National CAPACD Newsletter: July 2013

National CAPACD's 13th Annual Convention "Building Equity, Building Power: Redefining Community Development"
 
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237 "Building Foundations: Reflections from the Field" plenary, From left: Malcolm Yeung of the Chinatown Community Development Center, Michael Byun of Asian Services in Action, Inc., Seema Agnani of Chhaya Community Development Corporation
"Innovations in Community Development" plenary, From left: Mark Wilson of the Coalition for Responsible Community Development, Michelle Kauhane of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Myrna Melgar of the Mission Economic Development Agency, and Kimberly Latimer-Nelligan of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (left to right)
All photos courtesy of Les Talusan Photography

National CAPACD’s 13th Annual Convention, “Building Equity, Building Power: Redefining Community Development,” took place on June 2-5 in Washington, DC. More than 200 leaders representing Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities attended this year's convention to discuss key policy issues including housing finance reform, immigration reform, and the economic recovery. Attendees also shared best practices and strategies for organizing and supporting local community engagement in light of a rapidly growing AAPI electorate. 
 
This year’s featured speakers included Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5); Rep. Grace Meng (NY-6); Rinku Sen, President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and Publisher of Colorlines.com; Portia Wu, Senior Policy Advisor with the White House Domestic Policy Council; and Kimberly Latimer-Nelligan of the Low Income Investment Fund. As the closing keynote speaker, Secretary Shaun Donovan of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recognized the importance of National CAPACD’s housing counseling network in fighting foreclosures in our communities. He also congratulated National CAPACD on becoming a HUD One CPD Technical Assistance provider with our partner, the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, and committed to engaging with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to meet the economic and housing needs of low-income AAPI communities.
 
The convention also provided an opportunity for National CAPACD members to share their specific priorities and concerns with key policymakers during smaller, informal meetings: housing counselors met with Director Richard Cordray, a Minnesota delegation of community leaders met with Rep. Keith Ellison, and project managers and community development finance experts met with Secretary Donovan. Reverend Norman Fong, Executive Director of Chinatown Community Development Center and National CAPACD Board Member, and other community advocates met with Rep. Judy Chu to discuss strategies and updates on immigration reform.
 
Please visit our website for more information on National CAPACD’s 13th Annual Convention and to view selected presentations from some of our plenary and workshop sessions.
 
 
National CAPACD Releases Research Reports
 
During Convention, National CAPACD released two research reports:
  • “Taking Initiative in our Neighborhoods” documents challenges and successes of the AAPI Communities Taking Initiative in Our Neighborhoods technical assistance (ACTION TA) program. A core program of National CAPACD, ACTION TA is a national network-building initiative that builds organizational and program capacity using a model grounded in cultural-competency and peer-to-peer support.
  • “Integrated Financial Education and Asset Development Services within the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community” highlights innovative asset building and financial education strategies from practitioners across the country. Based on survey data from 43 community-based organizations, the report shows how they effectively deliver financial education and asset building to their communities. The report highlights successes from the field as well as opportunities for innovative programs that tie together asset building opportunities like individual development accounts with innovative culturally-competent financial education strategies.
 
 
Stand With Families: National AAPI Day of Action for Immigration Reform
 
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Immigration advocates and White House staff. From left, Jenny Seon, Immigrant Rights Project Director with KRC, Yong Hak Cho, Gautam Raghavan, Tuyet Duong, Mak Ok Cha, Reverend Norman Fong and Nebula Li.
 
Following National CAPACD’s 13th Annual Convention, attendees participated in a rally calling for immigration reform that keeps families together, as part of the Stand With Families: National AAPI Day of Action for Immigration Reform
 
Co-sponsored by National CAPACD, the event featured remarks by Rep Judy Chu (CA-27), Rep Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Wade Henderson (President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), and immigrant advocates from across the country. During the rally, Robin Danner of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement announced the launch of the First Americans for New Americans initiative to show Native people solidarity and support for immigration reform.  
 
 
 
Spotlight: Asian American and Pacific Islander Poverty
 
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On June 21st, National CAPACD unveiled findings from its recent AAPI Poverty Demographic Study at a press conference at the Ford Foundation in New York City. "Spotlight: Asian American and Pacific Islander Poverty" brings attention to communities in need and broadens the conversation about what it means to be AAPI in America. The study reveals that the AAPI poor population grew faster than most other ethnic groups from 2007-2011, increasing by 38% to over 2 million in just four years. Other key highlights of the study include:
  • AAPI Poverty is Growing Dramatically: From 2007 to 2011, the number of AAPIs living below the federal poverty level increased by more than half a million.
    • This 38% increase can be broken down into a 37% increase for Asian Americans in poverty and a 60% increase for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in poverty.
    • In comparison, the general poverty population grew by 27% during the same time period, with the Hispanic/Latino poverty population growing by 42% and the African American poverty population growing by 20%.
  • The AAPI Poor Population is Concentrated: Over 50% of all AAPI poor live in 10 metropolitan areas (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Honolulu, Seattle, San Jose, Houston, Sacramento, and Philadelphia). No other racial/ethnic poverty population is as concentrated in as few places. Approximately 30% of all AAPI poor live in only 3 metro areas (New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco).
  • AAPI Poor Disproportionately Face High Housing Costs: The 20 highest cost housing markets in the country contain almost half of all AAPI poor. No other racial/ethnic category has as high of a proportion of its poor population in these markets (closest is Hispanic/Latino).
  • The AAPI Poor Population is Diverse: From 2000 to 2010, the US Census identified AAPI populations in poverty for 22 separate ethnic groups. The largest single group is non-Taiwanese Chinese at almost 450,000, followed by Asian Indian at over 245,000 and Vietnamese at 230,000. Hmong have the highest poverty rate at 27%, followed by Bangladeshi at 21% and Tongans at 19%.  

These findings illustrate not only the challenges our neighborhoods continue to face in the wake of the recession, but also that economic recovery remains well beyond reach for millions of AAPIs across the country. National CAPACD calls on Congress, the federal government, the business community, and foundations to bring more resources to our neighborhoods, build the capacity of our local community based organizations, and develop public-private partnerships that bring greater investments to our communities.

The full report, “Spotlight: Asian American and Pacific Islander Poverty” is available for download on the National CAPACD website. 
 
 
President Obama Meets with National AAPI Leaders
 
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As part of AAPI Heritage Month, 14 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander leaders representing member organizations of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) met with President Obama to discuss challenges facing AAPI families today, including implementation of the Affordable Care Act, how the President’s plans for immigration reform will affect our communities, and issues specific to Native Hawaiian communities. This historic meeting was the first between NCAPA members and President Obama, and confirms the growing influence of the AAPI electorate!
 
Participants in this meeting included:
 
Jeffrey Caballero, Executive Director, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Gregory Cendana, Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Kathy Ko Chin, President and CEO, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Robin Danner, President and CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
Tom Hayashi, Executive Director, OCA National Center
Bill Imada, Chairman, Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship
Deepa Iyer, Chair, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans & Executive Director, South Asian Americans Leading Together
Daphne Kwok, Chair, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Floyd Mori, President and CEO, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
Mee Moua, President and Executive Director, Asian American Justice Center
Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director, Japanese American Citizens League
Doua Thor, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Miriam Yeung, Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
Dae Joong “DJ” Yoon, Executive Director, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
 
For more information on this historic meeting, please visit our website.
 
 
Meet National CAPACD's Summer Interns!
 
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Justina and Vi at National CAPACD's Poverty Report press conference in New York
 
Hoang Vi (Vi) Ho
 
A rising second year Master of Planning student at the University of Southern California with focus on Social and Community Planning and Real Estate Development, Vi thrives when architecture and urban planning collide. She is a passionate advocate for equitable, diverse communities and supports access to affordable housing for low-income communities. She feels that, "to be in Washington DC and to work on housing and community development issues specifically affecting AAPIs really lends a real-life perspective to class discussions.” 
 
Born and raised in Florida, she received her bachelor’s degree in Architecture with a minor in Urban Planning from the University of Florida. Her hobbies include traveling and photography and she is excited to be working with National CAPACD this summer.
 
Justina La
 
Born and raised in New York’s Flushing, Queens, Justina is a proud Vietnamese American woman of color who stands for feminism, community organizing, Asian American/ethnic studies, and activism. Currently studying at the University of Hawaii, Justina plans to work with marginalized Pacific Islander communities and students on UH’s campuses. 
 
Justina is dedicated to exploring and organizing around social justice and equity issues with a keen focus on labor. She is an Honors Candidate for a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and Political Science, and a certificate in Women’s Studies.
 
 
Federal Policy Updates
 
Senate confirms Richard Cordray to lead CFPB
 
The Senate voted to confirm Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Director Cordray’s confirmation ensures that the agency has full authority to create safer financial products and protect American consumers from the unscrupulous lending practices that resulted in the housing crisis. Find National CAPACD’s full statement on Director Cordray’s confirmation on our website.
 
Fair housing report finds that Asian American borrowers face significant discrimination when searching for a home
 
Asian American homebuyers and renters face discrimination and adverse treatment as or more often than other communities of color when seeking a home, according to findings from a newly released study from HUD and the Urban Institute. The study, titled “Housing Discrimination against Racial and Ethnic Minorities 2012”, shows that discrimination is still widely prevalent in major metropolitan real estate markets across the country. Most alarmingly, the types and methods of discrimination uncovered by this study are generally undetectable by the home seekers themselves. View National CAPACD's statement here.
 
Nomination of Rep. Melvin Watt to lead Federal Housing Finance Agency advances through committee
 
President Obama nominated Representative Melvin Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). As the regulatory agency that oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration, its next director will have a primary role in shaping our nation’s housing policy for years to come. The FHFA’s current policy to limit principal reductions has resulted in thousands of unnecessary foreclosures and has slowed the recovery in our communities. National CAPACD supports the nomination of Rep. Watt. For more information, please see our statement here.
 
Supreme Court to rule on "Disparate Impact" doctrine as indicator of fair housing violations
 
The Supreme Court of the United States recently agreed to hear Mount Holly Gardens Citizens in Action v. the Township of Mount Holly this fall, which will allow the Court to pass judgment on the use of “disparate impact” as an indicator of discrimination. Disparate impact exists when a policy at first appears neutral, yet actually produces adverse effects for protected classes under the Fair Housing Act. Specifically, the Court will ask 1) is disparate impact applicable to the Fair Housing Act? and 2) if so, how should it be measured/proven? This decision has the potential to severely limit part or all of a critical tool commonly used by courts today to enforce fair lending laws. Of course, if the case is settled out of court, it will be moot and will not be heard in the upcoming term.
 
Senate Confirms Tom Perez as next Secretary of Labor
 
The Senate has confirmed Tom Perez to be our nation's next Secretary of Labor. Mr. Perez has been a strong champion for equal opportunities for all Americans and has worked tirelessly to address language access, fair lending and employment discrimination issues in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. We look forward to working with Mr. Perez to ensure that the Department of Labor’s programs and policies address the needs and priorities of AA & NHPIs particularly given the large and growing number of our community members in poverty.