April 2, 2023

The State of our Union: Challenging Times but a Time of Progress

Lisa Hasegawa, executive director, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development.
Lisa Hasegawa, executive director, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 13, 2016) — In his final address to Congress on the state of our union, President Barack Obama reflected on the tremendous progress we have made in the last few years and addressed important issues that we still need to work on — issues that impact all of our local communities and neighborhoods, particularly low income communities of color.

In these difficult times of rising economic inequality and racially motivated violence, the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) applauds President Obama for his perseverance in pushing forward an agenda that ensures our country continues to move forward.

Under this Administration, our country has seen great economic recovery and growth. As we look to continue our economic growth, we must invest in supporting small businesses in our communities. Thriving small businesses will lead to strong local economies and ensure that we, as a country, continue to innovate and lead in areas such as energy efficiency. We thank the President for his commitment to lifting up small businesses and asserting that the rules should work for small business owners and workers, not against them.

And yet, while many Americans have benefitted from the current rules of economic growth, there are still many Americans who have not. As we work to address poverty, rising economic inequality and racial disparities in our communities and neighborhoods, we ask the Administration to implement solutions that invest in long term growth and build a more inclusive economy for all. This includes access to a quality education, the protection of benefits and safety net programs, the ability to build assets and wealth to pass on to the next generation, and the stability of home and community. As discussed in National CAPACD’s recent chapter in the recently published, What It’s Worth, “Despite common misconceptions, the story is no different for more than 2 million Asian American and Pacific Islanders living in poverty and the many more that are living on the edges.”

National CAPACD urges the Administration to prioritize addressing the rapid displacement of communities of color from their homes and neighborhoods due to the high cost associated with major cities.

Immigrants are inextricably linked to our country’s economic growth and we must ensure that immigrant workers, small business owners, and families are not only contributing to our country’s growth, but benefitting from it as well. We applaud efforts to welcome immigrants and refugees and give them the tools and supports needed to thrive and contribute to the fabric of the United States, rather than excluding and threatening communities on the basis of race or religion.

We are particularly pleased to see the commitment to continued investment in clean energy to combat climate change– an issue that is already impacting many communities such as those in the Pacific Islands, where families are losing their homes and communities to floods and now beginning a new journey of resettlement.

National CAPACD looks forward to working with the Administration in the year ahead to preserve what we value most in our country and to formulate strategies and solutions that lift up and embrace all communities.
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National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development’s (National CAPACD) mission is to improve the quality of life for low-income Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by promoting economic vitality, civic and political participation, and racial equity.

Our membership encompasses a diverse base of nearly 100 community-based organizations spanning 19 states and the Pacific Islands.

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