Friday, October 19, 2001

80-20 Honors Two Great Doers

On October 20, 2001, 80-20 will honor two great doers of the Asian Pacific American community with a banquet in Washington, D.C. They are Jenny Yang of Houston, Texas, and David Chu, who is an expatriate living in Switzerland. They will be presented with the Great Doer Award, a diamond-shaped crystal pillar symbolizing their illustrious quality.

Jenny Yang, wife and mother of two, is an executive in an oil company. She has always set aside time to serve our community, often volunteering for the toughest tasks.

In 2000, she spearheaded the Houston drive for 10,000 signatures to petition then-candidate Bush to commit to 80-20’s 4-point Declaration. In a city with an estimated Asian Am. population of 80,000, that is a Herculean task. She and her friends gathered signatures in shopping malls in countless weekends, rain or shine. Those 10,000 signatures from Houston helped launch 80-20 as a grass-roots organization.

This year, Jenny spearheaded 80-20’s flag project in Houston. She and her co-workers planted 1000 flags in the walkways of Chinatown on July 4. Weeks in advance, they walked Houston's Chinatown asking shop owners to display flags. During that process, they learned that many shops have brick fronts for which the installation of a flag holder would be very difficult, and immediately alerted the National 80-20 to adjust its strategy in the "Flag Campaign." That timely advice contributed to 80-20’s successful flag campaign in Boston, NY, Fremont, Washington, D.C., Oakland, Cleveland, LA, etc.

David Chu, husband and father of three, is an executive in global technology management. He has been active in the Asian American equal rights movement since 1972. Whenever inequities perpetrated by the mainstream media appeared, David wrote to the editor and normally got his view published.

Since learning about 80-20 last year, David has participated in LA80-20 chapter, when he is visiting US. He has written essays promoting 80-20's ideals and goals, essays that were widely read and having deep impact on their readers.

One of those essays sprang from his intensely personal tragedy. On August 28, 2000, David's son Jamie was killed in a car accident. While waiting outside the hospital room of his seriously injured wife, David wrote a three-part article in remembrance of Jamie's life as an Asian American boy growing up in the United States. He wrote about Jamie’s joy and privileges as an American, as well as Jamie’s frustrations when he was discriminated against in school. Those articles inspired his readers to work harder for the Asian Am. community, particularly our children. David also wanted something meaningful to remember Jamie by. He and his friends raised more than $20,000 to set up a Jamie Chu Memorial Fund in care of 80-20, to be used to fund community outreach and in particular youth outreach.

David Chu and Jenny Yang are doers, not talkers. They are first in battle, last to accept credit. They enrich our community by setting personal examples.

* * * * * * * * * * *
80-20 is a national nonpartisan Political Action Committee dedicated to winning equal opportunity and justice for all Asian Pacific 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. Hence, the name "80-20" was created. For more details, visit