The following Executive Director’s report was submitted to the Commission at its November 18, 2017, board meeting at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma. The report covers a time period from September 16 to November 17, 2017. View in PDF Format.


  • Budget: The Commission is operating within its fiscal year budget of $253,000. Other fund sources total $15,728.
  • 2017-19 Budget: Commissioner Donny Rojo will resign effective Nov. 22 since he is relocating out of state. The Commission encourages members of the public to apply to serve as a commissioner.
  • Commissioners: Commissioner Darren Pen completed his term on June 30, 2017. Governor Inslee reappointed Vice Chair Lisa Dickinson and Commissioner Mohan Gurung and appointed Donny Rojo and Ekkarath Sisavatdy to CAPAA beginning July 1.
  • Board Meetings: The Commission will convene five public board meetings in 2018. The meeting dates will be posted soon on the website.
  • 2017 Legislative Report Back
  • APIC and CAPAA are co-hosting a meeting on Dec. 7 at Asian Counseling and Referral Service with legislators to inform our communities about the 2017 and upcoming 2018 legislative sessions. The 2018 session will convene on January 8.


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.

  • Early Learning Advisory Council: The Council met on Oct. 3 to discuss issues such as standards alignment and Working Connections Child Care. The next meeting is on Dec. 5 in Seattle. 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 Sept. 19, Oct. 12, and Nov. 13 to review and discuss juvenile justice, culturally responsive practices, the Every Student Succeeds Act & the role of Tribes, community truancy boards, and more. Frieda Takamura and Sili Savusa are CAPAA’s lead representatives. The EOGOAC held a community forum on Oct. 12 about OSPI’s proposed student discipline rule changes. The next meeting is December 19.
  • Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: The AAPI English Learner Data Disaggregation Grant Advisory Committee met in Tacoma on October 26 to hear updates from local school districts.
  • Office of the Education Ombuds: OEO staff presented at the Hmong New Year event at Seattle Center to inform the community about its services and the World Language Credit Program.
  • UPRISE Pacific Islander Education Summit: Hundreds of Pacific Islander youth, families, and community members convened on Oct. 14 at Highline College to focus on how learning more about history and culture can help Pacific Islanders navigate race, poverty, health care, justice, and, most importantly, education. Commissioner Lynette Finau co-presented a session for parents where they developed strategies about how the education system and community can work together to promote school attendance.

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: In November, members received an update about the Crisis Text Line and legislative proposals.
  • Health Care Authority: The Community & Equity Accelerator Committee relaunched in October and will focus on several issue areas including data disaggregation, workforce, and Foundational Community Supports.
    Staff co-facilitated discussions on health equity at the Healthier Washington Symposium on October 19 and participated on a panel discussion to highlight issues impacting AAPIs and communities of color.
  • Health Equity for COFA communities: Commission and HCA staff met with sponsors of COFA legislation to review the proposal and how it would benefit the community.
  • Interagency Work Group on Youth Homelessness: Commissioner Nam Nguyen represents CAPAA on the work group. The work group met in September to discuss the Family In Need of Services Act and data. The next meeting is Nov. 21 in Olympia.

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.

  • Business Diversity Subcabinet: Technical Teams are focused on areas such as Measurement Framework, Community of Practice, Technical Assistance, and more. A statewide disparity study is underway and a series of stakeholder meetings were held in October and November, with the last one on Nov. 30 in Vancouver.
  • Department of Enterprise Services: The agency is seeking small, minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses as well as non-profits for the blind to serve in an advisory capacity to the Enterprise Services contracts and procurement division.
  • Department of Transportation: The agency released its 2017 Disparity Study and its proposed overall Federal Highway Administration Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goal of 19 percent, which is based upon the study.


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 agencies, state agencies, legislative members, and municipalities.

  • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition: The King County Chapter continues to track and engage on issues such as the shooting death of Tommy Le, Pacific Islander studies at the University of Washington, and other federal, state, and local issues. APIC has selected January 23 to hold APA Legislative Day, which will involve meetings with APIC and community leaders and the governor and legislators.
  • Community Events: Staff attended numerous community events to connect with constituents and learn about community issues and concerns. Events included the AAPI National Week of Action on Immigration event, Filipino Community Alliance’s Filipino American History Month Celebration, Hmong New Year Celebration, and ACLF Community Project Presentation.


The Commission maintains relationships with state agencies and also local and federal governments 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.

  • Emergency Management Department: The Commission participated at the Severe Winter Weather Preparedness Tabletop Exercise on November 1 to discuss how AAPI and limited English proficient communities would be impacted.
  • Governor’s Office: Inslee announced the appointment of Blaine Tamaki to the University of Washington Board of Regents in October. Tamaki is a longtime resident of Yakima and has practiced as a trial lawyer for 35 years. Community leaders will meet with the new regent on Nov. 22 in Seattle.
  • Interagency Equity Workgroup: Staff heard about agency efforts to promote equity in state contracting.
  • Task Force on the Use of Body Worn Cameras: The Task Force met on Sept. 19 in Tacoma and Oct. 16 in Ellensburg. The next meeting is scheduled for November 29. Joanne Alcantara and Sokha Danh were appointed by the Commission to voice API perspectives.
  • Washington Student Achievement Council: Staff connected about the upcoming Pave the Way conference, resources such as the Ready Set Grad website, and legislative efforts.