Saturday, May 20, 2017

I am not a token Republican!

An Insider's View of 80-20

Before I joined the board of 80-20, I was told that this was a group of Democrats. And that I would be the token Republican who will give the organization a bipartisan facade. Given the hyper-partisan nature of our current political climate, it is understandable that many see politics as an us-against-them, no-holes-barred, zero sum, contact sport. 

After attending two board meetings and getting to know some of my fellow board members, I am very pleased to discover that 80-20 consists of civic minded citizens who all want to make America better for everyone. This is not a board beholden to any political party. We are ready and willing to work with members of all parties on the part of their agenda that are also consistent with our vision.
During the board meetings, we discussed a wide range of issues. We talked about how Asian Americans are systemically discriminated against in the college admission process. We talked about how best to unite recent immigrants and long-established Asian American communities. And we talked about strategies to elect public servants who can adequately represent the interests of the communities they seek to represent, and more importantly, how to keep those politicians honest in fulfilling that obligation.
Today, the diverse and growing communities of Asian Americans, while thriving, are still facing many institutional and social obstacles. Some of these issues must be solved with education and outreach, other issues will require strategic political involvement and activism. With 80-20, we are confident that we can build a strong team that will contribute much to that shared mission. We welcome you to the team, too.

Sincerely,
George Yang 
Board of Directors, 80-20PAC
San Francisco Bay Regional President, California Congress of Republicans
County Captain, Republican Presidential Campaign, 2016
Vice Chair, South Peninsula Area Republican Coalition, 2013
Republican National Delegate, 2012
Former CEO of ETA Tech, Inc. in El Monte, California

Friday, May 12, 2017

Our Journey Is Not Over

How did we come to America?
According to a comprehensive nationwide survey published by the Pew Research Center in 2012: "Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success."
Asians didn't come to this country as students in elite universities, nor did they get their first jobs as professors, doctors and high-tech engineers. In fact, many came as laborers to work on the
Intercontinental Railroad. Others worked long and hard for pittances at unrewarding, menial jobs. In 1882, the U.S. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, and it was not until 1965, when the Hart-Celler Act was passed, that Asians (and some other minority groups) were allowed to immigrate to the US in significant numbers, to then become US Citizens.
In spite of the glowing description of Asian American successes by the Pew Report, Asian Americans have not reached parity with other racial and ethnic groups. There is still a "bamboo ceiling" over our heads in the corporate, academic, political and judicial worlds, and we are not as well organized to "empower" ourselves as other ethnic minorities.
This is the reason for the existence of the 80-20 PAC. We are a national, nonpartisan, Political Action Committee dedicated to winning equal opportunity and justice for all Asian Americans through a SWING bloc vote, ideally directing 80% of our community's votes and money to the presidential candidate endorsed by the 80-20 who better represents the interests of all APAs. 
Our mission is clear. 80-20 will work hard to educate and promote voter participation, encourage our members to participate in and contribute to APA communities, and to participate as a united voting block to break the "bamboo ceiling." We cannot succeed without your enthusiastic support and your contributions. The more members we have, the greater our political leverage.
Sincerely,
Joel Wong
Board of Directors, 80-20PAC
joelinwong@aol.com


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Fighting Florida's Racist Constitution

Systemic Discrimination in Florida

ASIANS CANNOT OWN LAND/REAL PROPERTY IN FLORIDA

Did you know?
Can you do something about it?
Sure, you Can!

"All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness, to be rewarded for industry, to acquire, possess and protect property; except that the ownership, inheritance, disposition and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship may be regulated or prohibited by law.  No person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability."
On the first reading, without paying attention to the underlined part, it looks OK.  But, if you look at the part underlined, which through the definition of Citizenship directly implies Asians, it creates a serious problem.  The Naturalization Act of 1870 limited US Citizenship to "white persons and persons of African descent"  thus effectively barring Asians from citizenship. 
This law is reminiscent of the Alien Land Laws enacted in 1913 in California, prohibiting Koreans to buy or lease farm lands.  This kind of restriction became a countrywide phenomenon where all the States in the union passed similar laws, including Florida in 1926.  Then some sanity prevailed, the California Supreme Court ruled these laws unconstitutional, and states started modifying these restrictions from 1956 onward. New Mexico did away with its restrictions in 2006.  Florida is the only State where these discriminatory and racist laws remain on the books. 
Florida does have a provision to revisit its Constitution with a view to revising it, every twenty years, through a Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC).    CRC was constituted again in 2017 and has begun its listening tour.
On Thursday, April 6, 2017 a presentation was made to the commission to repeal this law, often known as the Alien Land Law.   80-20 was part of the presentation.  More presentations of this kind are needed to appeal to the good sense of the CRC, emphasizing that such discriminatory & racist laws have no place in a civilized society like the USA.  The residents of the State of Florida can do it by writing to the CRC at admin@flcrc.gov or by making a presentation wherever the CRC is meeting.  Floridian Asians, this is your chance to get it fixed! In fact, for Asians to have a voice, it is essential that they be united.  
One of the easiest ways to do that is by joining 80-20 PAC, where a Volunteer Board keeps an eye on issues that negatively impact the welfare of the Asian Community.
To join 80-20, please follow the previous link, or click on 

 
Sincerely,
Dr. Piyush C. Agrawal
80-20PAC Board Member
 

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