Governor Inslee signs COFA health care bill

Governor Inslee signed a bill to expand health care coverage for Washingtonians from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia on March 22. The Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) would like to acknowledge Governor Inslee and legislators for their commitment to improving the health and well-being of all Washingtonians. The Commission extends its appreciation to the COFA Alliance National Network, the Children’s Alliance, the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, the Pacific Islander Health Board, and students, educators, and community health advocates from across the state for their support to pass this legislation.

Governor Inslee signed SB 5683 alongside community members and legislators.

Legislative session recap

On March 8, the legislative session adjourned with numerous bills passing both the House of Representatives and the Senate covering issue areas such as civil rights & justice, education, economic development, health, environmental sustainability, voting & voter rights, and more.

In striving toward our mission to improve the lives of Asian Pacific Americans in Washington State by ensuring their access to participation in the fields of government, business, education, and other areas, CAPAA worked in partnership with our communities and state leaders to respond to concerns and bring about positive change and long-term solutions. During the legislative session, we testified on legislation, met with lawmakers, and informed our communities about bills that may be of interest or impact our communities.

Commission staff presented the following 2018 Legislative Session Review to Commissioners and community members at our public board meeting on March 17. CAPAA will also be co-hosting Legislative Report Back community events with the public to have engaging discussions with decision-makers about the legislative session and policies that will impact our our communities.

Commission convenes public board meeting in Vancouver, WA

The Commission hosted a Public Board Meeting on March 17 at the Marshall Center in Vancouver, Washington, inviting Chuukese and Marshallese communities and other COFA (Compact of Free Association) communities to learn about the passage of SSB 5683, legislation that will improve their access to affordable health care. Commissioner Roslyn Leon Guerrero, who represents Clark County on the Commission, presented on issues facing local communities and her work as a Commissioner.

Additionally, UTOPIA PDX (United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance) presented on their work in Southwest Washington addressing the challenges Pacific Islander LGBTQ+ communities face and how they are promoting education and inclusion. Dolly England and Diana Avalos-Leos of the Equity Committee of Clark County shared their grassroots efforts to organize communities and local government to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the region.

To learn more about the information and materials presented at the Public Board Meeting, visit CAPAA’s website. CAPAA’s next board meeting will be on June 16, 2018.

Commissioner Guerrero briefing the board and community members on challenges and opportunities API communities face in SW Washington.

University of Washington launches Oceanic and Pacific Islanders Studies Minor

On February 27, the University of Washington invited community members, students, and educators to celebrate the establishment of the Oceania and Pacific Islander Studies minor housed in the Department of American Indian Studies. The Commission commends the work of students and community leaders who organized throughout the years, connecting with faculty, staff, and educators and collaborating with community organizations, to build awareness and support for the minor. Learn more about the program and the history of the effort via UW News and the International Examiner.

Community Events & Opportunities