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: http://www.80-20initiative.net 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: http://www.80-20initiative.net 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.