Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), the establishment of the New York Chapter
Reported by Sing Tao Daily, World Journal, & China Press
Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) has been established eleven years in California and just launched its New York Chapter in Flushing on December 2, 2012. The organization empowers its members to take part in public affairs, to nurture the next generation to become future leaders, and to increase the political and economic status of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in the United States.
APAPA founder C. C Yin said that 11 years ago, the API community saw a need for and the importance of having representatives of API descent in public office, and this gave him and a few friends the insight to establish the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association, to nurture young people interested in politics to become future leaders. In recent years, the political and economic status of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans has increased significantly, and currently, APAPA has 20,000 members and 300 active volunteers. At the state level, API representatives in California grew from zero to 30, and even the mayor of the city of San Francisco is of Chinese descent. In this year’s congressional elections, there were 18 API candidates, six of which were elected to office.
The non-profit organization consists of all types of members, regardless of party preference. The three main core services include civic engagement, youth leadership, and community services. The organization provides its members with the opportunity to be proactive and to participate and educate themselves through voter’s registration, training and internship opportunities for the younger generation, workshops for financial literacy, and appointment programs to help members seek appointments in areas of government.
Congresswoman-elect Grace Meng said the creation of political history of Chinese in the United States is a joyous thing, but at the same time stresses that now should be the time to work hard to let the public see and understand the power in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. New York City Comptroller John Liu pointed out that the API population across the country has experienced substantial annual growth, according to the census data, but the number of elected representatives of API descent is not proportionate in comparison to the number of people in their respective communities. He said California’s participation in Asian politics has been a model for New York, with a female ethnic Chinese Congressmember-elect Grace Meng. Liu said, "With a Chinese mayor in San Francisco, who knows what will happen in New York?" Remarks won the audience with warm applause.
Welcoming remarks were received by Congresswoman Judy Chu, who sent a letter to congratulate the New York Chapter on its grand opening. Korean American Assemblyman-elect Ron Kim, New York State Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan and New York Supreme Court Justice Peter Tom were among many of the elected officials who attended to support and congratulate APAPA at the grand opening of their New York Chapter.
New York Chapter Board: Justin Yu, chairman; vice chairs Cynthia Chou, Dr. Howard Shiang, and Michael Wang; secretary general Ching K. Chen; chief advisor Jenifer Lin; vice supervisor Cheng Hui; advisor Tim Yang.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily NYC