In January of each year, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members gather to give voice to topics that matter most to the community. Since 1996, the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) has organized community briefings across Washington State to generate a comprehensive list of policy recommendations regarding issues that affect or are of interest to the AAPI community.
During the week of January 19 in 2016, over 200 individuals gathered in community meetings in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties to lend their support for the 2016 Asian Pacific American (APA) Legislative Day Agenda.
For 2016, the issues that were raised at the community briefings include:
· Supporting the Clean Air Rule & organizing around climate justice (http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/FinalText_779.pdf)
· Closing the K-12 opportunity and achievement gap (HB 1541)
· Supporting the Asian Pacific Cultural Center capital project
· Increasing funding for naturalization services
· Extending dental coverage for elderly immigrants
· Preserving non-Medicaid funding & investment in culturally competent health care (HB 1321)
· Reforming the system for legal financial obligations in our state (HB 1390)
· Funding the Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP)
On January 26, a delegation of Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders met with Governor Inslee and state legislators in Olympia to raise these issues. The delegation also commended the governor for his support for welcoming Syrian refugees to Washington State-sending the message that our state will be a safe home for immigrants and refugees.