On January 4, 2022, City Limits published an article entitled, “As NY Redistricting Forges Forward, Asian American Groups Push for ‘Unity Map’” detailing an independent coalition’s efforts to establish more equitable districts in the state.
As the redistricting process continues in New York, a coalition of three civil rights legal groups—the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Center for Law and Social Justice, and Latino Justice—seek to combat the fragmentation of minority communities. Altogether forming the Unity Map Coalition, the groups’ proposed “Unity Map” recognizes the rapid growth of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in New York and aims to preserve the political power of communities whose interests have historically been undermined in the redistricting process.
If adopted by Governor Kathy Hochul, the “Unity Map” would replace drafts developed by the state Independent Redistricting Commission, drafts which have been influenced by the coalition’s input but that have failed to fully address issues relayed by community members. Legal groups, such as AABANY, in addition to pro-democracy groups have signed onto a letter requesting another opportunity from state lawmakers to provide public comment before the governor approves draft maps.
NAPABA is proud to join the newly established Alliance for Asian American Justice (“The Alliance”) as part of a coalition of leading AAPI advocacy organizations, Fortune 1000 General Counsel, and over 40 law firms in a national initiative designed to ensure that victims of anti-Asian crime, hatred, and bigotry are able to access pro bono legal services. The work of The Alliance leverages NAPABA’s existing intake efforts on hate crimes and hate incident reporting, and bolsters NAPABA’s leadership in providing victims, community based organizations, and community leaders with the information they need, in the language they understand, through its groundbreaking collection of hate crimes reporting toolkits, which were developed in partnership with the APIA Health Forum and translated into 24 different AAPI languages, the largest collection of its kind. For more on The Alliance, please click here.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.
The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) just concluded a virtual phone clinic to assist Mandarin and Cantonese speaking tenants in applying for the NYS Homes and Community Renewal’s (HCR) COVID Rent Relief Extension Program. This HCR program allowed NYS renters to seek a one-time rental subsidy for the months of April – July 2020. The program originally opened for submission in late July 2020, extended to August 8, 2020, and then re-opened the application process on December 18, 2020 until February 1, 2021. We assisted 83 callers in total: 87.5% of those callers had limited English proficiency, with most callers speaking Cantonese (41.1%) and Mandarin (46.4%). We handled this call volume with a dedicated team of 24 volunteers.
In response to the program’s second extension, AABANY organized a coalition to get bilingual information and resources out to the community. Articles ran in ethnic newspapers during the weekend of January 17, 2021, announcing our COVID Rent Relief Project 2.0. The goal of the project remote clinic was (1) to provide information to callers on how to apply, (2) if necessary, to have the volunteer and caller contact HCR’s Call Center together to reach an interpreter, and/or (3) to have the volunteer act as the interpreter. No legal advice or legal representation was provided.
At a time of increasing isolation due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and in the face of language access barriers for Mandarin and Cantonese speaking NYC residents, the AABANY Virtual Phone Clinic provided a welcome opportunity to build relationships in the community and provide assistance.
AABANY would like to thank William Lee, Vice Chair of the Student Outreach Committee; May Wong, Remote Clinic Coordinator, and the Organizers of the COVID Response Law Student Team (Nicholas Loh, Xinyi Shen, and Olympia Moy). We thank the 16 law school volunteers (representing 8 different law schools) and 5 community members who made calls, waited on hold to speak to HCR, and provided this valuable assistance to the community.
AABANY would like to thank our community leaders who partnered with us in making this clinic a possibility. They include:
AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Services Committee – Co-chairs – Asako Aiba, Judy Lee, Karen Lin, and Karen Kithan Yau; Remote Clinic Coordinator – May Wong
AABANY’s Vice Chair of the Student Outreach Committee – William Lee
Roxy Chang, Community Organizer of Asian American For Equality
Lizzie Lee, Community Liaison from NYS Senator Brian Kavanagh’s office
Damaris Reyes, Executive Director, GOLES, Inc.
Jacky Wong, Chinatown Community Land Trust
Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA) Presents Gen 根
440 STUDIOS: 440 Lafayette Street, New York, NY
Conceived & Directed by Wan Zhao
“Where are your roots? Here are ours.”
Performance inspired by Stories of Asian Americans.
Thursday June 12, 8PM Friday June 13, 8:00PM Saturday June 14, 2:00PM & 8:00PM Sunday June 15, 2014, 2:00PM
“I have never seen this combination of theater, dance, acting, and photography.” – Bob Lee, May 4th, 2014
This year, the A/PA Heritage Festival (www.capaonline.org) will be helping producing Gen 根, a contemporary dance theater piece exploring the lives of the women who were left behind when their husbands/companions left to work on the Transcontinental Railways in the US.
Friday June 13, 8:00PM Saturday June 14, 2:00PM & 8:00PM Sunday June 15, 2014, 2:00PM 440 STUDIOS: 440 Lafayette Street, New York, NY
“Where are your roots? Here are ours.” Inspired by Stories of Asian Americans. Conceived & Directed by Wan Zhao
CAPA Presents Gen
The Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA) is a New York-based advocacy organization dedicated to addressing the community needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Our goal is to build partnerships with community organizers as we help social profit organizations reach new audiences.
For 35 years, CAPA has been at the forefront of creating and sustaining personalized opportunities for nonprofits, businesses, artists, and individuals to explore our shared culture.
April 10th is an historic day for our movement. This year, we will be joining groups around the country for a nationwide mobilization demonstrating the power of our movement and calling on lawmakers at the city, state and federal level to enact policies that promote immigrant rights. Please join the New York Immigration Coalition and New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform together with our allies across New York City for a rally to demand fairness and equality for immigrants in New York and across the country.
We hope you can also join the New York Immigration Coalition in the morning for legislative meetings with our City Council and our new Mayoral Administration to push the NYIC’s City Policy & Budget Priorities, which, if enacted, would strengthen New York City as a national leader on immigrant rights.
Join us and help raise the voice of immigrants in New York City!