Rosemead, California — The California Senate Select Committee on Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs, chaired by Senator Richard Pan (D – Sacramento), held an informational hearing to explore the needs of the growing and complex Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community in California.
The hearing was led by Senator Richard Pan and Assemblymember Ed Chau (D – Monterey Park) at the Rosemead City Council Chambers on Tuesday, October 18, 2017.
“The informational hearing convened by the Selected Committee provided a space for AANHPI community based organizations to speak directly to our elected officials about the diverse needs of our communities,” stated Andrew Medina, California Policy Manager for Asian Americans Advancing Justice – CA.
“State legislation can have such a powerful impact on the AANHPI community in terms of addressing equity and inclusion. We look forward to engaging with our elected officials in developing solutions to the issues presented at the hearing.”
Advancing Justice – LA projects that Asian Americans will make up nearly 11% of California voters by the 2016 presidential election.
Panelists explored unique issues AANHPIs face in regards to immigration, such as the lengthy waiting periods to petition family members and language barriers to accessing AB 60 licenses.
The hearing touched on the recent successes in state policies supporting California’s immigrant communities such as SB 10 (Lara) Health for All and AB 2792 (Bonta) TRUTH Act. Amy Wu, who shared her story as an undocumented Chinese American growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, brought a face to California’s AANHPI undocumented population, which makes up 15% of the state’s undocumented residents.
Issues of equity were also explored around areas of workers rights, education access, and health access.
Panelists pushed for the disaggregation of AANHPI data and applauded the passage of AB 1726 (Bonta) AHEAD Act.
Additionally, SB 1050 (De Leon) was highlighted for increasing college access and building a pipeline to the university by improving college readiness for California’s students.
Lastly, issues of intersectionality was explored looking at issues related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues, the Muslim American community, and issues relative to women and girls.
Presenters at the hearing represented the following organizations: Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA), API Equality-LA, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Greater Los Angeles Area, California Immigrant Policy Center, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Khmer Girls in Action, Korean Resource Center, Pilipino Workers Center, and UPLIFT.