On June 8, 2020, Phase 1 businesses, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail, and wholesale trade, are permitted to reopen in NYC. The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) has outlined the relevant sick leave laws for both employers and employees returning to work during this time. The City also offers various resources for those impacted by COVID-19: free COVID-19 testing, a COVID-19 Hotel Program for those who cannot isolate at home, free or low-cost health care, and NYC Well, a confidential 24/7 helpline.
The Department of Health has also released NY Forward Safety Plan Templates for businesses that are re-opening. The templates are available in English, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali.
The Department of Health recommends that employers conduct daily employee health screenings; provide workers with free face coverings; maintain hand hygiene stations; regularly clean shared equipment and frequently touched surfaces; and post signs and markers to show people where to stand.
On Sunday, May 17, 2020, the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) hosted the Korean version of its webinar series, “Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The presentation addressed the increase in violent incidents against Asians in the community and included a discussion of the rights that victims and bystanders have when a racially motivated confrontation occurs, as well as what actions rise to the level of a prosecutable offense.
The webinar featured moderator, Sean Dong Min Rhee, a Northeastern University law student, as well as two panelists: Kings County Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Pak and Naomi Jeehee Yang, an Associate at Paul Weiss.
During the presentation, Stephanie Pak explained what actions would constitute a hate crime (P.L. §240.30) and aggravated assault (P.L. §485.05) as set forth in New York Penal Law. She also gave examples of actions that would rise to a criminal level so that community members would be able to recognize incidents which they should report to law enforcement agencies or their local District Attorney’s office. Furthermore, Stephanie emphasized that when Korean victims are called Chinese during an assault, this does not invalidate the action from being prosecuted as a hate crime but rather makes the issue ripe for prosecution.
The other panelist, Naomi Jeehee Yang, shared information on who to contact during or after these incidents, as well as a few helpful tips that can help prosecutors and law enforcement. She stressed the importance of recording an incident because the evidence is often a key component in successfully prosecuting assailants. If this is not an option, it is important to call 911, as phone calls to police are recorded and can also be used as evidence during a criminal trial. Most importantly, Naomi spoke on the significance of reporting these anti-Asian episodes. If incidents are reported there will consequently be a more accurate number of cases in which Asians are being victimized in the community. This, in turn, increases the visibility of this issue and will spur action by government officials and policymakers – bringing about legislation or resources that can be helpful to the Asian community.
Thank you to our panelists, the excellent attorneys at Paul Weiss for their pro bono assistance, and our volunteers at the Pro Bono Committee for planning and organizing our Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic webinars. We will have more community presentations on topics related to COVID-19 and its impact on the AAPI community this month. For more information on anti-Asian harassment and violence, email email@example.com, call our hotline at 516-690-7724, and check out the resources that AABANY has compiled at https://www.aabany.org/page/covid19.
View the video of the webinar by clicking on the image above.
The MinKwon Center will be hosting several Naturalization and DACA Renewal Clinics this fall and they have recently added some new clinic dates. The new clinic dates are indicated with asterisks below. These clinics are great opportunities to assist low-income community members with immigration law forms. Each clinic will be held at the MinKwon Center’s office in Flushing, Queens (a few blocks from the 7 train stop).
No prior experience is necessary, and training will be provided on the day of each clinic. The Center keeps a log of all volunteer hours and they’re glad to certify your pro bono hours for the NY bar admission requirement. If you’re interested in volunteering, please read the following clinic descriptions and sign up using the links below:
Naturalization Clinics –
The Center will be helping eligible LPRs complete their applications to become naturalized U.S. citizens. They are searching for assistance from attorneys, students and interpreters. Korean and/or Chinese language ability is especially helpful. Please sign up here to join for a Naturalization Clinic on any of the following dates:
Friday, September 26
Friday, October 10*
Saturday, October 18*
Saturday, November 8*
Friday, November 21*
Friday, December 5*
DACA Renewal Clinics –
The Center will be helping undocumented youth complete their applications to renew their DACA status. Successful applicants will receive an additional two years of protection against deportation and renewed work permits. They are searching for assistance from attorneys, students and interpreters. No foreign language ability is required. Please sign up here to join for a DACA Renewal Clinic on any of the following dates:
Friday, September 12
Saturday, September 13
Friday, September 19
Friday, October 3*
Friday, October 17*
Friday, October 31*
Friday, November 7*
Friday, November 14*
Friday, December 12*
Friday, December 19*
Please see below the contact information of the MinKwon Center:
MinKwon Center for Community Action (formerly YKASEC) 136-19 41st Ave. 3rd Fl. Flushing, NY 11355 Tel.718.460.5600 ext. 204 | Fax.718.445.0032
The Board of Elections in the City of New York has interpreter vacancies for Chinese and Spanish in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and for Korean in Queens. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Anyone interested in working election day can email Interpreter2014@boe.nyc.ny.us or can apply online here https://electiondayworker.com/ .
The Board also has an ad on the www.nyc.gov homepage under “NYC Programs & Initiatives”
Applicants can also visit their borough office for more information:
New York State Senate and Assembly Districts Highlight the Growth and Diversity of Asian New Yorkers
New York, NY—Today, the Asian American Federation released briefing papers that detail the Asian population, ethnic breakdowns and the major Asian languages spoken in the State Senate and Assembly districts in New York City based on new lines finalized in May 2012. The briefing papers examine the 65 Assembly districts and 26 Senate districts in New York City.
According to Asian Americans of the Empire State: Growing Diversity and Common Needs, published by the Asian American Federation earlier this year, New York State is home to the second largest population of Asian Americans. “While the fastest population growth and the newest communities are in the upstate region, most Asian American New Yorkers live in the New York City metro area,” said Howard Shih, Census Programs Director at the Federation. “The Asian American community is culturally and economically diverse.
Some of the key highlights from the briefing papers are:
For the first time, one State Senate district is majority Asian.
Three Assembly Districts are now majority Asian, up from only one in 2002.
Chinese is the most spoken language other than English in 5 Assembly Districts and 3 Senate Districts. Korean is the most spoken language other than English in one Assembly District (District 26).
The second most commonly spoken Asian language group consists of the languages of the fast-growing South Asian population.
“Asian American communities throughout our city are growing and thriving, adding to the rich cultural diversity that makes New York such a wonderful place,” saidState Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, whose district includes Manhattan’s Chinatown. Speaker Silver’s district, historically one of the oldest Asian enclaves in the City, is home to almost 60,000 Asian Americans. “These profiles are valuable tools that allow elected officials to keep track of the demographics of the constituencies we represent,” added Speaker Silver.
According to the Assembly district briefing paper, District 40 in Flushing has the largest Asian population, followed by District 25 in Northeast Queens. In District 40, 64% of the population is Asian. “This briefing paper is a tool for elected leaders because it is so important to know what ethnic groups we are serving in our different Assembly districts, and base our services and communications on the needs of different groups. As the only Asian American elected to a state office and the prime sponsor of Data Disaggregation bill, data breakdowns like this enable the state leaders to provide better access to the services that our constituents deserve. I will personally be promoting this tool and sharing it with my colleagues in the New York State Assembly so that we can continue to have stronger connections with our state’s growing Asian American community,” said Assemblymember Ron Kim (D. 40).
“By providing information on the diverse and growing communities across the city and in individual districts, we move one step closer to making state government accessible to everyone it serves. I look forward to working with all the great groups serving the Asian American community to ensure even greater language access to public information,” said Assemblymember Nily Rozic, who represents District 25 which has over 67,000 Asians, or 54% of total population.
On the State Senate side, the district with the largest Asian population is District 16 in Flushing Queens, represented by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. District 16 has over 176,000 Asians, making the district 55% Asian. “This paper by the Federation highlights one of the most fascinating parts of my district—our incredible culture of diversity and inclusion. I am glad that New Yorkers of all backgrounds, from the Chinese population in Flushing to the South Asian population in Jackson Heights and the Korean population in Murray Hill have decided to call Queens home. I remain committed to ensuring that my constituents have in-language assistance to services, civic participation access, and other opportunities to have a stronger voice in their community. This insightful research helps me better understand and better serve all of the people of the 16th district,” said Senator Stavisky.
District 11 had the second largest Asian population, with over 1 in 3 residents who are Asian. The third largest Asian population is District 26, which encompasses Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown. 24% of the population in District 26 is Asian. Upon review of the briefing paper, Senator Daniel Squadron remarked, “As New York’s Asian American population continues to grow, it’s critical that the community has real partners and a real voice in government. This report only underscores how important that partnership is, on everything from language access in education and government to protecting small businesses.”
“In a few months, the 2014 election cycle for state offices will begin. We hope these briefing papers are tools for elected leaders to reach out and engage the Asian Americans living in their districts. Oftentimes, outreach to our community is overlooked, but having tools like these that show the breakdowns of the top languages in New York City’s state assembly and senate districts, as well as the disaggregation by the top 19 Asian languages spoken in each district, will better equip our leaders to engage residents. In turn, these papers will facilitate community leaders and advocates to show that our civic voice is growing and that we need to better connect with our elected officials to offer our expertise, ask for help and support,” said Cao K. O, executive director of the Federation.
KALAGNY is pleased to announce the start of our monthly pro bono clinic in New York City. This is in addition to our ongoing monthly pro bono clinic in Flushing. Please spread the word to your family, friends and neighbors in need of legal counsel.
Clinic details are as follows:
New York City – 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 7 -9 p.m. @ Korean American Association of Greater New York (“KAAGNY”) 149 West 24th Street, 6th Floor, NYC (between 6th and 7th Avenues) (map)
Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 7-9 p.m. @ KAAGNY
Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 7-9 p.m. @ KAAGNY
Flushing – 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 7-9 p.m. @ Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York (“KCS”) 35-56 159th Street, Flushing (map)
Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 7-9 p.m. @ KCS
New York City & Flushing – 2014
First Tuesday of Every Month, 7-9 p.m. @ KAAGNY (NYC) @ KCS (Flushing)
We are recruiting attorneys with a minimum of five (5) years experience related to a specific area of law including but not limited to: Immigration, Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, Labor & Employment, Estate Planning, Family Law, General Litigation, etc. We are also recruiting law students to assist administratively and linguistically. To participate, you must be a KALAGNY member in good standing. Bilingual Korean & English is preferred but not mandatory.