Executive Director’s Report for November 15, 2014

The following Executive Director’s Report was submitted to the Commission at its November 15, 2014 board meeting at the Chinese Information and Service Center in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District. The report covers a time period from September 20 to November 15, 2014. View in PDF format.

1. FINANCIAL REPORT:

  • 2015-2017 Biennial Budget Decision Package: The Commission submitted its Decision Packages and is awaiting the Governor’s 2015-17 budget proposal, which is expected to be released in mid-December.

2. MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION:

  • Strategic Planning: The Commission’s three sub-committees met in person or over the phone to discuss committee structure and initial planning for 2015. The sub-committees will report back at the November board meeting and discuss its strategic planning efforts.
  • Website: Staff completed migrating content from the old website to the new website and made it live in October. The new website enables the Commission to more efficiently and effectively communicate policy and program changes that may impact the APA community.
  • Internship Program: The Commission is seeking highly-motivated individuals to fulfill the positions of legislative interns for the 2015 legislative session. Contact 360-725-5667 for more details.

3. LEGISLATIVE SESSION:

  • Legislative Session: The Legislature will convene on January 12, 2015 to pass a two-year state budget and new laws and policies. The McCleary Decision, Initiative 1351, and other rising costs will make the session particularly challenging. Legislators will need to craft a budget that is projected to remain balanced over a four-year timeframe. In addition, the state Supreme Court has ordered lawmakers to develop a plan to fully fund basic education by 2018.

4. OUTREACH:

Community Connections: Staff met with numerous community leaders and community-based organizations in our Community Connections Network 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 Directors Coalition (APDC): The Seattle Public School Board presented on the current search and hiring process for their Superintendent position. Members of the coalition shared concerns and asked to have the school board introduce final candidates to the Coalition in the future. The Coalition moved to write a letter of concern to the Seattle Housing Authority pertaining to proposed changes to its subsidized housing program.
  • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Against Tobacco (APICAT): CAPAA is coordinating with APICAT to ensure linguistically appropriate information is made available to limited English proficient populations. The coalition reviewed several print ads developed by GMMB for Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese media and provided feedback about how to better reach parents and family members about the dangers of marijuana for youth.
  • India Association of Western Washington (IAWW) Seniors Program: Staff connected with Dr. Pran Wahi of the Seniors Program. The Commission is working to advocate for informational materials in Asian Indian languages.
  • Washington Alliance for Better Schools: Staff connected with the director of its Natural Leaders program, which trains parents to be a resource for others in the community around school issues and engagement.
  • Community Events: Staff attended numerous community events to connect with constituents and learn about community issues and concerns. Events include the White Center CDA Annual Dinner, Helping Link Gala, 4th Annual Building Bridges Reception, Pacific Islander Education Summit (UPRISE), Tulalip Tribes Raising Hands, Taiyuan Puppet Theatre performance, and Hmong New Year.

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): The Commission will participate on a panel discussion at a WHIAAPI convening in December in Seattle.
  • Advocacy on Hepatitis B: The Commission is participating in community-led efforts to change federal policies regarding military discharge of individuals who have chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). APAs are impacted by this Department of Defense policy because half of the 2 million persons in the U.S. with HBV are APAs. A group of community leaders is advocating for the DoD to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with HBV—the same that are provided to individuals with HIV.

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. The Roundtable is developing a purpose statement and list of priorities and working to increase awareness of opportunities to work at Commerce. The next scheduled meeting is Dec. 5.
    • Commerce launched a new resource, called Restaurant Success, to help aspiring restaurant entrepreneurs navigate the regulations and requirements needed to plan and start a restaurant. This effort is in partnership with the City of Seattle and King County. The effort will expand to Spokane next. Visit www.growseattle.com/restaurant for more information.
  • Department of Health: Staff and Commissioners have provided feedback to DOH on the agency’s health equity initiatives. Deputy Secretary Worsham will provide an update to the Commission at its November board meeting.
  • Department of Labor and Industries:
    • Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $9.47 per hour beginning January 1, 2015. L&I calculates the state’s minimum wage each year as required by Initiative 688, approved by Washington voters in 1998. The 15-cent-per-hour increase, from $9.32 to $9.47 an hour, reflects a 1.59 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) over the last 12 months ending August 31.
    • LNI has proposed a 1.8 percent increase for the average base rate for 2015 workers’ compensation premiums, which is just under the current rate of wage inflation. The increase comes out to about 1 cent per hour worked.
    • The agency is developing a language access program that includes a language access plan, language access policy, and language access procedures. Agency staff is working on website landing pages in Asian languages for 2015.
  • Department of Social and Health Services:
    • Mr. Rex Brown has been hired as the new Senior Director for the DSHS Office of Diversity and Inclusion beginning November 17. Brown will relocate to Washington from Massachusetts where he most recently served as the Deputy Director for the Office of Diversity with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development in Boston.
    • The agency is working to translate A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Underage Marijuana Use in several languages. CAPAA will assist in the distribution of the guide to limited English proficient communities.
    • Staff attended the November Healthy Youth Coalition meeting and provided feedback on its website re-design, including adding landing pages for limited English proficient communities.
  • Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance: The Small Business Liaison Team received a presentation from Commerce about the Restaurant Success project. The Team discussed ways to expand the resource to jurisdictions across the state.
  • Office of the Education Ombuds: OEO has released its 2013-2014 annual report. The report outlines OEO’s work on behalf of students and families and policy recommendations to improve educational outcomes for all students. Visit www.governor.wa.gov/oeo to view the report.
  • Office of the Insurance Commissioner: The Commission joined with OIC, Kitsap County Department of Human Services, City of Bremerton, The Salvation Army, Kitsap Mental Health Services, Meals on Wheels Kitsap, and other local organizations to convene a Healthy Kitsap event on Oct. 2. The event provided information to the community about Medicare, fraud protection, and mental health.
  • Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises:
    • Staff met with Director Oliver regarding OMWBE’s outreach efforts in preparation for its 2015 Get Certified campaign.
    • CAPAA and OMWBE are working together on a Results Washington goal to increase state agency and educational institution utilization of minority, women, and veteran-owned business. Staff are coordinating with OMWBE Deputy Director Debbie McVicker to develop strategies to achieve the goal.
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction: Staff attended the annual Building Bridges convening and provided input on strategies to pursue to build capacity for comprehensive dropout prevention, intervention, and reengagement systems.
  • Washington State Arts Commission: Staff connected with Director Hanan about supporting the Arts Commission’s efforts to increase the state’s creative economy and ensure that diverse and underrepresented communities are included.
  • Washington Health Benefit Exchange: The Exchange is working on an API toolkit to assist with outreach efforts for the enrollment period from Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. Visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org to determine if you are eligible for low-cost or free health insurance.
  • API Network Luncheon Committee: Staff coordinated and attended the October luncheon with other API employees of the state. Issues surrounding employee discrimination and legislative priorities were discussed. The next luncheon is pending for December with a date to be confirmed.

5. CAPAA COMMISSION:

  • Board Meetings: The Commission will hold five board meetings in 2015 in January, March, June, September, and November. The schedule will available soon at www.capaa.wa.gov.

6. UPDATE ON ISSUE AREAS:

Education:

  • National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education: Staff is assisting researchers in an update of the 2008 opportunity gap reports.

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 Access in Education Coalition (SEAeD): The second Southeast Asian American Education Summit (UNITE) will be held on November 22 at South Seattle College. This event will bring together youth, families, community leaders, educators, and decision-makers to talk about how to support Southeast Asian American youth in our education system.
  • Our Future Matters: The second Pacific Islander Education Summit (UPRISE) was held on October 4 at Green River Community College. The keynote speaker Sefa Aina, a former member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, gave remarks that connected with youth and families in the audience. Workshops were held that created safe spaces and productive conversation about ways to support Pacific Islander youth in our education system.
  • Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC): Sili Savusa and former Commissioner Frieda Takamura are the Commission’s lead representatives on the EOGOAC. The Committee was created by the Legislature to develop strategies and recommendations to close the opportunity gaps. The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18 at Renton Technical College.
    Visit www.k12.wa.us/WorkGroups/EOGOAC.aspx for more information.
  • Student Discipline Task Force: Zharina Angeles, an educator in the Highline School District, represents CAPAA on the Task Force. Angeles was unable to attend the November meeting due to scheduling conflicts. Staff attended the meeting, which covered the final list of data elements to be recommended to be collected in the state’s education data system as well as finalizing definitions of student discipline categories. The Task Force is wrapping up its work in December and will submit its recommendations to the Legislature.
    Visit www.k12.wa.us/StudentDiscipline/TaskForce.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, were appointed by CAPAA to the newly formed Task Force. Members will advise in the design of a performance-based assistance and accountability system for the Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program. The next meeting is Dec. 15 in Burien. Visit www.k12.wa.us/WorkGroups/TBIP.aspx for more information.
  • University of Washington President’s Southeast Asian Advisory Board: Amy Van co-chairs a community-led advisory group to increase recruitment and retention efforts for Southeast Asian American students at the University of Washington. The formation of this group was a key outcome of community advocacy efforts to reinstate a recruiter position for Southeast Asian students at UW. The new Southeast Asian recruiter, Mohammed Monsieur, a Cham-American and UW alum was introduced. UW data on student enrollment and retention rates were shared and discussed.

Health and Human Services:

  • Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities: Commissioner Aragon continues to represent the Commission on the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities. The Council and Commission are exploring options to adopt the Council’s recommendations regarding language access policies, plans, and coordinators for state government.
  • Making Stomach Cancer a Health Priority: The planning committee met to debrief about its first-ever Stomach Cancer Prevention Summit on August 22, 2014 in Federal Way. The project will head into its second phase and planning for a second summit in 2015.
  • Preventing Underage Marijuana Use: Staff provided an update to the Governor at a Results Review on Sept. 24 for Goal Four: Healthy and Safe Communities about its efforts to inform limited English proficient communities about the new law. Staff is monitoring state agency efforts to produce a Parent’s Guide in multiple languages and will assist in distribution to API-serving organizations.
  • Pacific Islander Group Discussions about Diabetes: The Commission is partnering with University of Washington Partnerships for Native Health and Pacific Islander community organizations to conduct a series of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander group discussions about diabetes. The UW aims to apply for a grant in 2015 to design a culturally-appropriate self-management program for NHPIs.

Economic Development:

  • Results Washington: CAPAA is participating on the Prosperous Economy Goal Council. The Goal Council will provide an update to the Governor in February 2015.
  • Minority Small Business Legislative Roundtable: CAPAA attended a discussion panel made up of State agencies that provide procurement and contracting services to minority small business. OMWBE and DES provided the update that the State is slowly increasing its number of MWBE businesses contracted on government projects, however it has yet to reach its goal of 10%.