Tuesday, July 26, 2016

DNC: Asian/Americans help shape the Democratic Platform

THE 2016 DEMOCRATIC PARTY Platform may have made history. For perhaps the first time, an Asian/American was specifically mentioned in the Platform of any major American political party.
Filipino/American labor organizer Larry Itliong was included among the other labor  and civil right leaders in the recognition that race "still plays a significant role" in determining equity and opportunity.
UFW co-founder Larry Itliong
The specific paragraph reads:
"And we know that our nation’s long struggle with race is far from over. More than half a century after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled, more than half a century after César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong organized, race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind. We must face that reality and we must fix it." 
“There is no question that this platform is the most inclusive of the AAPI community in history,” said Christopher Kang, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans national director.
Last month, the National Council of NCAPA testified before the Democratic National Convention Platform Drafting Committee, providing recommendations for how the Democratic party platform could address the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.  Yesterday (July 25) the 2016 Democratic Party Platform was ratified, and it adopts many recommendations from NCAPA and its member organizations.
 “It adopts our overarching priorities that would resonate throughout government: a theme of inclusion; an understanding that data should be disaggregated to fully address AAPI needs; and a belief that government services should be culturally and linguistically appropriate.”
“This platform does even more than adopt dozens of our recommendations that would significantly improve the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” Kang continued.  
“As the Preamble recognizes Larry Itliong’s contribution to the labor movement and struggle for racial justice, it gives voice to our story and our history. From top to bottom, this platform demonstrates that AAPIs have been and always will be woven into the fabric of our nation.”
Additional recommendations made by NCAPA and its member organizations that were adopted include:
  • Ending systemic racism and condemning divisive rhetoric and hate speech;
  • Ending discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability;
  • Ending racial profiling that targets individuals solely on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin;
  • Pushing for comprehensive immigration reform and fixing family immigration backlogs;
  • Restoring the Voting Rights Act, ensuring that election officials comply with provisions mandating bilingual materials and voter assistance, and supporting early voting and same day voter registration;
  • Preserving and enhancing the integrity and accuracy of the Census and the American Community Survey;
  • Ensuring that all Americans have access to quality health care—regardless of immigration status, expanding Community Health Centers, and recognizing the importance of treating mental health;
  • Securing reproductive justice;
  • Supporting self-governance and self-determination of Native Hawaiians, honoring the people of the territories, and addressing unique Pacific Islander health care challenges;
  • Supporting a higher minimum wage, pay equity, and workers’ right to organize and join unions;
  • Closing the racial wealth gap, including for certain AAPI subgroups;
  • Expanding programs to prevent the displacement of existing residents, especially in communities of color, reforming the tax code to be more equitable for all, and supporting small businesses, including improved access to capital;
  • Reforming the criminal justice system, including the discriminatory treatment of AAPIs; and
  • Supporting stronger gun control
(As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, NCAPA does not support or oppose political candidates or parties. It works with both political parties to educate them about issues of importance to the Asian/American and Pacific Islander community.)