NCAPA Community Briefing on COVID-19

On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), a coalition of 34 national Asian Pacific American organizations, held a community briefing call over Zoom on the topic of increased anti-Asian rhetoric in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Community leaders on the call were joined by legislators serving on the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) including Representative Judy Chu (CA-27), Representative Mark Takano (CA-41), Representative Ted Lieu (CA-33), and Senator Kamala Harris of California. 

Mr. Gregg Orton, the National Director of NCAPA, began by addressing efforts undertaken by NCAPA to address the increasing prevalence of anti-Asian rhetoric. Mr. Orton addressed NCAPA’s creation of a COVID-19 Task Force which aims to aggregate community resources online for the Asian American community in addition to building an emergency response network. NCAPA is also currently developing an online health form with crowdsourced in-language community health resources. 

Legislators serving on CAPAC spoke at-length about the alarming rise of xenophobic attacks and racist sentiment directed against members of the Asian American community. All four legislators condemned the rhetoric of top administration officials such as President Donald Trump and Secretary Mike Pompeo in labeling COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” or the “Wuhan Virus” as the use of these terms only exacerbate concerns of discrimination. In fact, Representative Chu, the Chair of CAPAC, addressed recent high profile incidents of physical attacks directed against Asians and estimated roughly 1,000 reports of hate crimes in the last five weeks alone. 

Moreover, all four legislators pointed to the efforts that were being undertaken in Congress to stand in solidarity with the Asian American community such as Representative Grace Meng’s (NY-6) recent resolution “Condemning all forms of Anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19” which has already garnered 130 co-sponsors. Senator Harris underscored the importance of cancelling ICE raids and following in Los Angeles and New York’s footsteps in setting up hotlines for reporting on hate crimes directed against Asian Americans. Representative Lieu addressed the problem of phone scams taking advantage of the elderly during this time and pointed to the FCC’s online guidelines for preventing these scams. 

Additionally, Representatives Chu and Takano spoke extensively about the recent stimulus package that was passed and certain benefits that Asian business owners could make use of. In particular, they highlighted Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for companies with less than 500 employees in addition to direct cash assistance provisions sent to qualifying families. However, Representative Lieu noted that the recently passed stimulus package will likely not be enough and that a second bill is in the works. In that bill, Representative Chu hopes to focus on translating federal COVID-19 resources into AAPI languages and assisting both undocumented and legal immigrants who were not eligible for certain benefits in the initial stimulus package. 

Finally, community leaders in the NCAPA network also addressed efforts that they have undertaken in light of COVID-19. Ms. Naomi Tacuyan Underwood, Executive Director of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), elaborated on how AAJA has issued guidelines to major newsrooms across the country on responsible reporting regarding the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, Ms. Chiling Tong, President of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship addressed the financial risks faced by its 2 million members. She encouraged Asian American members and businesses to apply for the FCA economic injury fund online. 

Overall, multiple steps are being taken at the legislative, business, and grassroots level in order to combat xenophobia and support the Asian American community in this time of need. In order to see a full recording of the call, please click here. For additional ways you can help and get involved, please look below.


The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), founded in 1996, is a coalition of 34 national Asian Pacific American organizations around the country. Based in Washington D.C., NCAPA serves to represent the interests of the greater Asian American (AA) and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for AA and NHPI issues. You can get in-touch with NCAPA by clicking here here.

For additional resources, please refer to NCAPA’s COVID-19 Response Toolkit, which includes sample social media graphics and posts, press coverage, and resources within and outside of our coalition. The resources include in-language resources for wellness and health, and various hate crime reporting tools. You can make a direct impact in your own respective circles and communities by regularly distributing and sharing NCAPA’s Toolkit.

NAPABA Members Lobby Congress During Asian Pacific Heritage Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2014

Contact: Azizah Ahmad

(202) 775-9555

NAPABA MEMBERS LOBBY CONGRESS DURING
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH

WASHINGTON — Today, Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys from around the country are gathered on Capitol Hill for the second day of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Annual Lobby Day.

The NAPABA Annual Lobby Day kicked off yesterday with the APA Heritage Month Congressional Reception. The reception featured speaker and honorary Lobby Day Chair and former NAPABA regional governor, Senator Mazie Hirono. Other members of Congress, including chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congresswoman Grace Meng, and Congressman Mark Takano also addressed NAPABA members and leaders from the APA community during the reception.

“This month we celebrate the obstacles Asian Pacific Americans have overcome, the contributions they have made, and the opportunities America has given,” said William Simonitsch, president of NAPABA. “So we are excited to once again meet with legislators in Washington to discuss issues affecting APA, and all Americans.”

Lobby Day continues today with Hill visits where NAPABA members will lobby in support of the 14 policy resolutions that the NAPABA Board of Governors adopted earlier this year. These policy resolutions include issues regarding commonsense immigration reform, affirmative action, and voting rights. A complete list of the resolutions can be found at http://bit.ly/NAPABA_Resolutions. More information about Lobby Day can be found at http://bit.ly/2014NAPABALobbyDay.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 68 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. 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.

NAPABA Annual Lobby Day and APA Heritage Month Congressional Reception

NAPABA Annual Lobby Day
and
APA Heritage Month Congressional Reception

NAPABA invites you to participate in the 4th Annual Lobby Day and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Congressional Reception on May 19-20, 2014, in Washington, DC.

Lobby Day is less than a month away! This is your 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.

Lobby Day Event Schedule:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Lobby Day Training Webinar (part one of three)

Monday, May 19, 2014
Lobby Day Onsite Training (part two of three)
NAPABA’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Congressional Reception with Honorary Chair and Featured Speaker, Senator Mazie Hirono
Confirmed speakers also include Congresswoman Grace Meng and Congressman Mark Takano
Click here to RSVP for the Reception.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 
NAPABA Lobby Day: Onsite Training Breakfast (part three of three)
Member Visits, Participant Debriefing & Happy Hour
*Breakfast and Happy Hour hosted by Jones Day

Register Online

There is no cost to attend.

Please visit our website for more information or email Melanie Robinson at mrobinson@napaba.org with any questions. We look forward to seeing you in May!