The following Executive Director’s Report was submitted to the Commission at its November 19, 2016, board meeting at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. The Report covers a time period from September 18 to November 18, 2016. View in PDF format.


  • Budget: The Commission is operating within its current fiscal year budget of $231,000. The projected ending balance on June 30, 2017, is $635. The non-state allocation amount is $18,600.


  • 2017-19 Budget: The Commission’s 2017-19 budget request was submitted to OFM budget staff for review in September. The Governor’s budget proposal is expected to be released in December.
  • Interns: The Commission is seeking applicants to serve as Legislative Interns for the upcoming session. Details on how to apply are available on the website.


  • Legislative Session: The 2017-19 session will begin on January 9, 2017, and is scheduled for 105 days. Lawmakers will pass new laws, approve a new two-year state budget, and consider how the national election results will impact health care, immigration, education, the state budget, and more.
  • Events: The Ethnic Reception is tentatively scheduled for the evening of February 7. The event is an opportunity for Commissioners and community members to network with the governor and elected officials. APA Legislative Day is tentatively scheduled for February 23. The event, which is organized by the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, brings hundreds of community members to Olympia to engage with their legislators about budget and policy concerns.
  • Joint Legislative Task Forces:
    • Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing: The last Task Force meeting is scheduled for November 21 in Olympia. Task Force members will present, discuss, and adopt recommendations in order to issue a report in December. Toshiko Hasegawa represents CAPAA, JACL Seattle, and the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition on the Task Force. CAPAA convened three meetings to hear community input and will work to inform community members about the recommendations in December. More details will be posted on our website.
    • The Task Force on the Use of Body Worn Cameras: The Task Force met in Richland in October to review body-worn camera technology. The meeting is available in TVW’s archive. Sokha Danh and Molly Harper Haines represent CAPAA on the Task Force. A report is due December 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): Community leaders met Dr. Shouan Pan, the new chancellor of Seattle Colleges, and Rickey Hall, the new vice president for the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and chief diversity officer at the UW, at the October meeting. The final APDC meeting of 2017 is scheduled for December 14 in Seattle. Save the date for the 20th anniversary of the APA Heritage Month celebration at Seattle Center on May 7, 2017.
    • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC): The Commission and APIC convened a meeting with WSU’s president on October 7 to discuss concerns regarding the fair treatment of Pacific Islander student-athletes who are navigating WSU’s conduct board process. The community expressed concerns about the lack of diverse faculty and support for Pacific Islander athlete recruits and the need to reform WSU’s student conduct code to ensure due process for all students. Subsequently, APIC sent a follow-up letter, held a press conference on October 31, and attended a Board of Regents meeting on November 4 to advocate for Mr. Robert Barber. At the Regents meeting, WSU announced it would enable Mr. Barber to complete his coursework off-campus in order to graduate in December, while still serving his suspension. Mr. Barber appealed his case to Whitman County Superior Court. On November 16, the judge granted an immediate stay in WSU’s suspension of Mr. Barber on grounds that the student conduct board destroyed original questions submitted by Mr. Barber to ask witnesses. WSU hired an independent analyst in late October to review its conduct board process and will issue findings within 60 days.
    • Chuukese community: Staff met with a leader in the Chuukese community to discuss inequities when accessing the health care system and ways to support youth in the community.
    • Commission on Pacific Islander Affairs proposal: Pacific Islander representatives on CAPAA will meet with members of the Pacific Islander Studies Institute, NAPA, and other partners in December to discuss their proposal to create a Commission on Pacific Islander Affairs and name April as Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
    • Lao community: Staff met with a leader in the Lao community to discuss efforts to conduct a needs assessment and seek funding to develop a community center.
    • Northwest Association of Pacific Americans: Staff attended the NAPA meeting on October 3 and gave updates about the COFA Community Meeting in Auburn.
    • Community Events: Staff attended numerous community events to connect with constituents and learn about community issues and concerns. Events included Reception for Dr. Shouan Pan, International Examiner Community Voice Awards, Memorial Service for Uncle Bob, Filipino American History Month Celebration in Kenmore, FACES Annual Conference, APCC 20th Anniversary, Hmong New Year, Filipino Community of Seattle Annual Gala, ACLF Leadership Symposium, Grantee-Grantmaker Exchange, and Students of Color Luncheon at Clark College.
  • Federal and Local Outreach: The Commission continues to maintain relationships with federal and local agencies to stay apprised of policies impacting AAPI communities in our state.
    • National Park Service – Seattle area: The NPS celebrated its centennial birthday this year. Staff met with NPS to discuss diversity and outreach strategies to increase AAPI utilization of NPS sites.
    • US Census Bureau: State and Census Bureau staff discussed the upcoming 2020 Census. Two test sites have been selected in Washington, which include the Colville Reservation and Pierce County. Congressional cost-saving measures will result in more reliance on technology rather than door-to-door canvassing. The Census form will present a new way to fill out race and ethnicity data and potentially include options to identify as North African and Middle Eastern.
    • Public Health – Seattle & King County: Staff at PHSK presented about the AAPI disaggregated data that is available and reportable. Due to sample size, many years of survey data are aggregated in order for data to be reported. Community members discussed concerns and opportunities to improve the collection and reporting of health-related AAPI disaggregated data.
  • 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 scheduled to meet on December 2.
    • Department of Financial Institutions: Staff connected with DFI’s Consumer Services division, which licenses and regulates business activities of consumer loan companies, mortgage brokers, escrow agents, etc., to learn about its areas of responsibility and discuss outreach strategies to AAPI communities.
    • Department of Health: A Stakeholder Summit for the Diabetes Epidemic and Action Report was held on October 25 in Olympia. Participants discussed costs, prevention, management, and coordination of care. A report to the Legislature will be submitted by June 2017. Commissioner Sinclair attended on behalf of CAPAA.
    • Department of Labor and Industries: The Language Access Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on December 6 to review Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Services and other updates on ways to improve services for LEP communities.
    • Emergency Management Division: The second Whole Community Subcommittee convened on Nov. 8 to discuss the draft charter, committee membership, and equity issues related to emergency preparedness and disaster response.
    • Office of Education Ombuds: The Commission and OEO are convening a roundtable meeting with the Nepalese community on December 3 in Lake Forest Park.
    • Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: The US Department of Education has announced that Washington’s application for the AAPI Data Disaggregation Initiative was approved. Funds will be provided to analyze existing disaggregated data and develop strategies to improve academic outcomes.

      OSPI has released the draft Every Student Succeeds Act Consolidated Plan for a 30-day public comment period. ESSA replaced No Child Left Behind when Congress approved it in December 2015. As a result, education stakeholders have been working throughout the year to create a draft plan, which will impact our state’s academic standards, testing, accountability measures, and achievement targets. Visit for more information.


  • Board Meetings: The Commission’s 2017 board meeting schedule will be posted at prior to year end.


  • Education:
    • Asian American Studies at UW: University of Washington President Cauce responded to the concerns of the community regarding the Asian American Studies program at the UW. The College of Arts & Sciences will conduct a search in 2016-17 for two faculty and hopes to do the third search in the 2017-18 academic year. CAPAA sent a follow-up email in mid-November inquiring about the College’s process for recruitment and whether community members will have an opportunity to participate.
    • Chronic Absenteeism Workshop: Pacific Islander students in Washington have the second highest rate of chronic absenteeism. Staff successfully advocated for OSPI to translate its Parent Attendance Letter into the following additional languages: Samoan, Tongan, Marshallese, Chuukese, and Fijian.
    • Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC): Sili Savusa and former Commissioner Frieda Takamura represent CAPAA on the EOGOAC. Julie Kang and Mele Aho serve as alternates. The next meeting is December 20.
    • Education Roundtable: The ethnic Commissions held a second roundtable meeting at Heritage University in Toppenish on October 15 about the opportunity gaps and implementation of House Bill 1541. Members of the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee participated in a panel discussion and more than 50 community members attended and provided input.
    • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Kathy Purcell, Mele Aho, and Julie Kang represented API communities in an effort to redesign Washington’s Accountability Plan. OSPI is seeking comment on its ESSA draft plan. Three meetings took place this month and a webinar is scheduled for Nov. 28. Visit for more information.
    • Our Future Matters: The UPRISE Pacific Islander Education Summits at Highline College and Clover Park Technical College were powerful and well-attended by students, educators, and family and community members. Workshops and speakers addressed the importance of identity and cultural-relevance in supporting the success of Pacific Islander students in school and life.
    • Race and Ethnicity Student Data Task Force: To implement House Bill 1541, OSPI convened a Task Force to further disaggregate student data and develop best practices for data collection. Brianne Ramos, Dolly Nguyen, Erin Okuno, and Lina Thompson represent API communities on the task force. The next meeting is December 7. Visit for more information.
    • Southeast Asian American Education Coalition (SEAeD): The UNITE Southeast Asian Education Summit took place on October 29th at Highline College. The event showcased the culture and identities of SE Asian communities in relation to the education system, professional development, policy arena, and mental health.
    • Student Discipline Task Force: To implement House Bill 1541, the task force has reconvened to review and recommend data collection standards and provide feedback in regards to changes in student discipline rules. Commissioner Lynette Finau represents the Commission on the task force. The next meeting is scheduled for December 6 at Highline College.
  • Health and Human Services:
    • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Advocating Together for Healthy Communities (APICAT): Staff attended the APICAT meeting and learned about their work to educate youth and families about marijuana prevention. The Department of Health granted the Tailored Youth Marijuana Prevention Marketing contract to APICAT, which will develop culturally relevant marijuana education messages for Asian and Pacific Islander youth ranging from 12 to 16 years old. Proposed activities include community engagement sessions and marketing materials that are developed in partnership with API youth. Staff provided an update on the revised marijuana rack cards produced by the Liquor and Cannabis Board.
    • COFA Alliance National Network Retreat: Staff attended the annual retreat and met with COFA leaders from other states to learn about efforts to provide affordable health care to COFA communities.
    • Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities: Commissioner Lori Wada is CAPAA’s representative on the Council. The next meeting is scheduled for December 14 in Tumwater. Commissioner Sinclair is scheduled to present her work on diabetes.
    • Health Equity for COFA migrants: CAPAA convened a meeting in Auburn on Oct. 1 and Spokane on Oct. 22 to hear from community members and discuss proposals to improve health equity for migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Leaders from the COFA Alliance National Network discussed a program implemented in Oregon to help COFA migrants gain access to health care.
    • Pacific Islander Coalition Meeting: Staff met with Pacific Islander leaders in Multnomah County, Oregon, and heard about their efforts to implement the Premium Assistance Program and engage Pacific Islander communities.
  • Economic Development:
    • Business Diversity Subcabinet: A roadmap is being developed to track objectives and milestones to achieve Gov. Inslee’s goal of increasing access for small and minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses to contracting opportunities with Washington state government.
    • Minority Business Policy Workshop: The third annual workshop brought business leaders together to discuss the current legal landscape, including Title VI, and strategies to increase participation and opportunities for minority-owned businesses.