The following Executive Director’s Report was submitted to the Commission at its March 21, 2015 board meeting at the City of Lacey Maintenance Service Center in Lacey. The report covers a time period from January 18, 2015 to March 21, 2015. View in PDF format.


  • Operating Budget: The Commission is projected to end the fiscal year on June 30, 2015 within its appropriated budget of $208,000. The Commission will be monitoring legislative proposals this session for impacts to its upcoming 2015-17 budget.

2. Management and Administration:

  • Strategic Planning: The Commission adopted 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.
  • Staff: Project Manager Amy Van will depart the Commission effective March 27 to continue her work in education at a Seattle-area non-profit organization. Amy has been an invaluable member of the CAPAA team and will be dearly missed. Amy’s many distinguished accomplishments include organizing CAPAA’s AAPI Opportunity Gap Community Forum, 40th anniversary event, and five public board meetings, as well as co-chairing the University of Washington Southeast Asian Advisory Committee, staffing the CAPAA Education Committee, and producing CAPAA’s communications products such as guest columns and legislative updates.


  • Legislative Session: The Legislature has 36 days remaining in the 105-day regular legislative session to approve legislation and the operating, capital, and transportation budgets. Bills are now being heard in committees in the opposite chamber. The House is expected to release its operating budget proposal next week followed by the Senate. Earlier this month, the Senate passed its $15 billion Transportation package. A revenue package including an 11.7-cent gas tax increase passed 27-22. The package funds multimodal options and grants Sound Transit the authority to seek future voter approval on the expansion of light rail. Gov. Inslee expressed concern about how the proposal would divert funding for schools, local government, and toxic clean-up and would impact Washington’s ability to measurably reduce carbon emissions. The Commission continues to send out its weekly Legislative Updates via email and website.
  • APA Legislative Day: On February 26, more than 1,000 APAs convened in Olympia to advocate for programs and services to support youth, families, elders, and refugees and immigrants to legislators and the Governor. The effort was organized by the statewide Asian Pacific Islander Coalition.
  • Ethnic Legislative Reception: On March 16, community members attended the Ethnic Legislative Reception in the Columbia Room in the Legislative Building to connect with the Governor and state legislators.
  • State Revenue Forecast: The February state revenue forecast, which was moved up a month, projects an increase of $274 million through 2017.


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 2015 legislative session, including the Governor’s proposed budget and legislation that CAPAA is tracking.
  • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC): APIC held a successful 2015 APA Legislative Day on Feb. 26 in Olympia. Staff continues to update APIC members on legislative issues and CAPAA’s work.
  • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Against Tobacco (APICAT): Staff attended APICAT’s January 27 meeting. CAPAA is coordinating with APICAT on prevention of underage marijuana and tobacco use.
  • Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF): Staff discussed opportunities to partner on future projects and encouraged ACLF to connect its youth leaders to employment and board/commission opportunities with the state.
  • Korean American Chamber of Commerce: Staff discussed outreach opportunities to support the Korean American business community. A community forum is being planned by the Chamber.
  • Tri-County Refugee Planning Committee: Staff attended the meeting to hear an update on the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which aims to provide better service for English language learners. Several committees convened by the Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board are meeting to implement the provisions of the act.
  • Community Events: Staff attended numerous community events to connect with constituents and learn about community issues and concerns. Events include the Organization of Chinese Americans Golden Circle Awards Banquet, Asia Pacific Cultural Center 17th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration, and Seattle Chinese Culture & Arts Association Lunar New Year Festival.

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 strategy session and community roundtable on immigration reform to discuss outreach on the President’s recently announced DACA/DAPA programs. All Commissioners are invited to attend the White House Summit on AAPIs on 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.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency: Staff discussed resources from FEMA to educate limited English proficient communities about disaster preparedness and response. Materials are available to be ordered and shipped free of charge at CAPAA is following up with the state’s Emergency Management Division regarding similar efforts.

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: Commissioner Dash and APA business leaders are representing CAPAA at the Minority Business Roundtable. The Roundtable has established two committees to develop strategies to increase opportunities for minority business participation with the agency’s programs and services.
  • Department of Health: Staff and Commissioners met with DOH deputy secretary and staff to discuss next steps to ensure AAPIs are reflected in statewide health surveys such as the Healthy Youth Survey and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. The data reported from the surveys inform policymakers and ultimately drive where resources are invested to address health equity.
    • Staff attended the first 2015 quarterly Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Technical Advisory Committee meeting to connect with experts on BRFSS and assess potential next steps on capturing disaggregated health data for AAPIs.
  • Department of Labor and Industries: Staff received a briefing on LNI’s efforts to ensure limited English proficient individuals are able to access the agency’s programs and services. LNI developed a language access policy and implementation plan and is making significant progress to ensure all staff are in compliance.
  • Department of Revenue: Staff discussed outreach, education, and training opportunities with DOR and the Korean American Chamber of Commerce.
  • Department of Social and Health Services: The agency is expected to produce its own parent’s guide to prevent underage marijuana use, which will be translated 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 recently updated The Small Business Guide, which is available in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, and online here: Staff on the Small Business Liaison Team worked closely with a volunteer from the Chinese Information and Service Center to review the translation quality of the Chinese-version of the guide.
  • Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises: CHA and CAPAA convened a meeting with OMWBE and WSDOT to discuss language access requirements for OMWBE to ensure limited English proficient individuals are able to access the agency’s programs and services.
  • State Board of Education: Staff attended a community roundtable to discuss ways SBE can better connect with communities of color regarding its efforts to close the opportunity gaps and improve educational outcomes for students.
  • 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.


  • Board Meetings: The Commission’s next board meeting is June 20 at the The Verdant Community Wellness Center in Lynnwood. More details are available at
  • Board Vacancies: The Commission will have several vacancies on the board. Members of the public can apply at CAPAA expects to announce its new Commissioners in July 2015. A commissioner helps examine and define issues pertaining to the rights and needs of Asian Pacific Americans, and makes recommendations to the Governor and state agencies with respect to desirable changes in program and law. They serve on a voluntary basis and have the responsibility to maintain communication with the community they represent as well as to the board.

6. Update on Issue Areas:


  • National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE): CARE released its new Washington State iCount Report, which analyzes the opportunity gaps through deeper disaggregation of Washington state student demographic data. CAPAA is working to print copies of the report and distribute to education stakeholders.
  • CAPAA Community Forum: CAPAA, CARE, Our Future Matters, and the Southeast Asian American Education Coalition co-sponsored a community forum on the AAPI opportunity gaps and to showcase the newly release CARE report. Commissioners Finau and Vue facilitated the event. More than 100 youth, educators, decision-makers, and community leaders attended on March 14 at New Holly Gathering Hall in south Seattle. CARE researchers Robert Teranishi, Ph.D and Bach-Mai Dolly Nguyen presented the report and participated on a panel discussion about the opportunity gaps.
  • 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 Education Coalition (SEAeD): SEAeD co-sponsored a screening of Pass or Fail in Cambodia Town at the Wing Luke Museum on January 30. SEAeD members presented at CAPAA’s education forum on the AAPI opportunity gaps on March 14.
    • Our Future Matters: OFM members presented at CAPAA’s education forum on the AAPI opportunity gaps on March 14.
  • Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC): Sili Savusa and former Commissioner Frieda Takamura are the Commission’s lead representatives on the EOGOAC. Visit for more information.CARE researchers Robert Teranishi, Ph.D and Bach-Mai Dolly Nguyen presented findings from the newly released Washington State iCount report at the March 17 meeting of the EOGOAC.
  • Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program (TBIP) Accountability Task Force: Commissioner Lynette Finau and Dr. Julie Kang, Director of Professional Learning at the University of Washington, represent CAPAA on the task force. The next meeting is April 20 in Burien. Visit for more information.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • Pacific Islander Group Discussions about Diabetes: The Commission partnered with the University of Washington Partnerships for Native Health and Pacific Islander community organizations to conduct focus groups to gather information on developing a culturally-appropriate diabetes self-management program for NHPIs in Washington State. A grant proposal was submitted by UW to fund the design and implementation of the program.

Economic Development:

  • Results Washington: CAPAA is participating on the Prosperous Economy Goal Council. The Goal Council met with Gov. Inslee on Feb. 25 to report on state efforts to increase the employment rate for veterans from 70.2% in 2012 to 72.6% by 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. Staff has joined OMWBE on two meetings with state and higher education institution procurement and purchasing personnel to discuss strategies to increase utilization of MWBEs.