The following Executive Director’s Report was submitted to the Commission at its June 18, 2016, board meeting at the Filipino Hall in Wapato. The Report covers a time period from March 20, June 17, 2016. View in PDF format.


  • Budget: The Commission is operating within its current fiscal year budget of $222,000. The latest budget projections through April 30 show an ending balance of $2,600. The fiscal year ends on June 30. The Commission aims to have a remaining projected balance of at least $1,000 to avoid overspending its state allocation due to unanticipated costs. The non-state allocation amount is $18,600.


  • Upcoming Budget: Executive Committee members are working with state budget staff on learning more about formulating a decision package and understanding budget areas that can support CAPAA’s mission.
  • Interns: Joseph Park, Bronson Purcell, and Louie Vital served as CAPAA’s Legislative Interns from January to June. They assisted staff with two board meetings, the Education Roundtable, and the Legislative Report Back. Each intern worked on special projects that helped to advance CAPAA’s mission. The Commission is appreciative of their time, efforts, and contributions.
  • New Agency Brochure: Staff is working on a new set of informational brochures about CAPAA for distribution at community events. The brochures will be translated in many API languages. The current brochure for CAPAA was developed in 2011 and lacks sufficient quantities for many languages.


  • Legislative Session: The Legislature adjourned on March 29, concluding a 20-day special session, after agreeing on a supplemental budget. Several key CAPAA and community priorities were approved including the signing of House Bill 1541 by Gov. Inslee to implement strategies to address the educational opportunity gaps. Asia Pacific Cultural Center received $200,000 in the capital budget for project coordination and development of a financial plan for its proposed facility. More details are available on the Commission’s website.
  • Task Force Appointments: New task forces were created on the use of use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement and on community policing standards. CAPAA submitted recommendations for individuals to serve on these task forces.


  • 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.
    • Asians Collaborating Together Conference: Staff participated in a panel discussion about Politics, Media, and Education and discussed the importance of civic engagement and diverse voices in policymaking.
    • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Commissioners Tufono, Vue, Sinclair, and Gaur and staff tabled at the APAHM annual celebration at the Seattle Center Armory on May 1. Hundreds of community members learned about APA history, culture, and achievements through performances and community organizations present at the event.
    • APA Heritage Month at Microsoft: Staff and Commissioner Sinclair tabled at the APAHM event at the Microsoft campus in Redmond.
    • Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC): Staff handed out a one-pager on the legislative session to AAPI directors and leaders at APDC’s April meeting. King County Executive Dow Constantine briefed the leaders about Best Starts for Kids and took questions.
    • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC): CAPAA and APIC held a report back event with 50 community members on April 7 about what happened during the legislative session. Speakers covered issue areas such as civil rights, health & human services, education, economic development, and the environment.
    • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Advocating Together for Health Communities (APICAT): Staff attended the APICAT meeting on May 31 and provided an overview of the legislative session. Members received an update on upcoming training for preventing underage marijuana use and a youth assessment APICAT will be conducting.
    • Children’s Alliance: Staff provided a briefing on a webinar on Food Insecurity and Race: Exploring Opportunities to Improve Available Data. More than 50 participants learned about CAPAA’s efforts to change the Healthy Youth Survey and BRFSS to collect more disaggregated data and recommendations to utilize and analyze the data to improve equity.
    • Formerly Incarcerated Group Healing Together (F.I.G.H.T.): Staff attended a meeting to learn about the organization and its current work. An issue was raised regarding eligibility of incarcerated individuals who have an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold from working in Correctional Industries. Staff connected FIGHT with a community resource to support groups promoting APA heritage and education in correctional facilities.
    • Just Health Action: Staff learned about efforts to educate Vietnamese, Hmong, Samoan, and other community members who fish along the Duwamish River. JHA is seeking funding and targeted strategies to conduct community education about the health concerns of consuming fish from the Duwamish for children and expectant mothers.
    • Northwest Association of Pacific Americans: NAPA discussed efforts to create an Oceania studies program at the University of Washington. CAPAA’s ESSA Pacific Islander representative, Mele Aho, provided an update on the newly created planning team working to update the state’s K-12 accountability plan.
    • Vietnamese American Community Leaders: Commissioner Dinh convened a gathering of Vietnamese American community leaders to discuss community concerns and develop a list of priorities that CAPAA, the Governor’s Office, and state agencies could provide assistance on. Additional meetings are planned to continue the conversation.
    • Community Events: Staff attended numerous community events to connect with constituents and learn about community issues and concerns. Events included the WSDOT Office of Equal Opportunity Community Meeting, Tacoma Community House Annual Luncheon, Southeast Asian Young Men’s Group 10 Year Anniversary Celebration & Film Screening, NW Vietnamese News 30th Anniversary Celebration, Undocumented Stories of APIs event at UW, Supreme Court Symposium on Race & Justice, API Chaya Meet and Greet, Micronesia Night, and the ICHS Bloom Gala.
  • Federal and Local Outreach: The Commission continues to maintain relationships with federal and local agencies to stay apprised of policies impacting the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in our state.
    • City of Seattle: Thanks to the work of former City Councilmember John Okamoto, a Demographic Data Task Force launched to recommend strategies to standardize and disaggregate demographic data used by City departments in allocating resources and developing City policies, programs, and services. CAPAA provided a briefing to the participants about the importance and impact of disaggregated data.
    • Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray: Staff discussed CAPAA priorities and issues impacting API communities with Senator Murray’s staff. Issues included improving health equity for Pacific Islanders, data disaggregation, and the upcoming 2020 Census. As a result of community and CAPAA advocacy, Senator Murray co-signed S. 1301, the Restoring Medicaid for Compact of Free Association Migrants Act of 2015, on June 9. In a separate meeting, the Every Student Succeeds Act was discussed including other education-related issues impacting APIs.
    • White House Initiative on AAPIs (Initiative): Staff participated in Pathways to Public Service, an event hosted by the Initiative’s E3! Program and the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition at South Seattle College. Staff connected with students at SSC about their experience with working in public service and shared information about CAPAA’s fellowship program.
  • 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: Chair Tufono and three community leaders represent the Commission on the Minority Business Roundtable. The Roundtable is working on strategies to improve access to the department’s programs to support economic opportunity.
    • Department of Health: Commissioner Dinh and staff met with the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System team to discuss ways to oversample and target specific populations and to expand languages available for respondents. Many of the changes CAPAA is seeking would be subject to additional funding and CDC approval. Staff submitted recommendations to proposed criteria to score and evaluate whether to add State-Added Questions to the 2017 BRFSS.

      Staff received a briefing on a proposal to add language mapping capabilities to the Washington Tracking Network. CAPAA along with other state agencies recommended to display more, rather than less languages. A suggestion was made to align with DOJ’s recommended 1,000 persons or 5 percent population threshold.

      Staff met with DOH decision-makers to discuss ways to increase utilization and reporting of API disaggregated data in policymaking and reports.

    • Department of Labor and Industries: Staff met with LNI’s Office of Internal Audit & Civil Rights team to discuss outreach strategies for the new hotline and complaint process.
    • Department of Social and Health Services: Staff attended the May SPE Prevention Policy Consortium meeting to receive updates on workgroups that reduce underage substance abuse and addresses mental health issues. Staff provided an update on efforts to promote Mental Health Awareness in Communities of Color Month in July.
    • Department of Transportation: Staff met with the Diversity & Inclusion Manager to discuss recruitment and outreach strategies. A new 16-year transportation funding plan and expected staff retirements will dramatically increase career opportunities at WSDOT.
    • Emergency Management Division: CAPAA and the Commission on Hispanic Affairs attended a follow-up meeting with EMD to receive an update on a pilot project in Eastern Washington. EMD will reach out to CAPAA when efforts expand to additional counties. EMD is assisting in CAPAA’s request to FEMA to translate emergency preparedness information for the Cambodian community.
    • Health Care Authority: Participants at the Communities and Equity Accelerator Committee discussed potential committee objectives, which included collecting disaggregated data, developing an equity framework, supporting a diverse workforce, and involving underrepresented communities in decision-making.
    • Office of the Attorney General – Wing Luke Civil Rights Unit: Staff learned about the capabilities of the new office, which investigates discrimination in a range of areas, including in employment, housing, education, credit and insurance transactions, and at government offices and businesses that are open to the public.
    • Office of Education Ombuds: The agency has posted information on its website to help students and families process the tragedy that occurred in Orlando, including resources for LGBTQ youth and families and Muslim Americans.
    • Office of the Governor: Hundreds of community and civic leaders attended the Governor’s Race & Equity Summit on April 15 at Cascadia College in Bothell. The governor delivered opening remarks followed by the state ethnic commissions. Participants attended panel discussions on policing, youth engagement, and leadership.
    • Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: Staff is working to ensure OSPI submits a grant proposal for the US Department of Education’s AAPI Data Disaggregation Initiative. Funds could be used to analyze existing disaggregated data and develop strategies to improve academic outcomes.
    • Thurston Regional Planning Council: Staff attended an Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) Networking Session on June 7 to learn about ways agencies can reduce their daily commute.


  • Board Meetings: The next board meeting is on September 17 in Vancouver. The Commission’s 2016 board meeting schedule is posted at
  • Commissioners: Commissioner Didi Cabusao will be completing her term with CAPAA on June 30, 2016. The Commission is appreciative of Commissioner Cabusao’s commitment to representing the Filipino American community in the Yakima Valley and for supporting CAPAA’s two board meetings in Wapato that occurred in 2014 and 2016.


  • Education: 
    • Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC): Sili Savusa and former Commissioner Frieda Takamura are the Commission’s lead representatives on the EOGOAC. Julie Kang and Mele Aho serve as alternates. Gov. Inslee signed House Bill 1541 on March 30 at Aki Kurose Middle School. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and was based on the EOGOACs recommendations.
    • Education Roundtable: The ethnic Commissions are planning a second joint event in the Yakima Valley region and will build off of feedback received from the first roundtable event in January.
    • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Kathy Purcell, Mele Aho, and Julie Kang represent API communities in an effort to redesign Washington’s Accountability Plan for K-12 public schools. OSPI is convening a series of regional forums across the state through August 2. Visit for more information.
    • National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE): Staff provided an overview of efforts to form regional partnerships to align data at an iCount meeting on March 31 at Highline College. Other presenters discussed the impact of including communities of color in policymaking and efforts at local colleges to utilize data visualization tools to provide more actionable data to support student success.
    • OSPI Language Access Advisory Committee: Commissioner Lori Wada represents CAPAA on the committee to develop sample materials for school districts regarding parents’ rights to language access services. The Committee will complete its work by July 1, 2016.
    • Our Future Matters: Two UPRISE Summits are being planned for October 8 at Highline College and October 29 at Clover Park Technical College.
    • Results Washington: Ed Prince, executive director of the Commission on African American Affairs, will serve as the council lead for Goal 1: World-class Education.
    • Southeast Asian Advisory Committee: The next meeting is scheduled for June 22. The committee was formed through advocacy efforts by the community to increase access to higher education for Southeast Asian American students.
    • Southeast Asian American Education Coalition (SEAeD): The Coalition has scheduled its third UNITE Summit for October 29th at Highline College, which recently became an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI).
  • Health and Human Services: 
    • Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities: Commissioner Lori Wada is CAPAA’s representative on the Council. The Council met on May 11 in Wenatchee to hear about local initiatives to promote health equity. The next meeting is scheduled for September 15 in Tacoma.
    • Health Equity for COFA migrants: Staff is coordinating with Marshallese leaders and allies and working to outreach to other COFA communities and Pacific Islander leaders around improving health equity for migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Staff is working to increase knowledge of policy proposals and hear community feedback.
    • Mental Health: Governor Inslee has proclaimed July 2016 as Mental Health Awareness in Communities of Color Month. The Commission will be working to increase mental health awareness through media and spokespersons during this time.
    • Pacific Islander Health Board: Staff attended the PI Health Board Community Meeting on March 24 and a planning retreat with the Steering Committee to discuss the structure and role of the PI Health Board.
  • Economic Development:
    • Business Diversity Subcabinet: Gov. Inslee has convened a subcabinet focused on increasing access for small and minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses to contracting opportunities with Washington state government. The RFP for the upcoming disparity study was posted and proposals were due by June 10.
    • Results Washington: Gov. Inslee is scheduled to meet with Goal Council 2 on July 27 for a Results Review.