The following Executive Director’s Report was submitted to the Commission at its January 17, 2015 board meeting at the North Bellevue Community Center in Bellevue. The report covers a time period from November 16, 2014 to January 17, 2015. View in PDF format.


  • 2015-2017 Biennial Budget: Governor Inslee released his 2015-17 budget proposal in December. The Commission did not receive any cuts in the budget. The Commission will be monitoring legislative proposals this session for impacts to its budget.


  • Strategic Planning: The Commission will consider final adoption of its new 2015-2018 strategic plan at its January board meeting. The strategic plan reflects the Commission’s goals and objectives for the next three years to improve the well-being of 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.


  • Legislative Session: The Legislature convened on January 12, 2015 and is scheduled to meet for 105 days to pass laws and a new two-year state budget. The Commission is sending out weekly Legislative Updates via email and the website. Community members can sign up to receive the email by visiting In addition, the Commission has posted its legislative priorities and ways to access the Legislature on the Advocacy webpage.
  • Governor’s Budget: The Governor released his state budget proposal in December. The budget includes a new $2.3 billion education plan and new revenue from a capital gains tax and a market-based carbon pollution reduction plan.
  • Joint Ethnic Commissions Meeting with Gov. Inslee: Members of the Hispanic, African American, and Asian Pacific American Commissions met with the Governor to discuss issues of mutual concern. Issues included closing the opportunity gaps, increasing minority business opportunities and participation, and improving access to health.


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 Directors Coalition (APDC): Staff provided a briefing on the state budget outlook at the Dec. 10 meeting. The briefing included information on state revenue, projected spending needs, and tax structure.
  • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC): Community leaders are planning the 2015 APA Legislative Day for Feb. 26 in Olympia. Staff provided a briefing on the state budget outlook in December and an update on the first week of session at its January 15 meeting.
  • Road Map Community Network Steering Committee: Staff is tracking issues of concern to local school districts with diverse populations. The Committee received information on a marketing effort to promote the World Language Credit Program, Road Map advocacy efforts, and Race to the Top grant opportunities at its December meeting.
  • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Against Tobacco (APICAT): CAPAA is coordinating with APICAT to ensure culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies are utilized to prevent underage marijuana and tobacco use. The coalition will be viewing an upcoming API youth focus group session to hear about prevention messages that work for youth.
  • Indian Diaspora Community Roundtable: Staff participated in a roundtable organized by WASITRAC, which is co-chaired by Commissioner Dash, in Bellevue with the Governor. Members of the community discussed issues of concern in the areas of education, business, and the arts.
  • India Association of Western Washington (IAWW) Seniors Program: Staff attended the IAWW Seniors Program Monthly Luncheon to learn about the needs of the community.
  • Cambodia Health Education: Staff attended a learning session on mental health with members of the Cambodian community in Seattle.
  • Community Events: Staff attended numerous community events to connect with constituents and learn about community issues and concerns. Events include the Northwest Asian Weekly Top Contributors Dinner, Society of Chinese American Aerospace Engineers-Seattle Chapter First Annual Convention, Facing Race Legislative Summit, and the 8th Annual Washington State Korean American Day Celebration.

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 Initiative held a Regional Interagency Workgroup convening Dec. 3-4. Staff participated on a panel discussion to educate federal staff on issues of concern and best practices to engage with the API community. Staff also attended a Youth Dialogue on Mental Health on Dec. 22 to hear about youth perceptions on mental health and their access to mental health care.
    • White House Summit on AAPIs: All Commissioners are invited to attend the Summit on Tuesday, May 12 in Washington, DC. The Summit will feature engaging panels, workshops, and armchair dialogues with senior Administration officials, AAPI celebrities, and well-known community leaders, plus performances by distinguished AAPI artists. The Summit is part of a series of events on May 11-15 during AAPI Heritage Month.

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 Licensing: The Department of Homeland Security is aiming to begin enforcement of the Federal REAL Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005. Washington State has received a waiver for several years, however, the enforcement schedule may require the state to modify its driver’s license and ID documents to continue to receive a waiver. DOL is working on legislation that would repeal the prohibition against expending state funds to implement or comply with REAL ID and mark state driver’s licenses and IDs with a statement such as “federal restrictions apply” or “not valid for federal purposes” as required by REAL ID requirements. CAPAA and the Commission on Hispanic Affairs are closely monitoring REAL ID as implementation would particularly impact undocumented residents, seniors, and the homeless.
  • Department of Commerce: Commissioner Dash and APA business leaders are representing CAPAA at the Minority Business Roundtable. The Roundtable adopted a purpose statement and discussed priorities to increase opportunities for minority business participation.
  • Department of Health: Staff and Commissioners have scheduled a follow up meeting based on issues of concern related to the collection of health data raised at CAPAA’s November board meeting. The aim is to ensure APIs are represented in the data captured by the Healthy Youth Survey and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.
  • Department of Social and Health Services: 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.
  • Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance: The office is working with agency partners to update The Small Business Guide, which is available in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
  • Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises: Staff met with OMWBE’s Assistant Director of Communications and External Relations to increase outreach to APA business leaders and inform them about the upcoming 2015 Get Certified campaign.
  • Commission on Judicial Conduct: Staff discussed opportunities to promote dialogue between communities and local police departments in the South Sound area.
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction: Staff is exploring options for reporting out disaggregated data on APIs. Many datasets are available by ethnic groups, however, due to federal privacy laws, information cannot be reported out for cohorts of 50 or less.
  • Washington Health Benefit Exchange: Washingtonians can enroll through the Exchange during the enrollment period from Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. Visit to determine if you are eligible for low-cost or free health insurance.
  • API Network Luncheon Committee: Staff and state employees have re-convened the informal Luncheon to establish interagency liaisons and discuss best practices for serving the community. The next meeting is scheduled for January 28.


  • Board Meetings: The Commission’s next board meeting is March 21 at the City of Lacey Maintenance Service Center. The full schedule is available at



  • 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) took place on November 22 at South Seattle College. Hundreds of youth, families, and community leaders participated to talk about how to support Southeast Asian American youth in our education system. The Summit also showcased the All Students Count Act, which would require state education agencies to report out disaggregated educational data.
  • National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education: Staff is assisting researchers in an update of the 2008 opportunity gap reports. The research team is aiming for release of the updated report in February 2015.
  • 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 is meeting on Jan. 20 to discuss its 2015 recommendations and how to implement them. Visit the EOGOAC website for more information.
  • Student Discipline Task Force: The Commission is appreciative of Zharina Angeles, an educator in the Highline School District, who represented CAPAA on the Task Force. The Task Force members completed their work in December and committee staff will submit its recommendations to the Legislature.
  • 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 Jan. 26 in Burien.
  • 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 Board is working closely with the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity to connect the recruiter to Southeast Asian and API-serving community organizations and expanding his visibility in the community. The Board is also continuing to seek more detailed student data on Southeast Asian admission and retention rates.

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.
  • Making Stomach Cancer a Health Priority for APAs: The project is heading into its second phase and planning for a second summit in August 2015. The project is also changing its name and scope of work to include Pacific Islanders.
  • Preventing Underage Marijuana Use: Staff is continuing to coordinate with state agency and community partners on this issue. During legislative session, staff will be monitoring legislation that may impact implementation of Initiative 502, particularly revenue dedicated for public education, prevention, and treatment.
    • Staff attended a Medical Marijuana Symposium at the City of Seattle to track the city’s efforts to reform the medical marijuana market. Staff met with the director of WAPI Community Services to discuss future partnership opportunities to support at-risk youth.
  • Pacific Islander Group Discussions about Diabetes: The Commission is partnering with the University of Washington Partnerships for Native Health and Pacific Islander community organizations to develop a culturally-appropriate diabetes self-management program for NHPIs in Washington State. A series of focus groups were conducted to gather qualitative data on needs and expectations for diabetes self-management. A grant proposal is being developed to provide the funding to design the program.

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. 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.