Volunteers needed for August 22nd Civil Disobedience Actions at Varick Street Detention Center

We have been informed by NYIC (New York Immigration Coalition) that there is a critical need for legal observers for the civil disobedience actions on August 22 outside of the Varick Street Detention Center. The CD Actions will occur around 12:30 PM.  Below is more information regarding the civil disobedience actions:

Highlighting our Broken Immigration System (August 22 @ 11AM – 1PM with Civil Disobedience Actions around 12:30PM/ Varick Street Detention Center)
  • What: With every passing day that the House fails to act, 1100 people are deported.  Our families and communities continue to suffer as a result of a broken immigration system and the Republican House dragging their feet.
  • What do we want: John Boehner to act NOW to keep our families together. The event will start with a Jericho Walk that will escalate with 20+ people engaged in civil disobedience (blocking traffic and entrance to detention center). Supporters who do not want to be arrested will line the sidewalk chanting, holding signs and bearing witness.CD training (likely day before) and legal support will be provided. Negotiations with the NYPD are underway (aiming for dismissal of any charges). 
Please consider supporting this event by either showing up and cheering those who will be engaging in civil disobedience; engaging in civil disobedience (arrestees); or volunteering to be a legal observer!  If anyone is interested in participating, please contact Christina Chang, Advocacy & Organizing Coordinator at MinKwon Center for Community Action at christina.chang@minkwon.org or 718.460.5600.
All, this is a friendly reminder to RSVP to participate in the civil disobedience action outside Varick St Detention Center on Aug. 22 at NOON. For those who would like to participate but do not wish to face arrest, you can participate in the direct action only.

Please note there will be a training for Civil Disobedience participants on Monday, August 19th at 2 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church located at 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, New York, NY 10022. Please RSVP to rrchanges@gmail.com and jesposito@thenyic.org.

Let’s stand together to tell Congress the time is NOW to pass reform. Our communities and families cannot wait any longer for real reform


The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) urges the United States Congress to reinstate the enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act, Section 4, that were invalidated this past Tuesday, June 25, 2013 by the United States Supreme Court in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder.

Shelby eliminates the preclearance requirement for certain states or areas in which discrimination had historically been found to exist.  Preclearance required covered states and jurisdictions to submit all changes affecting voting and elections for preapproval by the U.S. Department of Justice.  The decision in Shelby will likely lead to legal sanctioning of efforts to undermine voting rights.

This ruling hits home. Certain New York counties including New York, Kings and the Bronx were areas for which preclearance had been required, based on a prior history of voter discrimination. The Shelby ruling clears the way for the reinstatement of discriminatory practices, such as efforts to restrict access to voting sites or attempts to gerrymander voting districts to dilute the voting power of Asian Americans in New York’s Chinatown or African Americans in Harlem. The profound impact of such practices on the voting rights and electoral aspirations of the affected minority voters in those areas cannot be overstated.

The record the Supreme Court considered contains ample evidence that voting rights discrimination is alive and well in 2013 as it was in 1964.  Justice Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion chronicles that evidence. 

The unfettered right to vote is a precondition of representative democracy.  Retrenchment on that right undermines many other rights such as the right to free speech.  Until Shelby, the necessity of a strong Voting Rights Act was universally recognized. 

Congress must act and exercise its power to provide the checks and balances that our Constitution established when the Founders formed our union to ensure a balanced government.  Voting rights are under attack and we urge Congress and the Administration to take prompt action to defend this most fundamental civil right.


AABANY was formed in 1989 as a not-for-profit corporation to represent the interests of New York Asian American attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, paralegals and law students.  The mission of AABANY is to improve the study and practice of law, and the fair administration of justice for all by ensuring the meaningful participation of Asian Americans in the legal profession.

NAPABA Annual Lobby Day – May 20-21, 2013


NAPABA Annual Lobby Day

Lobby Day gives you the opportunity to educate members of Congress and congressional staffers on issues of importance to the Asian Pacific American community and to meet other NAPABA leaders from around the country.

We hope that you are able to participate in the Lobby Day meetings and Congressional Reception celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this year. We look forward to seeing you May 20-21, 2013, in Washington, DC.

Lobby Day Event Schedule:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 
NAPABA Lobby Day Training Webinar (part one of two)

Monday, May 20, 2013 
NAPABA Lobby Day Training (part two of two) 
NAPABA’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Congressional Reception

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 (Correction) 
NAPABA Lobby Day: Breakfast, Member Visits, Participant Debriefing & Happy Hour 
(Breakfast and Happy Hour hosted by Jones Day)

Register Online

Stipends are available for NAPABA members traveling to Lobby Day from out of town. To apply please fill out the form here.

There is no cost to attend.

Please visit our website for more information or email Melanie Robinson with any questions.

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 For Immediate Release

Asian Pacific American Women Leaders Hold Majority of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

 “A Conversation with AAPI Women of the 113th Congress” Featuring

 Representatives Tulsi Gabbard & Grace Meng

 Sponsored by AARP

WASHINGTON— The 113th Congress is historic with 97 representatives from multicultural communities and 100 female members. In particular, for Asian American and Pacific Islander women, this is the first time the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus is composed of a majority of women. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) an Iraq War veteran, is the first Hindu elected to Congress. Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) is the first Asian American to represent the state of New York.

Reps. Gabbard and Meng shared their experiences as new members of Congress on a panel discussion titled “A Conversation with AAPI Women of the 113th Congress” on Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. Organized by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) and sponsored by AARP, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA.), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and Board Member of APAICS opened the discussion and Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president of AARP’s State and National Group moderated the panel. 

A lively and engaging conversation took place as Reps. Gabbard and Meng discussed their experiences of rising to leadership roles and spoke on broad range of issues affecting the 50+ from work-life balance to financial security.

“AARP is honored to join Congresswoman Chu and APAICS in hosting this conversation that recognizes the remarkable journey, accomplishments and contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander Women,” said Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez, AARP’s Executive Vice President for Multicultural Markets & Engagement.  “We congratulate Reps. Gabbard and Meng on their recent victories, which increases representation of women from multicultural and multilingual communities, and we look forward to working with them and their colleagues on issues affecting multicultural communities in the coming months.”

“As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s important to acknowledge the tremendous progress that women have made,” said Judy Chu. “The 113th Congress is the most diverse in history, with more women and people of color than ever before. I want to thank APAICS and AARP for hosting such a great event to hear from Congresswomen Grace Meng and Tulsi Gabbard, two pioneers in the Asian Pacific American community who serve as role models for young women everywhere.” 

NAPABA Mourns the Death of Senator Daniel Inouye

Washington – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) mourns the death of Senator Daniel K. Inouye, the second-longest serving member of the United States Senate and the highest ranking Asian Pacific American in the nation. He was the first Japanese American to serve in Congress and a lifelong champion of civil liberties for all Americans.

Read the full press release here.

The Historic Election of Grace Meng as New York’s First Asian American Congresswoman

November 12, 2012 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”)
congratulates Grace Meng on her historic election as New York’s first Asian American Congresswoman.

Grace Meng made history Election Day Tuesday, defeating her Republican challenger Daniel Halloran and long voting lines to win the 6th Congressional District (Central Queens) election and become the first Asian-American to represent New York in Congress. Grace is also the first woman to represent Central Queens in the U.S. Congress since Geraldine Ferraro was elected in 1978. Grace was previously elected to the New York State Assembly to represent Assembly District 22 in November, 2008. Grace was honored by AABANY during its 20th Anniversary Annual Dinner in 2009 and has been a frequent supporter of AABANY events. AABANY President Jean Lee said “AABANY is proud to see the very first Asian American woman elected to Congress from NYS and one of the first two APA women to be elected to Congress on the east side of the Mississippi.”

Read more here.

Election Protection Program: Volunteers Needed

We received the following request for volunteers from the Grace Meng for Congress Campaign:

My name is Michael Fleischman; I am organizing the election protection program for Grace Meng’s campaign for Congress this upcoming Tuesday, June 26. Grace would be the first Asian American elected to Congress on the east coast. We expect to have an influx of first-time voters who may face difficulties at the polls. As you know, this is a civil rights issue.

We are recruiting volunteers to serve as poll watchers on Election Day.  We have great needs generally, and the greatest needs during the times that you and other voters are likely not to be working – early morning and evening. The target locations are primarily near Bayside and Elmhurst, and we will providing more guidance to volunteers in the coming days. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to vote and is eligible to vote is indeed able to vote, and we need your help to make sure that happens. Please contact me at fleischman.michael@gmail.com or 201-993-3323 if you can be of assistance. Thank you very much in advance.

Please respond directly to Michael if you can help. Thank you!

LA Times: House Apologizes for Chinese Exclusion Acts

LA Times: House Apologizes for Chinese Exclusion Acts