Washington, D.C. (May 28, 2010) – Housing and community development leaders convened this week with national policymakers to highlight critical issues impacting low-income Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander communities across the country.
Models of sustainable community and economic development in both historic and emerging low-income AAPI communities of Hawaii, California, Seattle, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia were shared with national advocates and policymakers, bringing visibility to the underserved AAPI communities in metropolitan areas.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims and Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on AAPIs hosted a historic meeting with AAPI leaders to kick off HUD’s participation in the federal wide initiative to improve the quality of life of AAPIs where they are underserved.
“HUD’s tremendous openness to engage in substantive conversations with our community leaders demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to equity and inclusivity. In a few short months, Kiran and the staff of the Initiative have brought attention and unprecedented levels of access. We look forward to working with her and federal agencies to address issues of critical importance in a time of great need,” said Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director of the national advocacy coalition.
Leaders discussed strategies to ensure AAPI and immigrant communities are included in new federal initiatives and policies geared towards developing affordable housing for low-income families in dense, overcrowded neighborhoods, preserving affordable rental developments, developing senior housing, protecting tenants in the midst of the foreclosure crisis, and creating sustainable communities.
Participants also met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and national housing and community development advocates to represent the needs of AAPI communities across the country.
Held in conjunction with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Community in the Capital participants were also guests at a special White House reception featuring President Obama. Father Vien Nguyen of Mary Queen of Vietnam CDC, National CAPACD member organization gave opening remarks at the reception, and introduced the President.
Activities were part of National CAPACD’s 4th annual “Community in the Capital” leadership and policy training. National CAPACD thanks Southwest Airlines for their sponsorship of the program and their commitment to leadership development.
Participants included: Genna Byrd, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement; Janelle Chan, Asian Community Development Corporation; John Chin, Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation; Phuong Do, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center; Karoleen Feng, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation; Jeff Gilbreath, Hawaiian Community Assets; Hyeok Kim, Interim Community Development Association; Jeremy Liu, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation; Kei Nagao, Little Tokyo Service Center; Rosalee Puaoi, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement; Shan Rehman, Chhaya CDC; Nenick Vu, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center; Cindy Wu, Chinatown Community Development Center; Malcolm Yeung, Chinatown Community Development Center.
For more information about Community in the Capital, please contact Gen Fujioka, Senior Policy Analyst at 510-452-4800 or [email protected].