AABANY at the CAPA Festival

AABANY was proud to participate in The Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans’ (CAPA’s) Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Festival on May 19, 2019. It is the longest continuously running Pan-Asian American Festival on the East Coast and this year’s celebration was particularly special because 2019 marked the 40th anniversary of the Festival.

This year’s theme was celebrating Asian American heroes, and AABANY was proud to be involved. We gave out over forty 2018 Year End Reports, spreading the word about the amazing work that AABANY does every year.

We thank Chris Kwok, Kwok Ng, Francis Chin and Kevin Hsi for helping to man the table this year.

For more information on the event, visit CAPA’s website at: www.capaonline.org or Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/AAPIFest/

AABANY Congratulates Hon. Dorothy Chin Brandt

Congratulations to the Honorable Dorothy Chin Brandt, former justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Queens County, who was honored at the Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration hosted by the Queens District Attorney’s Office of Immigrant Affairs on May 2, 2019.

Justice Chin Brandt made history as the first Asian American female judge and the first elected Asian American public official in New York. She began her legal career as an Assistant Dean of Graduate Legal Studies at Harvard Law School and then as an associate at Shearman & Sterling. She joined the firm Dilworth & Paxson in Washington, D.C. and worked in private practice until her election to Civil Court in 1987. After 30 years of public service on the bench, Justice Chin Brandt retired in 2016.

As AABANY President Brian Song stated: “AABANY congratulates Justice Chin Brandt on being honored at the Queens County DA’s Office’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration,” states AABANY President Brian Song. “During the month of May, when we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage, it is most fitting that we recognize and celebrate the achievements of trailblazers like Justice Chin Brandt who has paved the way for generations of lawyers and judges that have entered the profession and achieved success by following her example.”

Please join AABANY in congratulating Hon. Dorothy Chin Brandt.

AABANY Joins NAPABA’s Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court Opposing the Addition of a Proposed Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census.

On April 1, 2019, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), joined by Sixty-four (64) bar associations and AAPI-serving community organizations, submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Department of Commerce v. New York (18-966) opposing the addition of a proposed citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

In a press release, NAPABA stated:

On April 23, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal in Department of Commerce v. New York (18-966).  In January, the Southern District of New York found that the Administration’s decision to add the question was ‘arbitrary’ and ‘capricious,’ and that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act. In a related challenge, California v. Ross, the Northern District of California found the Administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Enumeration Clause of the Constitution. A decision is pending in a third challenge, involving AAPI and Hispanic plaintiffs, in the District of Maryland.

The AAPI organizations urge the Court to uphold the district court’s ruling to enjoin the addition of the citizenship question: Amici agree with the district court ’s finding that the addition of a citizenship question will likely lead to an undercount of noncitizen households of at least 5.8 percent. . . . This chilling of participation in the 2020 Census will have a disproportionate effect on the AAPI community. . . . These heightened concerns for the AAPI community come at a crucial moment, because Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the country and stand to make substantial gains in political representation based on that population growth.

AABANY is pleased to announce that it is a co-signatory to NAPABA’s amicus brief in the Supreme Court opposing the addition of a proposed citizenship question to the 2020 census. The addition of the citizenship question will negatively impact the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. It will depress response rates from Asian Americans, the fastest growing racial group and the largest segment of new immigrants in the country, and impact our ability to protect our rights and ensure political representation.

To read the full press release and the amicus brief, click here.

Friday Evening Lecture Series: Asian/Asian American Scholars of Education

On Friday, March 8, 2019, AAARI, a CUNY-wide scholarly research and resource center on policies and issues that affect Asians and Asian Americans, is holding a talk, Asian/Asian American Scholars of Education: 21st Century Pedagogies, Perspectives, and Experiences, by Nicholas D. Hartlep & Daisy Ball from 6pm to 8pm, at 25 West 43rd Street, 10th Floor, Room 1000, between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan.

The talk is free and open to the general public. To RSVP for this talk, please visit https://19-03-08hartlep.eventbrite.com. Please be prepared to present proper identification when entering the building lobby. If you are unable to attend the talk, streaming video and audio podcast will be available online the following week.

Nicholas D. Hartlep and Daisy Ball will discuss their book Asian/American Scholars of Education: 21st Century Pedagogies, Perspectives, and Experiences, which shares the knowledge and travails of Asian/American luminaries in the field of education. This unique collection of essays acknowledges the struggle that Asian/American Education scholars have faced when it comes to being regarded as legitimate scholars deserving of endowed or distinguished status.

Books will be available for purchase ($40 each, cash and credit card accepted) and signing after their talk.

Don H. Liu Scholars Program 2019

Don H. Liu Scholars Program 2019

Volunteers Needed for AALDEF’s Election Protection Program

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The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is in need of volunteers to survey Asian American voters and protect their vote. In past elections, Asian Americans have faced a series of barriers in exercising their right to vote. For example, poll workers were hostile and made racist remarks, poll sites had too few interpreters to assist Asian American voters, translated voting materials were missing or hidden from voters, and ballots were mistranslated listing Democratic candidates as Republicans, and vice versa. When the news media reported on election results and the vote by specific groups, Asian Americans were often overlooked. 

Since 1988, AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters and monitored polls in every major election. Help us continue to resolve these issues at the polls by taking part in AALDEF’s 2018 Asian American Election Protection Program. On Election Day, November 6th, volunteers will document voter problems and the availability of language assistance. They will also conduct a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll to get a snapshot of Asian American candidate preferences, party enrollment, and issues of significance to Asian American voters.  

To read AALDEF’s report on the Asian American Vote, click here. Click here to sign up to volunteer. Attendance at one training session is required for all volunteers. All volunteers must be non-partisan and work a 3-hour shift. CLE trainings are 90 minutes, and attorneys can receive 1.5 CLE credits including 0.5 ethics credit. AABANY is the CLE provider for the New York training sessions. If you have volunteered in the past, you do not have to attend another training, but you must register to volunteer again. 

For more information, contact AALDEF Democracy Program Director Jerry Vattamala or Voting Rights Organizer Judy Lei at 800-966-5946 or votingrights@aaldef.org.

Congratulations to Hon. Randall Eng, Recipient of the OCA-NY Lifetime Achievement Award

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The Hon. Randall Eng (Ret.), New York state’s first Asian American Presiding Justice, was honored with the OCA-NY Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday, September 28, at OCA-NY’s 42nd Annual Community Service & Leadership Awards Gala. Justice Eng has dedicated himself to public service for over three decades in a variety of positions. He served as the first Asian American Assistant District Attorney in his hometown of Queens County (1973-1980), the Deputy Inspector General of New York City (1980-1981), and also the Inspector General of New York City (1981-1983). In 2016, Judge Eng was awarded NAPABA’s highest honor, the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award, and in 2017, he received AABANY’s Norman Lau Kee Trailblazer Award. The OCA-NY Lifetime Achievement Award is yet another well-earned recognition of both his contributions to New York State and the Asian American attorney community. Please join AABANY in congratulating Justice Eng on this well-deserved award and honor.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO DEFEND ASIAN AMERICAN VOTING RIGHTS

DC • CA • FL • GA • LA • MA • MD • MI • NJ • NM • NV • NY • PA • TX • VA

2018 Asian American Exit Poll and Poll Monitoring

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

In past elections, Asian Americans have faced a series of barriers in exercising their right to vote, including segregated “Asian” voting lines.  When the news media reported on election results, Asian Americans were overlooked.  In response, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) has conducted a non-partisan survey of Asian American voters to document Asian American voting patterns and document instances of anti-Asian voter disenfranchisement. AALDEF has monitored the elections for compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act, which mandates bilingual ballots and forbids anti-Asian voter discrimination.

We need your help.  In 2016, our volunteers surveyed 13,846 Asian American and Arab voters in 11 Asian languages at 55 cities about their voting encounters. Volunteers work in three hour shifts. There will be a one-hour training session for all volunteers in October (90 minutes for CLE credits).  All volunteers must be non-partisan during the time that they help.  Complete the form at Volunteer Sign-Up Form.  Thank you!

For more information, contact: AALDEF Democracy Program Director Jerry Vattamala or Voting Rights Organizer Fiona Zhao at 800-966-5946 or votingrights@aaldef.org.

AABANY CONGRATULATES JUDGE LILLIAN WAN ON HER HISTORIC APPOINTMENT AS THE FIRST ASIAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO SERVE ON THE NEW YORK COURT OF CLAIMS

NEW YORK – June 25, 2018- The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”)
congratulates the Honorable Lillian Wan on being confirmed by the New York State Senate on
June 20, 2018, to sit as a judge on the New York Court of Claims, where she will rule on cases
involving claims against the state or its agencies. As Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Brooklyn) stated
at the confirmation, Judge Wan will be “making history” by serving as the first Asian American
woman on the Court of Claims. 

Prior to her confirmation, Judge Wan served as a Judge on the Kings County Family Court after
being appointed in 2012 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, where she heard a number of
complex cases pertaining to child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency, and family offenses. She
also presided over “crossover youth” cases, which involve children who enter the juvenile justice
system after spending time in the state’s child welfare system or in foster care. 

Before being appointed to the bench, Judge Wan led a successful legal career as an experienced
trial attorney for the Administration for Children’s Services (“ACS”) in the Family Court Legal
Services Division, where she litigated cases on neglect and abuse. Judge Wan also served as a
Court Attorney-Referee in Kings County Surrogate’s Court, where she participated in settlement
conferences and held hearings related to guardianship, kinship, adoption, and estates. Judge Wan
received her B.A. from Binghamton University and her J.D. from Albany Law School, where she
served on the Albany Law Review and graduated within the top five of her class. 

Judge Wan is an active member of various organizations and committees dedicated to the
advancement of justice, including the Encourage Judicial Service Committee and the New York
State Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics. She currently serves as a board member for the
Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and the New York State Family Court Judges Association,
and has served as the former Co-Chair of the Government and Public Sector (now the
Government and Public Interest) Committee for AABANY. Judge Wan is active within her local
community, taking part in outreach programs such as the National Association of Women Judges
“Color of Justice” Program, which aims to introduce students to the legal profession. 

“AABANY is immensely proud of Judge Wan. Her experience in the courtroom, compassion,
and unwavering dedication make her an unparalleled candidate to serve as a judge on the Court
of Claims,” said James Cho, President of AABANY. “Judge Wan’s confirmation also reminds us
of the progress we have made in advancing diversity and inclusion on the bench; Asian Pacific
Americans and other minority communities continue to be underrepresented on the bench, but
we are gratified to see that New York is appointing minority judges like Judge Wan. Her
appointment marks a historic and significant step forward in making the judiciary more diverse
and inclusive.” 

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-
2478, or direct any inquiries to main@aabany.org. 

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of
attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated
in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also
to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is a New York
regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). 

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