Executive Director’s report to the Commission covering activities, progress, and updates from January 21 to March 17, 2018. View in PDF Format.


  • Budget: The Commission’s projected ending balance on June 30 is $13,000. The Commission is in the process of analyzing the impact of the 2018 supplemental budget. The budget included a pension shift and an allocation of $6,000 in support of the Ruth Woo Fellow participating in the Governor’s Leadership Academy Internship Program. Other fund sources total $15,478.
  • Board Meetings: The Commission will convene next on June 16 in Wapato, WA.
  • Ruth Woo Fellow: The Governor’s Office and the Commission are working together to support the Ruth Woo Fellowship for the summer of 2018. An announcement will be posted soon on the Commission’s website regarding the 2018 fellow.
  • 2018 Legislative Session: The Commission intends to partner with community groups to conduct report back sessions on budget items and policies that were approved or considered during the 2018 legislative session. In regards to the Commission, Substitute Senate Bill 5020 passed, which will expand CAPAA’s advisory role to include the Legislature. Additional information on the 2018 session will be available on the Commission’s website and presented at the March board meeting.


The Commission advises and collaborates with policy- and decision-makers in government and community-based organizations to achieve its 2015-18 Strategic Plan. Activities include examining and defining issues, informing and empowering stakeholders, and formulating and advocating solutions.

Education: Close the educational opportunity gaps that impact Asian Pacific American students.

  • Adult Education Advisory Council: The ethnic commissions presented about their respective roles and efforts to advance policies to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education.
  • ASPIRE Summit: Commissioners Guerrero and Sisavatdy and staff presented a workshop at the summit on February 3 about the role of CAPAA in supporting AAPI communities. The summit is a student support program made possible through federal funding from the Department of Education’s Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) grant.
  • Early Learning Advisory Council: The Council met on Feb. 6 to receive an update on Professional Development Workforce, ECEAP Expansion, and Early Achievers and discuss the Department of Children, Youth, and Families draft organizational structure. CAPAA appointed Susan Yang, Executive Director of Denise Louie Education Center, to the Council.
  • Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee: The EOGOAC met on Feb. 20 to hear an update on the Every Student Succeeds Act Plan and discuss its 2018 work plan. Co-Chair Sili Savusa and Frieda Takamura are CAPAA’s lead representatives. The next meeting is March 20 in Olympia.
  • GATE Partnership Advisory Committee: Staff heard the latest results from the Healthy Youth Survey and from students about why they dropout from school. An important take away was that truancy and early signs of truancy need to be addressed in a manner that is culturally appropriate and focuses on the student, schools, and communities.

Health & Human Services: Identify health disparity issues specific to the Asian Pacific American community and support identification and promotion of solutions.

  • Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention: A conference call in February included an initial discussion and recommendations on funding proposals for the next state budget.
  • Department of Health: The Commission is working with DOH to determine how to develop and improve systems and surveys that support the collection of disaggregated data and to advance health equity for underrepresented and underserved communities.
  • Health Care Authority: The Community & Equity Accelerator Committee convened meetings and staff participated on several conference calls focused on data collection to promote equity and the implementation of Foundational Community Supports (FCS). Amerigroup is expected to form an advisory committee to assist in FCS implementation and is seeking additional FCS providers.
  • Health Equity for COFA communities: The Commission met with several legislators to discuss legislation and testified at two committee hearings in support of legislation to improve COFA health equity. Substitute Senate Bill 5683 was approved by the House 57-41 and the Senate concurred in House amendments by a vote of 44-5. The bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
  • Interagency Work Group on Youth Homelessness: The work group met in January to hear an update from the Office of Homeless Youth Advisory Committee, details about the six innovation grant awardees, and work on a new youth at risk of homelessness screening tool. The next meeting is March 20. Commissioner Nguyen represents CAPAA on the work group.

Economic Development: Support Asian Pacific American business owners and those seeking to start and maintain a business with the knowledge, tools, and resources required to be successful.


The Commission meets with community leaders, community-based organizations, and coalitions to hear about issues and concerns and promote solutions. When necessary, casework and policy issues are brought to the attention of the Governor’s Office, federal and state agencies, legislative members, and municipalities.

  • Asian Pacific Directors Coalition: Staff provided an update on the 2018 legislative session at the February 14 meeting. APDC also heard a presentation from Seattle Public Schools about their equity formula and raised concerns about not including Asian American students. SPS leadership will follow up with API leaders based on its review of disaggregated data and student needs.
  • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition: APIC and API leaders met with the Governor and lawmakers on January 23 for APA Legislative Day. In February, the coalition joined other community organizations in calling for the Department of Licensing director to resign due to the sharing of personal information with federal immigration authorities by the agency. APIC worked with advocates to engage with King County’s Inquest Process Review Committee. The Commission provided updates about state government and the 2018 legislative session at the APIC meetings.
  • COFA Communities: Staff met with COFA community leaders in Olympia for the Children’s Alliance’s Have a Heart for Kids Day on February 8 to provide an update on COFA health care legislation. Members of the community were able to observe the Senate vote on the proposal.
  • Tacoma Healing Awareness Community Townhall: Staff provided information about CAPAA and heard concerns about the impact of federal deportation policies on SE Asian communities.
  • University of Washington: The Southeast Asian Advisory Board is looking to develop strategies and goals for the UW and its branch campuses on how to improve their support for SE Asian students. They are seeking more members from diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise to support their efforts. Students and stakeholders celebrated the launch of the Oceania and Pacific Islander Studies Minor, which has long been sought by Pacific Islander students and communities.
  • Community Events: Staff attended numerous community events to connect with constituents and learn about community issues and concerns. Events included the Khalsa Gurmat Center event, Vietnamese Community Civic Celebration, Equitable Economic Empowerment Charrette, Asia Pacific Cultural Center New Year Celebration, 37th Legislative District town hall, Elected Officials of Color Reception, Seattle Chinese Culture & Arts Association Lunar New Year event, and Talanoa: Pasifika on Race.


The Commission maintains relationships with state agencies and local and federal government to learn about programs and services that may impact AAPIs. The Commission advises and makes recommendations to government agencies on the development and implementation of policies, plans, and programs to support the unique needs of AAPI communities.

  • Department of Commerce: CAPAA worked with the agency to engage stakeholders on the new Opportunity Zone program. An application is open for local governments, tribes, associate development organizations, port districts, and housing authorities to nominate census tracts as Opportunity Zones by March 26. Visit commerce.wa.gov for more details.
  • Department of Licensing: In January, the Seattle Times reported that the agency was sharing Washington residents’ personal information with federal immigration authorities. In response, the agency took immediate actions to stop disclosure of information to federal immigration authorities without a court order signed by a federal judge or magistrate or under the requirement of state or federal law. DOL is continuing to implement initiatives to ensure the protection of information and rebuild trust, which include hiring a Director of Community Outreach and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager, revising application forms to limit the collection of personal information, staff training on language access and cultural humility, and continued stakeholder engagement.
  • White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: The Commission provided an overview of its role and efforts in Washington to improve the lives of AAPIs and the importance of elevating and representing the voices of AAPI communities in government. The discussion covered issues such as data disaggregation, DACA, immigration policy, Census 2020, health equity, and economic development.