Monday, December 22, 2008

A Personal Plea

Fellow Asian Americans,

I have less than 2 weeks left to serve you as 80-20's President. Please hear my last request.

First, let us recount what YOU have achieved with 80-20 this year:

Asian American elected officials uniting in urging Presidential candidates (first urging Sen. Clinton & then Sen. Obama) to address our community's concerns.

Iron-clad commitments from President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden to help Asian Americans achieve equal opportunity and equal justice.

Asian Americans voters, especially in the battleground states, uniting in helping to elect Obama and Biden, who share our community's concerns.

The appointment of 2 Asian American cabinet secretaries who share our community's concerns.

More Asian Americans who share our community's concerns volunteering to serve our community and our country. e.g. 80-20's judicial talent bank.

All of the above are unprecedented changes made possible because people like you responded to our calls to action. Congratulations to YOU for advancing our community's concerns.

But what was hard to gain can be easy to lose. How can we ensure our community's advancements are built on rock and not on sand?

When YOU buttress 80-20's grassroots foundations by joining as members.

Will you PLEASE spare $35, $50 or more, whatever you can afford, to help us reach our membership goal of 1600 by the end of 2008? Your membership will last through the end of 2009. We only need 30 more NEW members to reach our goal. To Join, visit

Thank you, and Happy Holidays.

With less than 2 weeks left to serve YOU,

Kathleen To
President, 80-20 PAC

Monday, December 15, 2008

Why so few AsAm College Presidents?

The following is from 80-20's newest Board Member, Roy Saigo, who has just retired as the President of St. Cloud Univ., the largest of the Minnesota state colleges. On 9/28/08, he published an article in "The Chronicle Of Higher Education" entitled:

Why There Still Aren't Enough Asian-American College Presidents

Roy's first paragraphs was:
"At age 5, my grandson understood fair play. If he didn't get his turn, he'd cry, "No fair!" As caring s, we intercede when we see children ignore or gang up on another child -- we tell them, "No fair!"

In between Roy's gave us these facts:

In 2005, the proportion of Asian Pacific Islander professors in the United States who held full-time positions was 7.6 percent. In comparison, a 2006 survey by the American Council on Education showed that only 0.9% of the president's job is held by Asian Americans.

In the fall of 2007, 18.3 percent of California State's undergraduate students identified themselves as being of Asian/Filipino/Pacific Island ethnicity. In the California State University system in the fall of 2006, 13.8 percent of the faculty was identified as Asians. So where are the
provosts and academic vice presidents?

Roy's last paragraphs was:
"The issue I have raised needs more than task forces, surveys, and recommendations -- there have been plenty of those over the years. There must be actions that can be monitored for quantifiable results. I hope someone won't have to write this commentary again in 10 years. Fair?"

Now, 80-20 asks, "Who or which organization do you think will be taking action on this matter?" As usual, 80-20 will be there!

Aren't you glad that some one like Roy Saigo is on 80-20's Board? The good news is that other NEW Board members are just as good & exiciting!

On a related front, if YOU want to see results in the real world, then search your heart and answer this question:

Did 80-20 do a good job in using the 2008 election to advance the interest of our community? If you are NOT a dues-paying member yet, please help back.

We need 40 more NEW members to make the goal of 1,600 members in 2008. If you join today, your membership counts toward 2008 AND 2009. To join, visit Fair?

Respectfully yours,

S.B. Woo
Acting (volunteer) Exec. Director for 80-20 PAC, Inc.

Friday, December 12, 2008

2 Asian Am Cabinet Secretaries

Under 80-20's leadership, our community's effort in the 2008 election has resulted in

a) 2 Asian Am. Cabinet Secretaries:
General Shinseki as the Veteran Affairs Secretary,
Noble Laureate Steve Chu as the Energy Secretary.

b) 2 top leaders in the Transition Team & 2 key staff in the White House:
Pete Rouse (Japanese Am. mother) as the Co-Chair of the Transition Team (TT) and Senior Advisor to the President, and
Chris Lu as the Executive Director of the TT and Cabinet Secretary for the President.

Do you believe in giving credit when credit is due? We know you do.

So please help us achieve our goal of 1600 members in 2008? We need 60 more NEW members to achieve the goal. If you join today, your membership counts toward 2008 AND 2009.

Join 80-20 by clicking on 80-20 doesn't claim all the credit. However, have we earned your support as a dues-paying member? It's only $35 per year. Thank you.

With 19 more days to serve you,

Kathleen T

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Personal Appeal

Dear Friends:

This is my swan song as 80-20's President. I beg for your indulgence.

I am honored to have had the privilege to serve you as a volunteer for these past six years, four as Secretary of 80-20, and the past two as the President. When I felt discouraged or overwhelmed, your support sustained me. Regretfully, pressing personal affairs will keep me from serving as President after this year. Since becoming involved with 80-20, I have devoted several hours each day and donated almost $5,000 to the organization. But this is not enough. Only, TOGETHER, can we build a better tomorrow. No one can do it alone.

Would you please accept my last request? Please join 80-20. We have come such a long way together, but to guarantee that our gains will last, we need YOUR support. Please go to: to join TODAY.

If you join now, your membership lasts till the end of 2009. We aim for 1600 members by the end of this year. Won't you be one of the 80 pioneers who will help us reach that goal? THANK YOU.

I became involved with the Asian American community when I realized that if I wanted equal rights as an Asian American, I needed to personally fight for them. After about 15 years of involvement in the Texas Asian American community*, I became increasingly aware of the need for a national Asian American organization that can fight for ALL Asian Americans, because local or state organizations cannot carry the fight alone. That's when I became involved with 80-20.

As 80-20's President, I have aimed to help build a better tomorrow together. Under my tenure, more Board members have become involved in 80-20's day-to-day operations, and we have worked more closely with other national Asian American organizations and with Asian American elected officials. Asian American officials, especially, came together splendidly during the election season by urging Senators Clinton and Obama to make iron-clad commitments to our community by responding to our questionnaire. We secured both Senators' commitments by early 2008.

Thanks to these collaborative efforts, and thanks especially to the hard work and leadership of Immediate Past President, S.B. Woo, we are now a GIANT step closer to equal opportunity and justice. We fought for Senator Obama's election, especially in the battleground states. With his election, 80-20 has input at the highest stages in appointing federal judges and officials who care for our community.

However, much remains to be done. My major disappointment as President has been the drop in membership, especially during my first year. Since then, Amy Wong Mok, our vice president, has increased recruitment of life members through her 1000 x 1000 initiative, and we are recovering from 2007's drop in annual members. However, we are not doing well enough. Without a large base of members, 80-20 cannot ensure that the gains we have all fought for - that YOU have fought for - will last. More members - both Life and annual - ensure a deeper base of grassroots support.

Just imagine. Would our community be this close to attaining equal rights without an 80-20? Can we afford to lose this golden opportunity?

Please then consider my last request as President. Can you spare $35, $50, or more? Help yourself and your children solidify our community's gains by helping 80-20 achieve a membership of 1600 by the end of this year. We only need 80 more members to achieve this goal.

Go to: to join TODAY.

PLEASE, PLEASE pitch in.

TOGETHER, we build a better tomorrow.


Kathleen To,
80-20 PAC, Inc.

* I founded the first Asian American organizations in the Dallas area in 1985: OCA's Dallas chapter and the Asian American Women Business Owners' Association in 1985. I subsequently established and chaired the Asian American Advisory Council to the Governor from 1990-1994, which helped to secure a significant number of Asian American appointments to key state government positions.