, along with allocation of federal funds. Immigrants, along with communities of color, are deemed “hard to count”, with the AAPI population having the lowest Census response rate of any race. This leads to less of political power in Congress, and fewer resources for local communities. California is already at risk of losing representation due to a Census undercount and with 1 out of 8 Asian immigrants being undocumented in California, Trump’s memorandum presents a direct threat to the health, well-being, and political power of our communities. 

 

“We expect that our undocumented communities will continue to do what they have been doing in the face of past attacks: supporting their families, making a positive impact in the communities they reside in, and being politically engaged, which includes completing the Census,” says Lu.

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Artists Create Art to Promote AAPI Participation in the 2020 Census

Artists Create Art to Promote AAPI Participation in the 2020 Census

In May of this year, we put a call-out for AAPI artists and community members to use their creative talents and create artwork inspiring hard to count AAPI communities to fill out the census. Asian Americans, along with Pacific Islanders, are the racial groups least likely to fill out the census. With COVID-19 preventing organizers from mobilizing the community through door-knocking and in-person events, we turned to digital art to inspire and inform our communities about the Census. Check the entries from these talented artist/activists  below:

1st Place Winner - Teo Octavia Saragi

[visit the artist’s website here]

2nd Place Winner - Anmoldeep Singh

3rd Place Winner - Tia Ng Groce

Jasmine Lee

[Visit the artist’s website here]

Eugene Vang

Joy Ming

Houa Lee

Yeej Moua

[Visit the artist’s website here]

Linlin Yu

Jasmine Lee

[Visit the artist’s website here]

Karina Yang

All People of America, no matter the background or occupation, participate in the 2020 Census!
.
www.my2020census.gov
@aapiforceef
#CountUsIn #AAPI2020

James Dinh

[Visit the artist’s website here]

Ellie Yang Camp

[Visit the artist’s website here]

Ellie Yang Camp

[Visit the artist’s website here]

Weiran Zhang

View this post on Instagram

#census2020 #aapi2020 #countusin

A post shared by Weiran Art_ (@weiranzhang6) on

Joy Wang

Grace Sun

Hello everyone!! We are well into the month of May, which you may know is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. As you may know also, the 2020 Census is being held this year. The 2020 Census is really crucial because even though you might not realize it, the Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flows into states and communities each year. So, you are a huge part of helping the United States and everyone around you. Because of you participating in the Census, the results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets, which influences so many things that happen in our daily lives. Doing the Census is very simple: You can respond online at www.my2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by a letter that you receive in the mail. Unfortunately, many members of the AAPI community don’t participate because they don’t realize the importance of the Census. It is our job to inform these people of our Asian-American community, whether they are juniors or seniors, that every voice counts. In this difficult time with COVID-19, this is a call to action for all of us to make our voices heard and proudly represent our Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage! ♡

#countusin #countusin2020 #AAPI2020 #aapi2020 #aapiheritagemonth #2020census #census2020 #censusart #americanbornchinese #proudabc #aapicommunity #aapi #aapiforceef #southasiannetwork #digitalart #photoshop #firstdigitalart #uscensus #wacom #wacompad

Zilin (Lynn) Jin

[Visit the artist’s website here]

Elsa Ly

The Census is a survey that counts the number of people living in the United States and the five U.S. territories. The Census decides how much money is distributed for funding for schools, hospitals, fire departments, and also improving neighborhoods. It also helps determine the number of seats your state has in the House of Representatives, and a whole lot more. All in all, completing the Census will only better help you and your community, so please don’t forget to fill it out!! #countusin #aapi2020census #aapi2020 #hmong#census#census2020

Teo Octavia Saragi

[Visit the artist’s website here]

Teo Octavia Saragi

[Visit the artist’s website here]

Richa Dihal

Volunteer With Us: Put Communities Over Corporations

Volunteer With Us: Put Communities Over Corporations

We need your help to put #CommunitiesOverCorporations! 100 Champions for Our Schools & Communities is a collaboration by AAPI FORCE and our network organizations. The goal is to expand grassroots power, and build a powerful progressive force to mobilize on key issues and win Schools & Communities First! We want to build a community of folks who can support one another on taking action towards our collective vision for our future.

From the earlier campaign days of building the coalition to gathering signatures to qualify the campaign, to now preparing for the fight at the polls, we’ve always relied on and will continue to need grassroots, activist power to fuel the movement. We know we will be outspent millions by wealthy corporations and the corporate elite. That is why we need champions in our communities to help us to talk to voters, text their networks, write op-eds, design graphics, utilize storytelling, etc, so we can put our #CommunitiesOverCorporations. With #PeoplePower, that is how we can put our Schools and Communities First.

Resources for Solidarity with Black Lives

To our AAPI community - it’s time to stop investing in police and start re-investing in community

Caption: The late Zhang Zhilong (left) and and his wife Kyu Ming Fong (right) were West Oakland residents and members of Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). Before his passing, Zhang Zhilong was a beloved community leader who organized Chinese immigrant communities for racial and environmental justice. Photo credit Stories by Ryan Sin, MLK Day March, Oakland CA 2014.

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Ahmaud Arbery. David McAtee. And so, so, so many more have been taken too soon by the police and white supremacists.

These deaths, as well as the disproportionate amount of COVID-19 deaths in the Black community, are caused by systems deeply rooted in the dehumanization of black lives, the prioritization of corporate interests and private property over the lives of working people.

Furthermore, we are witnessing protesters for Black Lives get violently attacked by the policeexperience arrests due to unjust curfew policies, and face threats from white supremacist vigilantes.

We must do our part to create social change. We must create a new world where Black Lives Matter, where community wellbeing is valued over corporations, and where community safety is valued over police departments.

We are in solidarity with the the Movement for Black Lives, and call on you as our community members to join us supporting the following demands from the Movement for Black Lives’ National Week of Action In Defense of Black Lives:

  • Demand the rights of protesters to be respected

  • Demand a divestment from the police and investment in black communities

  • Demand immediate COVID-19 relief for communities

  • Demand community control of budgets, economies, the police department, etc.

  • Demand an end to the war against Black people (criminalization, incarceration, killing of Black people)

  • Forging an abolitionist strategy for defending Black lives.

HERE IS A LIST OF SOME RESOURCES TO FURTHER YOUR OWN POLITICAL EDUCATION OR TO REFERENCE FOR IN-LANGUAGE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES:

Political Education (English):

In-language resources:

Upcoming virtual events:

THE MOVEMENT FOR LIBERATION IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT. WE’LL BE IN TOUCH IN THE COMING WEEKS AND MONTHS WITH OPPORTUNITIES TO WORK TOWARD THE DIVESTMENT OF POLICE AND INVESTMENT IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES, BUT FOR NOW, PLEASE CONSIDER GETTING INVOLVED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:

  • Plug into the Movement for Black Lives, and their virtual events, mutual aid, and policy platforms.

  • Follow and support local organizations that are fighting to defend Black lives. Here is a list of anti-racist groups in California, compiled by We Are California.

  • Make sure California reinvests and prioritizes the education, health, and safety of our communities. Schools and Communities first is a historic initiative that will end corporate loopholes and reclaim $12 billion for local schools and communities. Add your name to the #AAPIs4SCF movement here and join us for a virtual campaign kickoff next Wednesday here.

**If you have suggestions for political education materials, in-language resources, or virtual events to add to this list, please email Lan@aapiforce.org**

Census Trivia Kahoot

Master Your Census Knowledge with our Trivia Game!

If you didn’t attend our live Census trivia game, you missed out on a fun session of friendly competition. On our Zoom call, participants were on mute but they later reported that they were shouting of joy and frustration as we tested our knowledge of the Census.

But don’t worry, just because you missed our live event doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. We are sharing our Census trivia game, hosted using the learning-platform Kahoot, with you. Playing this game will make you a Census master who will be able to answer questions about the census — from the most commonly asked to the the most weird (okay, maybe not the most weird).

Organizations or groups who are doing Census outreach are welcome to use the game as a fun way to train your census workers on the ins and outs of the Census. For organizations click on the link to “play as a group” below and have one person who is the “host” screenshare on a video call (or, if in person, project the screen) to play. Participants can use a computer or smartphone to play. All that’s needed is an internet browser and access to internet.

You can also play at your own pace as an individual (below)! When playing as an individual, what you entered as your “nickname” and your score will be shared with other folks who play the game later, so keep that in mind when choosing your nickname.

Please let us know what you think about the game by tagging us on social media @aapiforceef. We hope you have fun and learn a lot!

Join Our Teach In: Teach-In: Building Working Class AAPI Political Power in CA

APA Heritage Month Teach-In: Building Working Class AAPI Political Power in California

As we celebrate APA heritage month, it’s important to recognize that Asian American and Pacific Islander communities possess not only a culturally dense and diverse history, but also that our peoples stem from histories of resistance, survival, resilience, and power. Join us as we share and celebrate our communities’ history of building power for working class Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, Filipino, Lao, Mien, Khmu, and broader Asian American and Pacific Islander communities throughout California.

We are a united front of people who come from farmworkers, domestic workers, immigrants, and refugees. Time and time again, our communities have fought to gain political influence. We’ve battled the greed of corporate interests, the racism and xenophobia of white supremacy, and the intersectional struggles of sexism, homophobia, and other oppressive structures that attempt to divide us and disempower us. But our common histories and values unite us in the fight for a better California that represents working class AAPIs.

While banks bail out big corporations instead of supporting small businesses in the midst of COVID-19, our community groups are delivering care packages to elders, providing work-from-home employment opportunities for youth, and setting up emergency stabilization funds. We are the people keeping California thriving, and it’s time that California reflects our values.

Learn more about our histories, what lies ahead for our movement, and how you can get involved and #Represent alongside us.

The teach-in will be hosted by the AAPIs for Civic Empowerment coalition, which consists of Khmer Girls in ActionChinese Progressive AssociationFilipino Advocates for JusticeAsian Pacific Environmental Network, and Hmong Innovating Politics.

**This will be a virtual teach-in, so you can join us from any location!**

May 15th, 2020 from 2:00-3:30pm PST

We Need Your Help: Make California’s November Elections Safe and Simple for All

We Need Your Help: Make California’s November Elections Safe and Simple for All

California has been a national leader on voting reforms for years. COVID-19 should not stop us from continuing to ensure democracy works for all people, not just a select few. California must meet the moment making the November election safe and simple for all.

While we applaud state leaders that are calling for every voter to be mailed a ballot, voting by mail is not enough.  

California leaders must expand the number of in-person voting locations this November to support voters that need a replacement ballot, need any kind of in-person language or physical assistance, do not have an address to receive a vote-by-mail ballot, are new to voting, or need to register and vote on the same day. Having as many in-person locations as possible, with as many early voting opportunities as possible, is the only safe way to conduct an election under the current conditions. And poll workers need good pay and protections to protect their health.

Send a letter to State Legislative Leaders calling them to expand safe and simple options for voting this November.

Our families and neighborhoods are stronger, safer and healthier when we show up and represent for one another.  

Signed:

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)
Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment (AAPI FORCE)
California Calls
California Donor Table
California Environmental Justice Alliance
California League of Conservation Voters
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
IE United
NARAL Pro-Choice California
Orange County Civic Engagement Table
PICO California
Power California
SEIU California

A Town Hall on Anti-Asian Racism

A Townhall on Anti-Asian Racism

Race, Struggle, and Solidarity In The Time of a Global Pandemic

On March 28th, 2020, our executive director Timmy Lu spoke in a town hall addressing Anti-Asian racism in the midst of COVID-19. The town hall discussed the U.S.’s long history of Yellow Peril racism against Asian Americans and emphasized solidarity with other communities of color, alternatives to policing, applying a disability justice framework, and more.

Click on the links below to see our live tweets from the event and to access a recording of the town hall.

Community Care During COVID-19

Community Care During COVID-19

A message to and from AAPIs

“Movements are born of critical connections rather than critical mass.” –Grace Lee Boggs

As we’re facing a once-in-a-generation crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important now than ever to center human connections and be a part of a movement for community care. This means that while we are experiencing physical distance from our communities, the compassion and love we have for each other remains strong.

 

During this crisis, our communities are being targeted and scapegoated, with GOP politicians referencing COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” and numerous incidents of hate crimes against Asians. We’ve seen this before. Throughout history, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been oppressed, harmed, and even killed due to our race. But time and time again, we have prevailed from these hardships by taking care of each other.

 

We come from peoples who have survived and flourished despite war, colonization, and environmental catastrophe. As working-class Asian American immigrants, refugees, and Pacific Islanders, our people have survived and thrived by putting community care over individual needs. We see this in elderly folks who sacrifice their time in retirement to raise their grandchildren. We see this in community members pooling money together to form community-based loan systems to combat discrimination from banks. When employers won’t grant workers adequate time off, we see workers sharing their sick leave with colleagues so that they can care for themselves and their loved ones.

 

We have been trained to adapt an individualistic mindset that tells us that we have to fend for ourselves. But we must remember that during the most devastating moments, community care, not hyper-individualism, is what allows us to prevail.

 

Despite experiencing physical isolation, we’re witnessing the power and beauty of compassion and community care. We’ve seen neighbors offering to watch each other’s children as schools close, community members delivering groceries for elders, loved ones celebrating birthdays via video chat and organizers collaborating to push for policy changes that would protect our most vulnerable populations.

 

Due to safety concerns about congregating in person, we may not be able to show care through physical convening and touch, but there are other ways to show love:

 

  • Reach out and talk to elders and immunocompromised people who are housebound and who may be experiencing loneliness from social isolation.

  • Participate in mutual aid networks like the ones in Seattle or Oakland and volunteer your time or donate money/supplies to those in need. If you can’t find a mutual aid network in your area, you can build your own or simply post what labor/goods you’re willing to offer in local neighborhood groups. Offering to make a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy could go a long way for someone in a vulnerable group.

  • Donate to community care funds like the National Domestic Workers Alliance’s Fund and APEN’s fund for Asian immigrant families. Many community members will face a loss in income and/or employment, and these funds will help them mitigate the impacts.

  • Fill out the 2020 Census and remind others to fill out the Census. Funding for local health clinics and programs like Medicaid — which are essential in crises like this one — is determined by Census responses. Asians are the least likely of any racial group to fill out the Census. And the U.S. Census Bureau offers no language support for Pacific Islander languages, leaving states and community organizations to fill the gap. To get care for our communities, we must fill out the Census ourselves and encourage others to do so.

  • Advocate for emergency policy changes regarding paid sick leave, moratorium on evictions, easier access to prescription medications for disabled people, small business relief, protection for incarcerated populations, and access to healthcare for all regardless of immigration status. Join our mailing list for an update on policy actions you can sign on to support.

As an organization working to build power amongst working class AAPIs, we recognize that working class communities will be some of the most heavily hit during this crisis. Workers such as servers, sanitation workers, manicurists, etc. may experience financial difficulties due to a cut in hours.

 

Here are resources to help with labor issues:

It’s especially crucial right now to stay informed and avoid spreading misinformation. Here are some resources in English and other languages to share about COVID-19:

 

English

Hmong

Traditional Chinese

Simplified Chinese

Vietnamese

Korean

Tagalog

Cambodian

Japanese

This is the time to come together — not physically, but through our actions. Community care doesn’t just look like participating in mutual aid or donating funds — it also looks like adhering to physical distancing regulations. By exchanging a trip to the gym or a night out with friends for a quiet night in or a celebration via video chat, we are actively working against the spread of the virus. We are all capable of contracting and spreading the virus, but we are also all capable of keeping our communities safe. We will do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will demand that our government protect not just us, but the most vulnerable in our community. Even if we’re not out on the streets protesting, we are still looking out for each other and fighting for justice.