Training for Election Voter Hotline

As you know election day, Tuesday, November 6, 2012, is fast approaching and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association’s Civil Rights Committee (MBBA-CRC) is working hard to ensure that everyone who desires to vote is armed with the correct information to make their vote count!

As attorneys, we are well equipped to answer voters’ questions and it is incumbent upon us to protect the right to vote. Our vote is a vote that many fought long and hard to be counted. We are asking our members to stand up and donate their legal minds to ensure that all who desire to vote in this historical election will have the opportunity to vote.

Please joing MBBA and The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law to educate voters via the Election Protection hotline on Monday, November 5, 2012 and Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

We will train for the hotline on Thursday, October 25, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Proskauer Rose LLP, Eleven Times Square, New York, NY. If this date is not suitable for your schedule, we will have other training dates. However, we strongly urge you to train on that date so that we can train as a collective.

Please register for the training at Once you have registered for the training, we ask that you email Cenceria Edwards- Chair MBBA-CRC at [email protected] confirming your attendance.

Upon completion of the training, you will be able to register with the MBBA team for the hotline shifts for November 5, 2012 and November 6, 2012. The shifts are between 3-5 hours.

If you should have any questions regarding this training, please email Cenceria Edwards at [email protected].

Help the MBBA make a difference and protect this constitutional right. Protect the vote!

Voter Protection Volunteers Needed in PA

Are you interested in being a Voter Protection Volunteer for the presidential re-election campaign in Pennsylvania? Even though the Voter ID law has been enjoined, the need for a robust voter protection effort is now more important than ever. There will be confusion at the polls and the law may be misapplied on Election Day. Legal volunteers are necessary to help defend the right to vote for all eligible voters.  In particular, we are looking for Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Khmer speakers.

Pennsylvania attorneys or law students, please sign up online at For out-of-state attorneys and law students, please instead sign up here: In order to confirm you for Election, we need you to sign up online! This will also ensure that we have all the information we need to advise you about training sessions, which will take place the week of October 22nd, and assign you to a polling place for Election Day.

Ellen Zeng
OFA-PA AAPI Vote Director
OFA-PA Deputy Voter Protection Coordinator
[email protected]

(408) 386-6638

The Economy vs. Immigration: What Will Unlock the Latino Vote in 2012?


The Economy vs. Immigration: What Will Unlock the Latino Vote in 2012?

A Panel Presented by Feet in Two Worlds, the Center for New York City Affairs, Global Studies at The New School, Americas Society/Council of the Americas, and Latino USA.

Latino voters are expected to play a pivotal role in the U.S. presidential election, especially in several key battleground states. Join us for a town hall event that brings together journalists, pollsters, and policy experts to explore the complex relationship between the Latino electorate and the candidates. Will economic concerns such as unemployment and housing foreclosures guide Latinos at the voting booth? Will the candidates’ immigration policies dominate? Or will large numbers of Latinos simply sit out this election? Understanding the political cross-currents buffeting Latinos today will provide valuable insight on the probable outcome of the election, as well as political and policy implications for the nation over the next four years.

Moderated by Latino USA executive producer and anchor Maria Hinojosa, the panel includes the New York Immigration Coalition’s executive director, Chung-Wha Hong. Please join us for a timely and compelling discussion focused on immigrants, immigration, and the 2012 elections.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #LatinoVote @thenyic and on our Facebook page.

When: Thursday, October 18th, 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Registration: 5:30pm – 6:00pm
6:00pm – 8:00pm
The New School
Theresa Lang Center
55 West 13th St

Admission is free. To reserve a seat, please click HERE


Maria Hinojosa, President and CEO, Futuro Media Group; Executive Producer and Anchor, Latino USA (moderator)
Fernand Amandi, Managing Partner, Bendixen & Amandi International
Jordan Fabian, Political Editor, Univisión News
Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition
Mark Hugo Lopez, Associate Director, Pew Hispanic Center

Opening Remarks:

John Rudolph
Executive Producer, Feet in 2 Worlds

Jason Marczak
Director of Policy, AS/COA

In Partnership with:

The event will be webcast live and will form a segment on National Public Radio’s “Latino USA” program to be broadcast at a later date.

Press Release: NYC Council Unity Map Released

From our friends at AALDEF:

Civil Rights Groups Announce Unity Map for NYC Council Redistricting and 9/4 Press Conference

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), LatinoJustice PRLDEF, National Institute for Latino Policy (NILP), and the Center for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ) of Medgar Evers College have released the NYC Council Unity Map, a joint proposal for new City Council districts that reflects New York City’s changing demographics and protects the voting rights of Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans.

AALDEF, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, NILP, and CLSJ will hold a joint press conference on the Unity Map on Tuesday, September 4 at 12 noon on the steps of City Hall. Please RSVP to [email protected] or 212.966.5932 ex.217.

To read more and see the maps, go to

Unity Maps

MinKwon Center for Community Action hosts Exciting GOTV Activities

Hi all,
MinKwon Center needs your help! With less than 3 weeks left until the State Primary Elections on Thursday, September 13th, we are gearing up for our GOTV work to conduct phone banking and door knocking. For the first time ever, we are voting for our next State Senators and Assembly members in newly drawn districts. Now more than ever, it is critical that we have a large Asian American presence at the elections. Here is what you can do: 

Join the MinKwon Center for Community Action for some Exciting GOTV Activities!
Phone Banking

  • Wednesday, Aug. 29th, 6:00PM MinKwon Center
  • Tuesday, Sept. 4th, 6:00PM MinKwon Center 
  • Thursday, Sept. 6th  6:00PM MinKwon Center 
  • Monday, Sept. 10th, 6:00PM MinKwon Center 
  • Wednesday, Sept. 12th, 6:00PM MinKwon Center

Door Knocking

  • Thursday, Aug. 30th, 6:00PM Meet at MinKwon Center 
  • Wednesday, Sept. 5th, 6:00PMMeet at MinKwon Center 
  • Sunday, Sept. 9th, 4:00PMMeet at MinKwon Center 
  • Tuesday, Sept. 11th, 6:00PMMeet at MinKwon Center

If you are interested in volunteering, please let us know today! Dinner will be provided as well as community service credit if applicable. Please forward this email to anyone who would like to get involved and gain important electoral experience. Don’t miss your chance to make a difference in these historic elections!

If You are Interested, Please Contact:
[email protected] or 1 (718) 460-5600

AALDEF Volunteer Opportunity – Voter Registration Drives

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), founded in 1974, is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. This summer, AALDEF will be conducting a series of street-based voter registration drives in various neighborhoods in New York City and East Brunswick, New Jersey. We need your help to register Asian Americans to vote. Volunteers with Chinese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, or Punjabi language skills are especially helpful, though not necessary.

All volunteers must be non-partisan during the time that they help. There will be a short training for all volunteers on rules to know when conducting voter registration drives. If your organization is interested in participating in one or more registration drives this summer, please contact AALDEF Voting Rights Organizer, Chi-Ser Tran, immediately at [email protected] with the date(s) of choice and the number of volunteers your organization will be able to provide. Please direct all questions to Chi-Ser.

The voter registration drive schedule is:

____Thursday, June 28, 2012: Elmhurst, Queens (5-6:30 pm)

____Friday, June 29, 2012: Richmond Hill, Queens (5-6:30 pm)

____Saturday, June 30, 2012: East Brunswick, New Jersey (11-3pm)

____Tuesday, July 3, 2012: Flushing, Queens (5-6:30 pm)

Thank you! We look forward to working with you this summer!

Q&A: Why Redistricting Matters to APAs

Last month, AABANY announced that it joined ACCORD, the Asian American Community Coalition on Redistricting and Democracy.  We reached out to James Hong, Civic Participation Coordinator at MinKwon Center for Community Action, the lead organization behind ACCORD, to tell us more about what ACCORD is all about.


MinKwon (James Hong): We are a group committed to APA and minority communities’ opportunity to meaningfully participate in the political process.  Such opportunity is fundamentally changed by the results of redistricting, which completely re-organizes boundaries of districts, and hence creates the population that will be voting in elections. 

A: Why does redistricting matter to the APA community in New York?

M: Redistricting matters to all communities, ethnic and otherwise.  However, APA communities – and the enclaves in which they live – face a history of having their neighborhoods gerrymandered and thus having their voters split into multiple districts.

APAs living in ethnic enclaves are routinely divided into several adjacent populations/districts so that they constitute only a minority of those districts, when they could easily be the majority population of a single district.  Therefore, hundreds of thousands of APA voters often cannot exert the power of their numbers, even though – and this is the real point here – numbers are the foundation of democratic government, where the will of the many is supposed to be expressed in the political process.

I believe one reflection of this is that despite the APA population being 13% in NYC – meaning 1 out of 8 people is an Asian American – there is not a single State Senator or Congressman that is APA (overall, only 1 in 50 of the elected officials representing the city’s various districts are APA), and less than one-quarter of 1% of public spending goes toward Asian or Asian-led social service organizations.  While ACCORD is not promoting APA candidates, these discrepancies are revealing.

A: How can the APA community learn more about redistricting?

M: This guide has been a good reference for me:

And if you aren’t aware of what your own district looks like, use the NYC GIS to see how the lines are currently drawn (click “Show Additional Data on Map” module on right side of page):

For the legally-minded, this page focuses on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its relevance for redistricting:

A: What is ACCORD doing now to educate the APA community about this issue?

M: We are holding educational sessions at various community organizations, in English, Chinese and Korean.  If you or your organization are interested in hosting a meeting, please contact ACCORD at [email protected] or James Hong at the MinKwon Center for Community Action (718-460-5600).  We can come out and do a 15-minute presentation to your group and have Q&A.

A: What is ACCORD doing now to advance the cause of redistricting for the APA community?

M: Each of the ACCORD member organizations plans to give public testimony in the upcoming public hearings on redistricting.  This is the first of two rounds of hearings, with each borough having one hearing each round.  We will be focusing on bringing both testimony and constituents to the Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan hearings, for both rounds.  All first-round hearings begin at 10am and the locations/dates are as follows: 

  • Queens is on Wednesday, September 7th at Queens Borough Hall, Meeting Room 213-1&2, 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens; 
  • Brooklyn is on Tuesday, September 20th at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn; 
  • Manhattan is on Wednesday, September 21st, in the Assembly Hearing Room at 250 Broadway in Manhattan.

If you would like to get more involved with ACCORD, let us know at [email protected].