The following Executive Director’s Report was submitted to the Commission at its June 20, 2015 board meeting at the Verdant Community Wellness Center in Lynnwood. The report covers a time period from March 22, 2015 to June 20, 2015. View in PDF format.
1. FINANCIAL REPORT:
- Operating Budget: The Commission is projected to end the fiscal year on June 30, 2015 within its appropriated budget of $208,000. The Commission is monitoring a legislative proposal that would increase its 2015-17 budget to support expanded outreach activities due to population increases.
2. MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION:
- Staff: Brianne Ramos began in May as the Commission’s new Project Coordinator. Ramos is Chamorro and Filipino, born on the island of Guam and raised in Olympia, Washington. She attended the University of Washington and earned a bachelor’s degree in Medical Anthropology and Global Health. Ramos was the president of the Micronesian Islands Club and a student ambassador for the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity.
3. LEGISLATIVE SESSION:
- Legislative Session: The Legislature is on day 23 of the second Special Session of 2015. The additional time is needed to approve a new two-year operating budget. If a budget is not approved by midnight June 30, a partial state government shutdown will occur. Contingency planning is underway and a summary of agency impacts is available at www.ofm.wa.gov/contingency. The Commission is one of the agencies that would completely shutdown.
- Advocacy Updates: The Commission submitted a letter to the Chair of the House Education Committee in March regarding SSB 5721 to recommend increasing diverse representation on the Expanded Learning Opportunities Council. In April, the Ethnic Commissions submitted a joint letter to Senate and House budget leaders regarding adequate resources for programs and services to prevent and reduce underage marijuana use.
Community Connections: Staff met with numerous community leaders and community-based organizations to hear about issues and concerns facing their unique communities. When necessary, casework and policy issues are brought to the attention of the Governor’s Office, federal agencies, state agencies, legislative members, and municipalities.
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration: Staff attended the annual event at Seattle Center Armory and staffed a table with information for the community.
- Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC): Staff provided an update on the 2015 legislative session at its April meeting.
- Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC): Staff continues to update APIC members on legislative issues and CAPAA’s work. Staff joined APIC and Hmong leaders in April to encourage members of the state’s federal delegation to support a letter against the desecration of graves worldwide.
- A Vietnamese Journey to Freedom: Staff attended the event to mark the 40th anniversary of the first Vietnamese refugees arriving in 1975. The Commission participated on a multi-agency team to provide refugee resettlement support to Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees in the 1970s.
- Korean American Chamber of Commerce: Staff attended the Chamber’s Job Fair on April 30 to connect with members of the community and hear state agencies presentations.
- Pacific Islander Night at South Seattle College: Staff attended the 3rd annual event to celebrate and promote community awareness of Pacific Islander culture and identity with students and faculty at South Seattle College and the greater Seattle area.
- Community Events: Staff attended numerous community events to connect with constituents and learn about community issues and concerns. Events include the JACL 93rd Annual Banquet, Vietnamese Friendship Association Benefit Dinner, White Center Cambodian New Year Street Festival, Rainier Valley Community Development Fund Annual Dinner, ACLF Community Presentation, ACLF Graduation Dinner, Asian Coalition for Equality: A Night With Community, Conversation with Gang of Four Member Bob Santos, CISC Friendship Dinner, Small Business Administration Roundtable, and JACL Family: An API LGBTQ Gathering.
Federal Outreach: The Commission continues to maintain relationships with federal agencies to stay apprised of policies impacting the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in our state.
- White House Initiative on AAPIs (WHIAAPI): Staff attended an event by the WHIAAPI AAPI Bullying Prevention Task Force with members of the Sikh community. Staff from CAPAA, the US Department of Justice, and State Office of Education Ombuds facilitated group discussions. CAPAA will follow up with the Sikh Coalition to continue to address the community’s concerns.
Agency Outreach: Staff continues to connect with members of the Commission’s Asian Pacific American State Agency Liaison Network (APASAL Network). These check-ins serve as an important way to cover current policies and programs for the AAPI community, partnership opportunities, assistance requests, recommendations, and policy issues with state agencies.
- Department of Commerce: Commissioner Dash and APA business leaders are representing CAPAA at the Minority Business Roundtable. Roundtable members presented a recommendation to Commerce staff at the June meeting to create metrics for Associate Development Organizations to measure outreach efforts and support to diverse communities.
- Department of Early Learning: DEL is seeking an executive director to create, implement and monitor a high-quality and accessible early learning system for Washington State. Application information is available at www.del.wa.gov/about/jobs.aspx.
- Department of Health: Staff and Commissioners are continuing to engage with DOH staff to ensure disaggregated data is collected for AAPI ethnic groups on statewide health surveys such as the Healthy Youth Survey and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. CAPAA is focusing on the HYS first and will present several options to modify the survey at a July stakeholder meeting to prepare for the 2016 HYS. The data reported from the surveys inform policymakers and ultimately drive where resources are invested to address health equity.
- Department of Licensing, Department of Labor and Industries, and US Department of Labor: Staff contacted the three agencies to inquire about efforts to protect the safety and wage hour rights of nail salon workers. US DOL recently released worker’s rights information in multiple languages. The Dept. of Licensing has been active in inspecting and fining more than 100 nail salons in the past year. CAPAA is continuing to engage with the agencies to encourage targeted outreach to nail salons regarding health, safety, and worker rights.
- Department of Social and Health Services: CAPAA requested that DSHS print copies of all translated marijuana education “rack cards” and enable the public to order copies online, which is available at: www.theathenaforum.org/parenttoolkit. DSHS is also finalizing the Mien and Cambodian rack cards.
- Emergency Management Department: Staff provided a briefing on how to reach out to limited English proficient communities for emergency preparedness and response purposes. Staff urged EMD to encourage all their partners to assess the LEP populations within their jurisdiction and develop protocols for supporting LEP communities in emergency situations.
- Human Rights Commission: The Commission enforces the Washington Law Against Discrimination, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression as a class that is protected from discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodation, credit, and insurance. The Commission will be considering rules in order to interpret that law to provide understanding to businesses, employers, and the public. The public can provide comment at a rule-making forum on June 24 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at Oasis Youth Center in Tacoma.
- Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises: CHA and CAPAA are working with state agency partners to assist OMWBE with efforts to provide language access services for limited English proficient individuals to access the agency’s programs and services.
- Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: Staff has attended two Graduation A Team Effort (GATE) committee meetings on dropout prevention. Staff has recommended that OSPI create a best practices manual to help school districts develop an early warning system for dropout prevention and explore different models for partnerships between school and community-based organizations (e.g. Vietnamese Friendship Association and the Seattle World School).
- Washington Health Benefit Exchange: The Exchange is seeking members of the public who would like to share their positive experience accessing health plans using Washington Healthplanfinder for promotional messaging. Contact CAPAA staff for more information.
5. CAPAA COMMISSION:
- Board Meetings: The Commission’s next board meeting is September 19 at the Korean Women’s Association in Tacoma. More details are available at www.capaa.wa.gov.
- Board Vacancies: The Commission is grateful to Chair Aragon, Commissioner Debadutta Dash, and Commissioner Jeannie Lee who have served six years on CAPAA. Their efforts have helped improve the lives of AAPIs in Washington. CAPAA expects to announce its new Commissioners in July 2015.
6. UPDATE ON ISSUE AREAS:
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Voices in Education Initiative: The Commission continues to support grassroots efforts that were launched during the Asian American and Pacific Islander Voices in Education Initiative.
Southeast Asian American Education Coalition (SEAeD): SEAeD is beginning preliminary discussions on its 2016 summit.
Our Future Matters: Planning for the 2015 UPRISE Summit on October 24 at Highline Community College is underway.
- Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC): Sili Savusa and former Commissioner Frieda Takamura are the Commission’s lead representatives on the EOGOAC. Visit www.k12.wa.us/WorkGroups/EOGOAC.aspx for more information.
- Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program (TBIP) Accountability Task Force: Commissioner Lynette Finau and Dr. Julie Kang, Director of Professional Learning at the University of Washington, will update CAPAA on the task force’s work in June. A final report will be submitted to the Legislature in January 2013. More information is available at www.k12.wa.us/WorkGroups/TBIP.aspx.
- University of Washington President’s Southeast Asian Advisory Board: The August meeting will be devoted to planning a community forum that will help the university develop an action plan to support underserved populations.
Health and Human Services:
- Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities: Staff attended the May meeting and received a briefing on health disparity data from the Dept. of Health. CAPAA urged DOH to collect and present disaggregated data for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in its reports.
- Making Stomach Cancer a Health Priority for APAs: Staff attended the April and June meetings and discussed strategies to increase stomach cancer screening and education. A Stomach Cancer Summit is being planned for October 2015.
- Preventing Underage Marijuana Use: Staff attended several Washington Healthy Youth Coalition meetings. Staff recommends that “landing pages” are created for limited English speaking communities on the Start Talking Now website.
- Results Washington: CAPAA is participating on the Prosperous Economy Goal Council. CAPAA and OMWBE are working together on a goal to increase state agency and educational institution utilization of minority, women, and veteran-owned business. CAPAA is following concerns in the community regarding disparities in public contracting with minority businesses.