Tag Archives: Politics

Virtual Youth Town Hall by White House AAPI

Attention all API youth: White House AAPI is hosting a Town Hall meeting at the University of Nevada Las Vegas today, October 14th, at 4pm-5:30pm PDT/7pm-8:30pm EST.  The event is intended to cover topics relevant to AAPI youth regarding politics, identity, and more.  More information can be found here.

The Initiative cordially invites students, youth, and community advocates across the country to attend its first ever Virtual Youth Town Hall. The online event will be available for viewing at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/whitehouseaapi.

During the Virtual Town Hall, the White House Initiative will explore increasingly important issues relevant to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth. YouTube personality Ryan Higa, singer and songwriter Clara Chung, and Singer songwriter Cathy Nguyen are among the prominent AAPI role models that will serve as Town Hall panelists and address issues such as bullying, access to education, and AAPI representation in the arts and media. The Town Hall will be moderated by Sefa Aina, Vice Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs.

Apologies for the late notice, but hopefully many will be able to tune in.  I’m interested in hearing what they cover, and the best part? Viewers at home can submit questions that might be answered by the panel!  Submit questions over Twitter by adding in #WHIAAPITownHall.  You can start asking questions now, as well as during the live-stream meeting, so start tweeting!

Also, as a side note, White House AAPI is also the group that held the panel about education with singer-songwriter David Choi.  At the Ustream site, you can also find those past virtual meetings.  Enjoy!


Jillian Toda is an Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan.   She is currently a student at Willamette University majoring in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies.  In her spare time, she’s an MBA candidate at Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

David Wu: unfortunate perpetuating of stereotypes?

I can’t say that I’ve followed much of (former) Senator Wu’s journey, although it has been quite a long one.  I don’t know of many political actions that he had implemented or taken charge on during his time as senator, but being the first Chinese American congressman (and in Oregon!) still gets him pretty big props from me.  If anyone is savvy to the accomplishments of David Wu throughout his career, please share!

One thing that is concerning in the news revolving around Wu is the media framing of the entire situation.  Now that he has resigned it’s okay for people to write about how unprofessional, unproductive, and crazy he has acted?!?  The tone of most of the articles I’ve read regarding Wu’s sexual encounter is condescending, and they tend to chronicle the “rise and fall” of his career, making it seem as if Wu has always been crazy/antisocial/harsh, etc.   In an article I read that showcased basically all of his faults throughout the last decade or so, Wu’s situation was framed as a problem for politics, for Oregon not as the individual condition of one man.  He may be mentally ill, but that isn’t reason to frame him as being lecherous or crazy by nature.

Certainly, this doesn’t help the image of the crazy Asian / Asian American circulating in the media.  Another article that I read discussed the inefficiency of Wu’s political career due to the limited resources of his financial support, mainly, Asian Americans within the community.  There were several comments to this article (I know, I know; I shouldn’t read the comments because they’ll only make me angry…but I couldn’t  help it) wondering how Wu even got elected to office, why Oregon would keep him elected, etc.  This seems kind of like a disguised reflection of majority-minority and/or white-APA relational issues.

But, as one chapter ends, another begins.  Perhaps some new, political-savvy APA Oregonian will rise to the challenge in the coming years.

New York politicians call for “more English”

As if “English only” cries for education weren’t enough, now politicians are calling for business signs in New York to have “60% or more” English on them.

“Republican City Councilmen Dan Halloran and Peter Koo are drafting legislation that would require store signs in the city to be mostly in English. They say police officers and firefighters need to be able to quickly identify stores.”

Well, you can almost bet that safety isn’t really the only reason politicians want more English signs.  The article explains that “the change also would protect consumers and allow local shops to expand outside their traditional customer base,” but do they realize that a whole new sign for small business owners is quite the burden, especially when it may take years for a purchase-base outside of the neighborhood of Flushing, Queens to develop?! And, of course, the article quotes Asian American politician Peter Koo in saying, “This is America, right? English is the main language” so he would change his signs and comply with the law that’s being proposed.  Easy to say when Koo doesn’t even own a small business!  According to the executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District, most business signs already have English on them, but with this bill most owners would still have to get new ones because they don’t have “enough.”

I think enough is enough.  Go in and talk to the owners about what they have.  I can’t read Chinese or Korean, so does that make me incapable of walking into a store and looking around?  And what difference does it make if the Po-Po and firefighters can’t identify stores quickly?!  If a building’s on fire, I have faith that they’ll be smart enough to know which one it is.

Read the full article here: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/NY-pols-seek-to-make-business-apf-2256377013.html

Besides, isn’t it a bit weird that promotion of this “60% English” bill is coming not too long after this statement: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/nyregion/asian-new-yorkers-asian-new-yorkers-seek-power-to-match-surging-numbers.html ? Asians are here to stay, New York.