The following Executive Director’s report was submitted to the Commission at its September 19, 2015 board meeting at the Korean Women’s Association in Tacoma. The report covers a time period from June 21, 2015 to September 19, 2015. View in PDF format.


  • Operating Budget: The Legislature approved a new 2015-17 operating budget that maintained the Commission’s budget and included a general wage increase provided to state employees. The Commission began a new fiscal year on July 1, 2015 with a budget of $222,000.


  • Upcoming Audit: The Washington State Auditor has notified the Commission that an accountability audit will be conducted. An accountability audit is based upon risk. Since an audit cannot include every single transaction or area, an accountability audit takes a selection of areas and determines if there is reasonable assurance that the agency has adequate internal controls and safeguarding of public resources from misappropriation or loss. This includes the design and maintenance of internal controls. The planning phase will begin in November 2015.


  • Legislative Session: The Legislature adjourned after 176 days in session on July 10, 2015 during the third special session. Legislators approved new operating, capital, and transportation budgets. Governor Inslee signed an operating budget that made significant new investments in K-12 education, lowered college tuition, and funded services to protect the most vulnerable. A legislative session budget recap is posted on the Commission’s website.


  • 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.
    • 40 Years since the Killing Fields: Staff attended the event commemorating the Cambodian people who were victims of a tragedy that took place 40 years ago. Community members shared their experiences and hopes for the future.
    • Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC): Staff attended a special APDC meeting to hear about King County’s county-wide Equity and Social Justice Ordinance.
    • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC): Staff continues to track advocacy efforts regarding Hepatitis B discrimination and changing federal policy to provide accommodations.
    • National Asian Pacific Center on Aging: Staff met with the director to learn about NAPCA’s programs and services.
    • Northwest Association of Pacific Americans: Staff attended the September meeting for the Board of Directors. Staff informed them of CAPAA’s upcoming board meeting and discussed events and issues in the community.
    • Pacific Islander Studies Institute: Staff attended the training at Green River College to connect with members of the community and meet a new generation of Pacific Islander leaders.
    • Community Events: Staff attended numerous community events to connect with constituents and learn about community issues and concerns. Events included the ACRS Walk For Rice, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Move It Day, Samoa Cultural Day, National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators Community Reception, Chinese American Citizens Alliance Welcome Dinner, Greater Seattle Chinese Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon, Asia Pacific Cultural Center Luau, and the City of Seattle Community Forum: Justice for Children of Filipino WWII Veterans.
  • 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): Staff and Commissioners attended a Roundtable event at Asia Pacific Cultural Center in June. Staff later connected with WHIAAPI’s Regional Director to discuss follow up activities such as an education roundtable in early 2016.
  • 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 Ty Tufono has joined the department’s Minority Business Roundtable. Through the Roundtable’s efforts, Associate Development Organizations will begin collecting metrics on their outreach efforts and support to minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses.
    • Department of Early Learning: State Rep. Ross Hunter and Chair of the House Appropriations Committee left his House seat to become the new director of the department starting September 8.
    • Department of Health: The department released a draft plan to invest revenue from recreational marijuana sales to prevent underage marijuana use and reduce tobacco use. The Commission provided feedback at a community meeting in Tacoma and recommended that culturally and linguistically competent strategies are used to reach and support efforts in diverse communities.
      • The Commission presented proposals to modify the Healthy Youth Survey and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey to collect disaggregated data for AAPIs. If adopted, these changes would help uncover disparities within the diverse AAPI populations.
    • Department of Licensing, Department of Labor and Industries, and US Department of Labor: LNI staff has convened an intergovernmental nail salon workgroup to ensure all applicable laws regarding health, safety, and worker rights are being followed by the industry. The members are creating a project plan to coordinate resources and efforts.
    • Department of Social and Health Services: Staff attended the State Prevention Enhancement (SPE) Policy Consortium to track five active workgroups on reducing underage substance abuse and addressing mental health issues.
    • Department of Veterans Affairs: Staff met with the director and leaders from the Filipino American community, including two former Commission directors. CAPAA facilitated the community leaders’ request to the Governor to send a letter to the state’s Congressional delegation regarding the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015.
    • Health Care Authority: Staff received a briefing on Healthier Washington, an effort to improve how we pay for services, ensure health care focuses on the whole person, and build healthier communities through a broad collaborative regional approach.
    • Liquor Control Board: Staff discussed the Commission’s proposal to modify the Healthy Youth Survey with LCB’s Public Health Education Liaison.
    • Office of Education Ombuds: OEO released its 2014-2015 annual report, which is available on its website at
    • Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: OSPI staff will be providing information on the new Common Core state standards and testing at the Commission’s September board meeting.
    • Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech): The Commission has begun working with a WaTech intern to construct data visualizations of AAPI Census data. Staff also connected with the Commission’s WaTech liaison regarding ongoing and upcoming initiatives.


  • Board Meetings: The Commission’s next board meeting is November 21 at the Filipino Community Center in Seattle. More details are available at
  • New Commissioners: Governor Inslee appointed three new commissioners in July: Dr. Ka`imi Sinclair, Dr. Lakshmi Gaur, and Dr. Tam Dinh.


  • Education: 
    • 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 is beginning preliminary discussions on its 2016 summit and is planning a launch event in January to expand community participation in this effort.
      • Our Future Matters: Staff attended a committee planning meeting for the UPRISE Summit on October 24, 2015 at Highline College. The theme for the event is to engage, empower, and equip Pacific Islander students with the skills and resources needed to continue on to higher education. Register for the event at The Commission will be staffing an information table.
    • 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.
    • National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE): The Commission and CARE will continue its partnership to advance the iCount: Equity through Representation movement in the state. The CARE team will be submitting a data request to investigate the transition between K-12 and higher education.
      • Staff attended the iCount Symposium in September in Washington, D.C. to participate on a panel discussion and co-facilitate a strategy session on moving data disaggregation forward at the state and national level.
    • Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program (TBIP) Accountability Task Force: Julie Kang, Director of Professional Learning at the University of Washington, represents the Commission on the task force. A final report will be submitted to the Legislature in January 2016. More information is available at
    • University of Washington President’s Southeast Asian Advisory Board: Staff attended the August meeting to meet Gabriel Gallardo, the interim Vice President for the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity at the University of Washington, and to discuss community concerns.
  • Health and Human Services:
    • Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities: Commissioner Lori Wada is CAPAA’s new representative on the Council. Staff presented to the Council about the Commission’s efforts to address health disparities and issues of concern in the community at its September meeting.
    • Making Stomach Cancer a Health Priority for APAs: Staff attended the August meeting to review the proposed agenda for the Stomach Cancer Summit in October.
    • Mental Health Summit: Staff attended planning meetings for the Mental Health Summit that will take place on February 20, 2015 at the University of Washington. The event will provide workshops and resources for college students and community members to destigmatize mental health in the Asian Pacific Islander community.
    • Pacific Islander Health Board: Staff is helping coordinate the next PI Health Board Community Meeting on October 7, 2015 at the White Center Community Development Association. The meeting will provide updates on the health of Pacific Islanders in Washington and discussion about the role of the PI Health Board in the community as well as a Commissioner presentation.
    • Preventing Underage Marijuana Use: Staff continues to attend the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition meetings. DSHS finalized the requested Mien and Cambodian information cards about preventing underage marijuana use. The Commission printed copies and is working to distribute to community-based organizations. In addition, CAPAA has requested that DSHS print copies of all translated marijuana education rack cards and enable the public to order copies online, which will be available at In addition, Tagalog, Samoan, and Tongan translations have been requested.
  • Economic Development:
    • Business Diversity Subcabinet: Inslee convened a new subcabinet focused on increasing access for small and minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses to contracting opportunities with Washington state government. The Commission is a member of the subcabinet and is responsible for supporting transparency, reporting, and communication with the community.
    • Minority Business Policy Workshop: Staff attended the second annual workshop in September. Community members shared challenges, opportunities, and actions to improve support for diverse small business owners.
    • Results Washington: CAPAA is participating on the Prosperous Economy Goal Council. The Governor received a Results Review presentation in July regarding efforts to increase state agency and educational institution utilization of minority, women, and veteran-owned business.