NAPABA Presents: Board of Governors Election President-Elect Candidates Forum


On Tuesday, August 18 at 1 PM PDT/4 PM EDT, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) will be hosting a virtual Meet the President-Elect Candidates Forum.

Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to learn more about the President-Elect candidates! Submit your questions for the candidates to membership@napaba.org prior to the forum.

Candidates for President-Elect

Headshot - Sid Kanazawa
Sid Kanazawa
Headshot - Gary Zhao
Gary Zhao

Moderator

Headshot - Christine Chen
Christine Chen
Executive Director,
APIAVote

Take the time to consider the vision each candidate has for NAPABA and the diverse perspectives across the Board as a whole.

Register here.

AABANY Member Profile: Hon. John Z. Wang Runs for New York City Civil Court

https://www.instagram.com/judgewang4civilcourt/

Hon. John Z. Wang, a proud member of AABANY, has launched his own campaign to run for New York City Civil Court in the First Municipal Court District, which covers Battery Park, Chinatown, FiDi, Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca, and Two Bridges. An active contributor to the Judiciary Committee of AABANY, Judge Wang has organized panels on how to become an appointed and elected judge in hopes of encouraging more Asian American and Pacific Islander lawyers to pursue this path. Now, he hopes to make his community proud by becoming the first Asian American Civil Court Judge elected to the First District.

Judge Wang immigrated to the United States at five years old and grew up in a predominantly working-class Italian American neighborhood in Brooklyn. As one of very few Asian Americans in his community, he recognized the dangers of racism and bigotry and the importance of respecting other cultures and races.

The Judge has devoted his entire career to public service. After graduating from Vassar College and Brooklyn Law School, he received a six-month fellowship to work at Legal Services, where he advocated for claimants of unemployment insurance. Subsequently, he served as a court attorney in Brooklyn Family Court and the Bronx and Manhattan Civil Courts, and clerked for Hon. Anthony Cannataro, a New York State Supreme Court Justice and the Administrative Judge of the New York City Civil Court. Last year, Judge Wang was appointed as a Brooklyn Housing Court Judge. In all his years serving in New York’s courts, he has also contributed to policy-making by helping to restructure parts of the Manhattan Civil Court.

Now, Judge Wang hopes to serve as the first Asian American Civil Court Judge elected to the First Judicial District. Judge Wang views the Civil Court as the people’s court–it serves everyday people with real, working-class issues. He is moved by the stories and individuals that these small claims and credit card disputes represent, and hopes to do his part to deliver justice to everyday people.

Judge Wang also maintains a reputation for treating individuals that come before him with dignity, compassion, and fairness. As the only sitting judge in this contested race, Judge Wang understands the weight of making difficult decisions regarding people’s livelihoods.

AABANY’s Judiciary Committee vetted Judge Wang for his appointment to Housing Court in 2017 and found him highly qualified and well-suited for the role. The Committee noted that “[t]he advocates and judges that encounter Mr. Wang in the courthouse uniformly praise his intellect, work ethic and demeanor.” After more than two years on the bench, Committee Co-Chair Will Wang (no relation) observed: “It is somewhat uncommon for a relatively recent judge to have published the number of opinions Judge Wang has published. To me, this demonstrates both Judge Wang’s work ethic and overall writing ability.”

Judge Wang believes he faces a tough but winnable campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic has created serious challenges, including uncertainty in voter turnout and participation, but he hopes that his experience working in Civil Court will inspire individuals to volunteer and vote for him.

For more information on Judge Wang’s campaign, including how you can volunteer or support his candidacy, visit https://www.judgewang4civilcourt.com/ or email judgewang4civilcourt@gmail.com.

This member profile has been published for informational purposes only and does not constitute and should not be construed as a campaign endorsement.

https://www.instagram.com/judgewang4civilcourt/

Allen & Overy Hosts AABANY’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Members

On Tuesday, February 11, 2020, AABANY held its Annual Meeting of Members at Allen & Overy. President Brian Song called the meeting to order and established quorum. Elections were held for the 2020 Board of Officers and Directors, along with a vote on bylaw revisions to clarify and extend term limits.

President Brian Song presented the Year in Review while Executive Director, Yang Chen, presented the report of the Committees. After the reports, awards were presented to honor AABANY leaders and committees for their dedication to AABANY over the past year. While these presentations were occuring, Immediate Past President James R. Cho and President-Elect Sapna Palla tallied the votes.

The following officers were elected and will begin their term on April 1, 2020:

Terrence L. Shen
President-Elect

Tiffany Miao
Vice President, Programs and Operations

David Sohn
Vice President, Programs and Operations

Margaret Ling
Development Director

William Hao
Treasurer

Christopher Bae
Secretary

Beatrice Leong
Membership Director

The following candidates were elected as Directors to serve two-year terms starting on April 1, 2020:

Jasmine Ball
Una A. Dean
Edward Y. Kim
Naf Kwun
Won Shin
Kazuko Wachter

Congratulations to all the Officers and Directors who were elected to the Board.

The bylaw revisions were passed.

The following awards were presented:

Committee of the Year: The Young Lawyers Committee

For their outstanding contributions in promoting AABANY’s mission and their service to our members and the community at large.

Program of the Year: The AABANY Trial Reenactments Project under the auspices of the Professional Development Committee 

For enhancing and contributing to public understanding and awareness of major contributions by Asian Americans to the social, political and legal history of the United States.

Member of the Year: Beatrice Leong

For her contributions to the growth of AABANY’s membership under her leadership as Membership Director.

Congratulations to all the honorees for the recognition of their achievements and hard work during the 2019 fiscal year.

We would like to thank our members for attending and participating in the annual meeting, and we also thank John Hwang and Allen & Overy for hosting the meeting in a beautiful space, treating us to a delectable selection of food and drinks.

Accepting Nominations for Officer Candidates and Applications for At-Large Board Members for NAPABA’s 2019-20 Bar Year

NAPABA election season has kicked off!  Below is information about nominating Officer candidates and applying for At-Large Board Member positions. Please share with your networks! 

Remember, you must be a NAPABA direct member OR activate your affiliate membership online by July 1 to be eligible to vote in this year’s elections. Click here to join/renew today.

The NAPABA Board of Governors consists of nine Officers who are elected by the membership, ten Regional Governors who are chosen by the NAPABA Regions, and four At-Large Board Members who are appointed by the Board of Governors. Now through July 8 at 5 p.m. EDT, the NAPABA Nominating & Elections Committee will be accepting nominations for members who want to stand for election as Officers and applications from members who want to be considered for At-Large Board Member positions.

Nominate Yourself or Another Member for an Officer Position

Click here for more information or to submit a nomination by July 8 for the following Officer positions:

  • President-Elect 
  • Vice President for Finance and Development
  • Vice President for Membership
  • Vice President for Programs and Operations
  • Vice President for Communications
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary  

Apply to be an At-Large Board Member

Review the complete guidelines and apply here by July 8 to be considered for an At-Large Board Member position.

NAPABA Call for Nominations

The NAPABA Nominating and Elections Committee is accepting nominations for election as the Vice President for Finance and Development of the NAPABA Board of Governors for the 2018-19 term, in light of Courtney Fong’s withdrawal. Read his full statement here. The NAPABA Board of Governors makes the organization’s policies for the given year, and consists of nine officers, ten regional governors, and four appointed At-Large Board Members. The responsibilities of board members include, but are not limited to, supporting NAPABA’s mission statement, endorsing NAPABA events and programs, securing financial supporters, and demonstrating the highest standards of integrity and decorum. For a full list of governor responsibilities, click here

AABANY members who joined or renewed their NAPABA membership by July 1, 2018, are eligible to vote. Ballots have been delivered by email, and must be cast on or before Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. If you have any questions, you may contact the NAPABA Nominating & Elections Committee Chair George Chen, george.chen@bclplaw.com, or NAPABA Executive Director Tina Matsuoka, tmatsuoka@napaba.org. For general inquiries, please contact elections@napaba.org. 

To submit an nomination and for more information regarding this position, click here. The deadline to submit is October 22 at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT.

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.

Sept. 25 is National Voter Registration Day!

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While Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing minority group in the US, AAPIs lag behind other communities when it comes to voter registration rates. As a result, AAPIs are increasingly left out of the discussions when elected officials make policy decisions on issues important to us and our communities.

  1. Make Sure You, Your Family, and Friends Are Registered to Vote

    Did you move or change your name? Do you need to register to vote? Have you checked if your registration is up-to-date for this election? Do you know someone who will be 18 on Election Day or became a citizen and is not registered?

    Visit APIAVote to register to vote and get more information today:  http://www.apiavote.org/register

  2. Promote Voter Registration in Your Community

    Get in-language materials and resources from our partners at the NAPABA Voter Protection Program website.

  3. Sign-up to Protect the Right to Vote

    Sign-up as a poll monitor and exit poll assistor with AALDEF as they protect the rights of APA and limited English proficient voters at polling locations across the country. You can get CLE credit for your pro bono work: http://aaldef.net/

    Volunteer with the National AAPI Voter Protection Hotline national voter protection hotline led by APIAVote here.

This program is part of the NAPABA Voter Protection Program.

NAPABA Voter Eligibility | July 1 Affiliate Membership Activation & Direct Member Renewal

To be eligible to vote in this year’s elections, you must be a current direct NAPABA member OR activate your NAPABA affiliate membership online by July 1.

If you are a member of a NAPABA affiliate, you should have received information from your affiliate about how to activate your NAPABA affiliate membership on the NAPABA website using an affiliate code. Being an active affiliate member is not sufficient for voting purposes. You must activate your NAPABA affiliate membership.

  • For more information about these membership changes click here.
  • To review our Membership FAQs Sheet click here.

For directions on how to activate your NAPABA affiliate membership, please contact Margaret Langston at margaret.langston@aabany.org

NAPABA Release: Diverse Groups of Attorneys and Law Students Condemn Racist Attack Ad in Hoboken, New Jersey


WASHINGTON — Asian Pacific American bars are deeply disturbed by the distribution of a second racist flyer targeting an Asian American candidate in New Jersey. The South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ), Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ), the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association (NJMLA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA), and the South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) condemn the Hoboken flyers claiming that a turbaned Sikh-American mayoral candidate is a terrorist. “The Asian Pacific American legal community is disgusted by this racist attack that continues to promote a false association between religion and acts of terror. Associating a candidate, or anyone, with horrific criminal acts based solely on their appearance is racist and xenophobic,” said Pankit Doshi, NAPABA president.

This is the second time in less than a week that racist advertisements have attacked Asian-American candidates. “There is no place for this type of racism in our country, whose history is defined by the immigrant communities that have settled it. Our country’s diversity should be represented in our elected candidates. The candidate and voter intimidation in these flyers cannot be tolerated and should not discourage anyone from participating in the democratic process,” said SABA President Rishi Bagga.

As diverse bar associations, we will continue to stand up against racism and xenophobia in all its forms. This type of attack on diverse candidates seems to be on the upswing and cannot be allowed to become a part of the normal discourse.

The anonymous flyer targeted APALA-NJ and SABA-NJ member Ravi Bhalla, a Councilman in Hoboken who is running for Mayor of Hoboken and an attorney with Florio Perrucci Steinhardt and Fader, LLC, in Rochelle Park, New Jersey. His opponent has said that his original flyers were altered and has condemned the racist addition.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, 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.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

Diverse Groups of Attorneys and Law Students Condemn Racist Election Mailer Sent to Homes in Edison, New Jersey

WASHINGTON — The Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association condemn the recent racist election mailer that was sent to homes in Edison, New Jersey, concerning the upcoming school board election. Our immigrant communities, such as the one in Edison, are cornerstones of New Jersey. Hateful attacks such as this have no place in civil political discourse. We strive to promote diversity in the state. Together, we must all stand up and refuse to allow this type of bigotry and ignorance to exist. We continue to stand ready to fight on behalf of our immigrant and diverse communities.

The anonymous mailer cowardly targeted candidates Jerry Shi, a Chinese American, and Falguni Patel, an Indian American and immigration attorney, who are running for the Edison School Board. In a highly diverse community such as Edison, this mailer is an attack on all our immigrant communities and we must ensure that such acts have no refuge.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, 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.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).