Friday, September 28, 2007

Success! Legislations Endorsed by 80-20 Have Been Passed

By David Yang, Chair of the Committee on Legislation

Dear 80-20 Members and Supporters,

Great news from Capitol Hill! It’s my great pleasure and privilege to report to you that, thanks to the support of concerned citizens like yourself, two of the three pieces of legislation that 80-20 endorsed in May have been passed with flying colors, and a third has also been moved out of Committee and is well on its way to passage.

On July 30th, the House passed the Resolution introduced by Rep. Mike Honda of San Jose calling upon the Japanese government to formally acknowledge and apologize for the use of `comfort women' during WWII. In the end the Resolution was cosponsored by 167 members of the House – nearly 40% of its membership. The overwhelming support received by this Resolution is a testament to the decency and conscience of the American people, and former Prime Minister Abe of Japan was forced to backtrack from earlier comments denying state responsibility in the use of “comfort women”. Again, we applaud Rep. Honda’s moral courage, and congratulate the U.S. Congress for taking up the cause of the powerless.

A second piece of good news came on Sept. 7th, when the U.S. Senate along with the House passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. This landmark financial aid bill incorporates Rep. David Wu's legislation to expand educational opportunities for low-income Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) students. Rep. Wu is a member of the Education and Labor Committee and was appointed to the House-Senate conference committee on this bill. The bill will provide grants to eligible colleges and universities to improve services for low-income AAPI students, such as the purchase of educational materials and community outreach programs for high school students. Previously, institutions that serve large numbers of low-income AAPI students have not had access to such grants, and AAPI students from low income households did not receive the assistance long available to other minority groups. The passage of this bill is an important first step in the right direction. The bill has been presented to the President on Sept. 19th and is expected to be signed into law.

Finally, I am also pleased to report that the Filipino Veterans Equity Act, sponsored by Rep. Bob Filner of California, was moved out of the House Veterans Affairs Committee on July 17th and is expected to come up for a House vote in the near future. With 98 cosponsors in the House, the bill is expected to pass the House without difficulty. A similar bill has also been sponsored by Sen. Inouye in the Senate. The Bill grants Filipino veterans who fought under U.S. command during WWII the same veterans’ benefits enjoyed by other American veterans. It will restore to them the same health and pension benefits enjoyed by other American veterans, as promised them by President Roosevelt 66 years ago.

In unity there is power. While we cannot claim sole credit for the progress made on these issues, we did our part by shining a spotlight on them and keeping them on the public agenda. While our elected representatives deserve the lion’s share of the credit, they did not and could not do it alone. In this great democracy the people control their own future. Your voice can and *has* made a difference!

On behalf of the entire 80-20 Board of Directors, we thank you again for your community spirit and enthusiastic support.

Join 80-20. Using a credit card, visit
http://www.80-20initiative.net/membership/payment.asp (easy to use) or
http://www.80-20initiative.net/membership/join.asp
PERSONAL checks are payable to "80-20 PAC", mailed to:
Jing-Li Yu Treasurer
P.O. Box 527340 Flushing, NY 11352-7340 .
Please write down your E-MAIL address & PHONE no. on the BACK of the check. Thank you.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Appeal for Voter Registration

By Joel Wong, Board Member, The 80-20 Initiative

This email is for US citizens NOT yet registered to vote.

Are you registered to vote?

Two types of citizens need to register: (1) those who've never registered, and (2) have registered but have moved to a new address. Please fulfill your obligation as a citizen and a model Asian American. Your vote is important in our democratic process, in our future, and in the future of our country.

Here is the EASIEST way to register to vote! It will be the most meaningful 10 minutes you'll spend in your life, for your children and future generations.

Visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/congressorg/nvra. The steps to Register to Vote are:

1. Select your state
2. Enter the required information
· Fill in all the required information as indicated by a red *
· Click on "instruction" as needed for further explanation
· After you have completed the required information, go to the bottom of the page to click on the "Preview My Voter Registration"
3. Print your voter registration application (requires Adobe Acrobat software which you can download free at this site)
4. Proofread, sign and date the voter registration application
5. Mail your voter registration application to the address on the form.

Upon receiving your application, your state will mail you a voter registration card. YOU NEED TO FILL THAT OUT AND MAIL IT IN. Only then are you truly registered.

Note that registering to vote is ALWAYS A TWO-STEP PROCESS, whether you register via a website or travel to a registration place.

Visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/congressorg/nvra/ NOW!

When the "Voter Registration Card" comes, you may want to choose to vote Absentee. That is you can "vote by mail" instead of going to a polling place. More and more people prefer to vote Absentee because it is easier and you have more time to study the candidates and issues.

Most states allow "vote by mail." About 20 days before the voting date, you will receive a ballot on which you may check for whom and on what issues to vote. Put the ballot in an envelope; sign on the backside of the envelope, mail it in and you will have voted. You will have fulfilled your duty as an Asian American and a US citizen who asserts his/her rights.

SAVE this e-mail & forward it to your relatives & friends. Thank you.

Join 80-20. Using a credit card, visit
http://www.80-20initiative.net/membership/payment.asp (easy to use) or
http://www.80-20initiative.net/membership/join.asp
PERSONAL checks are payable to "80-20 PAC", mailed to:
Jing-Li Yu Treasurer
P.O. Box 527340 Flushing, NY 11352-7340 .
Please write down your E-MAIL address & PHONE no. on the BACK of the check. Thank you.
 

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