The following Commissioners’ 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.

Commissioner Aragon

• Met with Bill Daley, the Legislation and Federal Policy Director for the Alliance for a Just Society and the Main Street Alliance in WA DC to discuss potential areas of collaboration to implement health disparities provisions in the Affordable Care Act.
• Working with the National Women’s Law Center, Northwest Health Law Advocates, and Scherwin, Campbell, Bernard, and Iglitzin to collect studies looking at whether hospital consolidation worsens health disparities. This information may inform court deliberations on whether newly updated Department of Health Certificate of Need Rules are to be upheld.
• Worked with the Prevention Alliance to develop a 2015 legislative agenda to include increased funding for school nurses. Studies show that school nurses address health disparities among school aged youth.
• Participated in a meeting with Governor Inslee with the WA State Hospital Association, Medical Association, the University of Washington, and others to advocate for increased funding for the Health Professions Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program to meet the health care demands of the state’s increasingly aging and diverse communities.
• Provided legislative advocacy training at the American Federation of Teachers Higher Education Summit at Tacoma Community College with Bernal Baca of AFT and former State Representative Phyllis Kenney. The workshop highlighted communities of color.
• Presented community service awards at the annual Filipino Lawyer’s of Washington Barrio Fiesta banquet to members to recognize members of the Filipino community who made great contributions to Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. Recipients included Commissioner Didi Cabusao and former Commissioner Rey Pascua.
• Presented to a University of Washington Bothell School of Nursing class on the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing Report and highlighted the goal of creating a more diverse workforce to assure cultural competency.
• Worked with Commissioner Tufono and Cabusao to re-establish the CAPAA Health and Human Services subcommittee.
Commissioner Dickinson
• Attended Hifumi Society’s “Thank You” luncheon to volunteers of the Organization. The Organization’s mission is to provide support to the Japanese-American Community in the Greater Spokane Region in its pursuits of promoting cultural awareness, education, history and the preservation of our Japanese heritage.
• Met with community leader Vang Xiong regarding an Asian Coalition in Spokane, discussed attending Legislative Day with community leaders.
• Met with API law student from Gonzaga regarding formation of APILC (Asian Pacific Islander Law Caucus) group.
• Recently appointed to the State Minority and Justice Commission (Supreme Court Appointment) to serve a two year term as the Minority Bar Association Representative.
• Attended Asian Bar Association of Washington (ABAW) dinner in Seattle on October 25. Scholarships were awarded to Asian-American law students.
Commissioner Cabusao
• Attended the Yakima County Commissioner’s meeting on October 7, 2014 where former CAPAA Commissioner Rey Pascua read the Governor’s Proclamation designating October as the Filipino American History Month
• Attended the Filipino Lawyers Association of Washington (FLOW) Annual Barrio Fiesta on October 18, 2014 where the Filipino American Community of Yakima Valley was recognized for their Typhoon Haiyan Relief efforts.
• Chaired the Dinner Committee for the Annual Harvest Dinner and Silent Auction on October 26, 2014 of the Filipino American Community of Yakima Valley. This year’s event was another huge success that generated needed funds to maintain the community hall.

Commissioner Dash

• On behalf of CAPAA, attended the “Meet & Greet” event with the visiting European delegation of Foreign Policy Journalists on Sept. 22nd at 10:30-11:30 AM at the World Affairs Council Office in Seattle. The Nine member delegation from Germany was visiting Seattle for a professional exchange program called the International Visitor Leadership Program. They were eager to understand the cultural diversity of our State and the role of CAPAA.
• Attended the “Hong Kong’s Transformation Towards an Energy Smart and Livable City,” a luncheon event organized by the Hong Kong (Greater China) Business Association of Washington in Seattle on September 26, 2014. Mr. Wong Kam-sing, JP, Secretary for the Environment, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government was the Chief speaker. Secretary Wong Kam-sing discussed how the green building and energy efficiency initiatives in Hong Kong can bring collaboration opportunities to businesses and non-profit organizations in Washington State.
• The 4th Annual Building Bridges Reception was held in Bellevue on October 2nd, 2014 commemorating the 145th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Four distinguished women leaders from the local API community – Diane Narasaki, Pramila Jayapal, Justice Mary Yu and Dr. Ratna Roy were honored at this event for their contribution to the local community. Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed October 2nd as the Day of Mahatma Gandhi in the State of Washington. Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci proclaimed October 2nd as “Be the Change Day” in the City of Bellevue. The event was organized by WASITRAC.
• Attended the Retirement Reception for Tay Yoshitani, the outgoing CEO of the Port of Seattle, on October 14th, 2014 at the Maritime Event Center in Seattle. Tay was a great supporter of CAPAA and Commissioner Dash had the opportunity to thank him in person for Port of Seattle being the major sponsor of CAPAA’s 40th anniversary celebration held earlier this year. He was also instrumental for the first sister port agreement between the Port of Seattle and Dhamra Port in India.
• Attended the Reception for Diwali Celebration held for the first time at the State Department’s Historic Benjamin Franklin room in Washington DC on Thursday Oct. 23. US Secretary of State John Kerry, Indian Ambassador S. Jaishankar were present at this reception along with top Indian American U.S. officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal and USAID Administrator Raj Shah. Diwali was the only major world festival that had been missing from the State Department’s celebration of festivals. In 2009, Obama became the first U.S. president to celebrate Diwali.
• Organized by TASVEER, the 9th Annual South Asian Independent Film Festival was held during October 31 – November 7 in Seattle. TASVEER held its first Seattle South Asian Independent Film Festival in 2004 exploring various social issues including women’s rights, religious fundamentalism, LGBT rights, Issue of minority rights in South Asian communities or experience South Asian Americans. In the last 10 years this festival has been consistently growing in popularity both among the independent film makers from all South Asian nations as well as the local South Asian Diaspora so much so that, this year the films are being screened in multiple theaters in Seattle, Bothell and Renton. This festival has become one of the largest independent film festivals in the entire Northwest. You can read more about it at

Commissioner Gurung

• 09/30/2014 Meeting with Nepali MP Dr. Amresh K Singh while he was visiting USA on invitation of US Government about Foreign Policy. Discussions were had about bilateral relationship between Nepali Origin US citizen and Government of Nepal, since many Nepalese are first generation in the USA. Discussion about CAPAA, there were six people in attendance including Mr. Habib Habib and Commissioner Dash.
• 10/02/2014Attended Mahatma Gandhi’s Memorial Day followed by his nonviolent, activist revolution messages. Organized by WASITRAC( Washington State India Trade Relation Action Committee).
• 10/04/2014Attended ACRS Annual Benefit GALA
• 10/15/2014Had a meeting with Executive Director Michael Itti about future plan on how to make CAPAA more effective.
• 10/15/2014 Met with H. E Ambassador Muktinath Bhatta in Olympia who was visiting from Denmark. Had a meeting with local leaders of Nepali Association of Oregon President Mr. Bharat Banskota, Olympian players Master Bidhan Lama, Master Narayan Gurung, Business man Raja Shrestha and some other leaders. Discussed about the situation of Nepal and how to work together globally. Was asked if Oregon State can work with CAPAA? How to encourage community participation, and promote people to join their entrepreneurial leadership program.
• 10/17/2014 Richmond Masonic Center North Seattle. Invited by University of Washington Nepal Group Students Group along with faculty members from UW, MD, PhD, researchers who have been in Nepal and many different countries to talk about starting a formal course on Nepali language at the UW South Asia Center. Discussed problems related to higher education, finance, public health, job opportunities.
• 10/30 2014 Participated Restaurant Success Kick Off media program. Met with Seattle Mayor, Governor Jay Inslee, Cheryl Smith Senior Policy Advisor Department of Commerce, Jennifer Tam, Restaurant Advocate, Stephen Uy King County Representative for Governor Inslee. The meeting was about launching Seattle restaurant success, encouraging new entrepreneurs, economic development.
• 11/03/2014 Conference call within CAPAA Commissioners, about budget, economic development and strategic plan feed back.
• 11/04/2014 Conference call with Mr. Stephen Uy to discuss about economic development, restaurant success starting at Spoken area and gathered his suggestions.
• 11/08/2014 Attended the Hmong New Year Celebration at the Seattle Center with Commissioner Zer Vue and many Hmong families and members.
• 11/08/2014 Attended North West Tamu Society which was preparing for Gurung New Year celebration in North West, invited them to join the CAPAA Board meeting.

Commissioner Khamshitsang

• September 12-24, 2014, traveled to India to attend the 8th session of the 15th Tibetan Parliament in Exile in Dharamshala, India.. As always it was very interesting and learning process for me as well to make them know how our community in North America is doing in comparison to folks in Europe and Asian countries outside India, Nepal and Bhutan.
• October 17, 2014, invited by the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of New York & New Jersey to attend the celebration of 7th anniversary of the awarding of US Congressional Gold Medal to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the Chief Guest. Spoke on variety of issues confronting our community at large and responsibilities they need to take as the citizens of this great country.
• October 24, 2014, traveled to Vancouver, BC at the invitation of Tibetan Cultural Society of British Columbia to celebrate the visit of His Holiness Dalai Lama and join his teachings on 8th verse of training mind. I spoke at the gathering of over 1000 community members from Seattle & Portland from USA and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton & BC area from Canada.
• October 31, 2014, traveled to New York at the invitation of Tibetan Association of New York & New Jersey to celebrate the joyous occasion of the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I spoke at the gathering over 5000 people during their audience with the Dalai Lama on November 5.
• As part of ongoing interaction with our Seattle community members, spoke on underage use of marijuana and distributed the “ A parent’s guide to preventing underage marijuana use”. Urged parents to be very mindful of readily availability of marijuana and to know what the product looks like.
• With support and help from Michael Itti, Commissioner Khamshitsang was able to get Tibetan an option listed on the World Language credit Program. This will encourage Tibetan children to learn Tibetan language.

Commissioner Lee

1. Sep 22, 2014, met with John Armezzani (Representative of Rally Point who helps veterans). A Korean constituent, who does not speak English fluently submitted a congressional request for her late husband’s VA disability. The Rally Point contacted Commissioner Lee with whom she four times to solve the issue, from September 2014 to early part of Nov 2014. The constituent was not satisfied with the result so she will pursue from another avenue.
2. Finalized the Comfort Suites Inn mattress issue with Better Business Bureau.
3. Oct 9, 2014 – escorted Korean Vietnam Veterans and attended Vietnam War Commemoration Service at JBLM.
4. Pending a Small Business Loan for a constituent, waiting for her husband signature.

Commissioner Pen

September Report:
1. In September, Commissioner Pen arranged Lisa Wojtanowicz, the City’s Community Neighborhood Services Program Director to talk about a Building Code Revision and handing out survey form on Building Code Revision which has been translated into their own languages for them to fill out and returned on that day.
a. 78 Vietnamese seniors on Monday, September 8th at 10:30am
b. 98 Cambodian seniors on Tuesday, September 9th at 10:30am
c. 18 Samoan seniors on Friday, September 5th at 11;30am
The audience was appreciative for the helpful information and all answers. The Commissioner Pen also provided interpretation the Cambodian group.

2. Monday, September 22nd, 5:30pm, Commissioner Pen participated in the Tacoma 2025 Vision Preview workshop on Health, Safety, Human and Social Services.
3. Monday, September 29th, 5:30pm, Commissioner Pen participated in the Tacoma 2025 Vision Preview on Economy Vibrancy, Employment and Leaning.
October Report:
1. In October, Commissioner Pen talked to Vietnamese, Cambodian, Korean and Samoan seniors about the
A. School Zone Driving Safety Tips:
• Be on the lookout for school zone signals and always obey the speed limits.
• When entering a school zone, be sure to slow down and obey traffic laws.
• Never pass other vehicles while driving in a school zone.
• Never make a u-turns while driving in a school zone.

B. Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips:
• Plan your route.
• Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes.
• Ensure visibility.
• Avoid masks.
• Check their children’s candies.
– 80 Vietnamese seniors on Monday, October 6th at 10:30am
– 92 Cambodian seniors on Tuesday, October 7th at 10:30am
– 155 Korean seniors on Wednesday, October 8th at 11:30am
– 14 Samoan seniors on Friday, October 10th at 11:30am
The audience was appreciative for the helpful information and all answers. The Commissioner Pen also provided interpretation the Cambodian group.

C. On Thursday, October 30th at 6:00pm, Commissioner Pen testified to support the Tacoma Community House, the Korean Women’s Association and the Asian Pacific Cultural Center social and health services at the City of Tacoma 2015 and 2016 budget hearing. Commissioner Pen requested the Tacoma city manager, city council members not to reduce those agencies’ funding.

Commissioner Vue

• Represented and attended SEAeD planning meeting: discussed strategic planning for the November SEAeD Summit. Outreach will be more intentional and focused on 4 groups: students/parents, educators, communities, and policy makers.
• Represented CAPAA at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Community Roundtable: networked with community based organizations (CBO), shared the need for disaggregation of data on all levels, pushed to build awareness on the state level, business, and among our communities.
• Represented CAPAA at the Wing Luke seminar: 2014 NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop for school teachers. Discussed strategies to take back into the classroom to value Asians in history, empower teachers to delve deeper into the curriculum, and build awareness regarding the influences of Asian Americans in US history.
• Represented CAPAA and discussed and shared ideas for the NWVSA conference. Brainstormed ideas with Johnson N. on how to best engage Vietnamese students in order to empower and support them in developing their identities, knowledge, and embrace their culture in order to serve their communities.
• Attended and represented CAPAA at EOGOAC meeting in Olympia to build capacity in her role as a SEA liaison and advocate.
• Represented CAPAA and SEAeD at the Rising SEAs event on the University of WA campus: outreach to SEA students and staff in OMAD (Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity). Discuss and shared feedback for future Rising SEA sessions.
• Represented and led SEAeD meeting and further along the November Summit planning. (i.e. keynote speaker, advertising, outreach, partners, funding, etc…)
• Greater Seattle Karen Wrist Tying ceremony: Represented CAPAA and outreach to build community and awareness of CAPAA and resources.
• Represented CAPAA and SEAeD at Community Engagement Activity during WAPTA training. Outreach to PTSA members, community members, and shared our vision. Informed the PTSA network regarding the SEAeD Summit.
• Represented CAPAA and met with Ben Ibale (WEA) in regards to how to support SEAeD and the SEA communities: discussed partnering/support from WEA, NEA, Rainier Uniserv, RECN, and others to ensure a successful Summit. Discussed outreach, purpose, funding, support, partners, trainings, etc…
• Represented CAPAA at the North West Vietnamese Student Association Conference at Seattle U (NWVSA): network, build awareness among the Vietnamese communities, and support their work to build young leaders.
• Represented CAPAA at SEAeD meeting and further along the November Summit planning. (i.e. confirmed keynote speaker, food vendors, advertising-finalized flier and workshops, outreach, partners, funding, etc…)
• Met with Commissioner Lynette Finau to discuss strategies to employ and execute CAPAA plan for legislative day. Mapped out plan and will revise as necessary.
• 4th- Represented CAPAA at the UPRISE Summit at Green River College. Sat in on the Data Disaggregation workshop and pushed for community involvement and shared vignettes with parents and community members.
• 5th- Represented CAPAA at the LAO Women’s meeting. Shared CAPAA’s vision and SEAeD’s Summit. The LAO Women gave their word to support our efforts and spread the word.
• Attended a SEAeD meeting and planned the SEAeD Summit in November. Finalized agenda, keynote, and workshops.
• 6th Represented CAPAA and assisted in planning the SEAeD summit
• 8th Represented CAPAA at the Hmong New Year. Build rapport and shared commissioner duties. Outreach and informed the Hmong communities regarding SEAeD and CAPAA duties.
• 11th Strategic planning with the Educational Committee. (Commissioner Finau, Commissioner Khamshitsang and Amy Van)

Commissioner Wada

• Participated at the all agency LEP meeting at the DOH
• Conducted “welcome to Medicare” events for Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean in partnerships with CISC, KWA, and faith-based organizations
• Conducted an outreach event for Mental Health at Kitsap county
• Had interviews with Radio Hankook and KOTV regarding marijuana prevention for children under 18
• Participated a panel discussion with Korean Language teachers regarding the marijuana prevention for young adults and children
• Served as a committee member for the LEP policy at the OIC
• Conducted an outreach event in partnerships with National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) and Cornerstone for Medicare coverage, options and ACA.
• Conducted an outreach event in partnerships with ACRS and Cornerstone for Medicare, options and ACA.
• Attended the board meeting of Evergreen Senior Association and provided information on CAPAA roles and recent activities.
• Distributed marijuana related information to major media outlets in Korean Community- 4daily newspaper agencies, 3 weekly news magazines, 1 radio and TV stations.
• Contacted the stakeholders at the Kitsap County to address the lack of resource and outreach efforts for mental health and general healthcare information
• Provided a grant to an organization in Kitsap County to host an outreach event to provide resources and general education on healthcare and Medicare coverage, options, and enrollment information.
• Participated at the meetings with Dept of Health for their Health Equity Initiative charter group discussion and provided input
• Provided input for the Korean translation of the marijuana guide for parents brochure.