Posted in Blogs on November 13, 2013 by Sophia Islas
(left to right) Moderated by Wendy Wang of Pacific Clinics, the panel included Nathanel Lowe of Asian Americans Advancing Justice- LA; Executive Director Carrie Gan; and Dora Quach of Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF). Each organization represented at the panel has worked to provide support, advocacy, and services to the Asian Pacific Islander community throughout southern California.
Posted in Blogs on September 03, 2013 by Sophia Islas
Back row (l-r):
Monica Lee, Kristina Lieu, Carrie Gan, Rick Zuniga, Christina Islas, Samuel Mori, Sophia Islas, and Grace Hsieh
Front row (l-r): Jason Fong, Daniel Tsai, Albert Gianatan, and Maxwell Zhu
In addition to having Leadership Academy interns this summer, our office was also filled with volunteers from a variety of educational backgrounds that ranged from the high school to graduate level. As one can see from this newsletter, our summer was packed with events and programs. The success of everything that CAUSE has done this past summer would not have been possible without the dedication and determination of our volunteers, all of whom put in extra hours throughout their summer vacation to assist the staff with program planning and administrative duties.
Posted in Blogs on August 20, 2013 by Lauren Richardson
On Monday, July 22 California State Controller John Chiang and his close friend Tappan Zee in the Tom Bradley Video Conference Room at Downtown Los Angeles’ City Club. Mr. Chiang
opened the dialogue by introducing himself; he discussed a little bit about his background in politics and his current position. This opened the floor for more casual conversation. One-by-one the interns went around the conference table and shared stories about their experiences with the CAUSE Summer Internship Academy, the legislative office in which they are working, and their future occupational goals.
The meeting that the interns had with the two prominent men was extremely inspirational, mainly because it was less traditional than the ones they had with other leaders during the beginning of the program. The interns had the privilege to hear about life experiences that the men went through on the road to reaching the great success that they now have. Mr. Chung and Mr. Zee talked about the positives—the internships and jobs they had, as well as the importance of making worthwhile networking connections—but it was the information regarding things that most would not bring to
light, which truly stuck with me. State Controller John Chiang and Attorney Tappan Zee discussed the value of making mistakes while one is young and less experienced in his or her field. Chiang said that although he does not like mistakes, he understands when his interns make mistakes if they were based off good intentions. Toward the end of the meeting Mr. Chiang asked the CAUSE interns a question that he asks all of his interns, that question being: “What are your dreams?” After he heard everyone’s aspirations based on their current passions, he went on to say that he likes to follow-up and hear
what each intern has to say at the end of his or her experience. Mr. Chiang believes that evaluating dreams is an important way to show growth and to see if growth toward one’s goal. All the interns agreed that learning and growing from their mistakes, as well as taking the necessary steps to reach a goal, were some of the biggest take-a-ways from the meeting.
Posted in Blogs on August 19, 2013 by Chee "Danny" Kwan
On July 29th, the CAUSE interns had a lunch meeting with Ron Wong at his Imprenta Communications office in Pasadena. While there, Mr. Wong shared his vision for Imprenta and discussed the experiences that had helped mold him into the man that he is today. He saw that a need existed within the Asian American community and continues to fill it through his community involvement. He passionately expressed that the Asian American community must have a voice and become more involved in the current state of affairs. Ron Wong served as an inspiration to the CAUSE interns for what he has done and what he continues to do.
Later in the afternoon, the Interns met with Deputy Chief Terry Hara of the Los Angeles Police Department. The Deputy Chief explained the functions of the LAPD and gave a brief oral history on the legacy of service of the department. He then gave us a tour of the LAPD facility and highlighted the fact that every station provided a fully stocked, 24 hour, gym facility and that the department actively encouraged its members to maintain a high level of physical fitness. The most impressive room, according to intern Chee Kwan, was the fully stocked snack room. The room itself contained various snack items and beverages and had no official attendant to receive payment. It instead relied on the honesty of each officer to pay for and properly collect the right amount of change. Several items were purchased that day.
Posted in Blogs on July 13, 2013 by Tanya Edmilao
On the afternoon of Sunday, July 14th, CAUSE interns attended Mike Eng’s inauguration ceremony for the position of Los Angeles Community College District Board Member. He was a keynote speaker at our Internship Kickoff Luncheon, and it was an honor to witness a momentous transition in Eng’s political career. We are among a crowd of enthusiastic supporters of Mike Eng and we managed to share a few words before the commencement began.
Posted in Blogs on July 13, 2013 by Albert Gianatan
On Wednesday, July 10th, the CAUSE Leadership Academy interns attended a discussion called Leadership in the Corporate Boardroom, hosted at the California Club by the Asian Pacific American Leadership Project (APALP).
Elected officials, such as State Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee, were in attendance to support this forum’s efforts to inspire the next generation of leaders and increase the number of API senior officers in the corporate world.
What was distinctive about the panelists for the discussion was that they are Asian-Americans who hold senior public affairs posts in the corporate world, serving as the public face for the large companies they represent. Although many leaders in business have known for much of their lives that they would do business, others transitioned into it almost coincidentally, the panelists argue.
Emily Wang, for example, currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing and Community Development at East West Bank. Throughout her undergraduate years, however, she was working to be a journalist. In graduate school, she said, she still wanted to be a journalist, and in fact, she did work in journalism for a number of years afterward. It was not after she stumbled upon an opportunity to work at then a still-small East West Bank that she decided to stay in the industry and work her way up.
Dora Wong is the Director of Public Affairs and Communications for the West Coast division of the Coca-Cola Company. After pursuing her degree in social work and working for a few years, she said, she applied to the company’s customer complaints division because she thought it would be an easy job. “Who wouldn’t like Coke?” she comically argued. It turned out to be a miserable years, she joked, as she served as a “professional therapist” for customers who “would take the time” to complain about a can of soda. From there, though, she moved up because she had the expertise of working with a wide variety of people in her years in customer complaints and was able to “deliver bad news in a good way.”
When asked about work-life balance, Betty Lo, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Nielsen Company, argued that time in the evenings with her five-year-old child is very important to her, and she makes the most of “that time between 6pm and 8pm.” Ms. Wang, on the other hand, jokingly argues that “there is no balance”—you just have to juggle it all the time.
Leadership in the Corporate Boardroom not only gave opportunities to network with other business and government leaders, but also showcased the long journeys that the corporate leader panelists worked through to reach the positions they hold today. This luncheon celebrated their persistence, hard work, and achievement, and definitely, inspired the next generation of leaders to step up and work to the top.
Posted in Blogs on July 13, 2013 by Mengyuan “Christine” Sun
During the fifth week of the CAUSE Leadership Academy, the interns had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Mark Masaoka, Policy Coordinator at A3PCON, as well as Mr. Charlie Woo, the Chairman of CAUSE. Both provided many insights on our research project and gave us invaluable suggestions and advice.
In the morning, Mark visited the CAUSE office to help us with our project. He recommended many organizations, such as ROTC, American Legion, and Go for Broke, which we could interview and obtain more information. He also suggested that we interview reporters who have done articles on AAPI veterans and servicemembers. He also brought up an interesting idea of publishing stories on the websites of AAPI bloggers to get the word out on the issue. In a span of one hour, Mark was able to provide us with so many helpful tips and hints. We want to thank him for going through traffic and being ever so kind as to provide us with so many useful pointers. Thanks for all your help and taking the time to speak with us!
In the afternoon, we visited Charlie’s workplace in the City of Commerce, where Megatoys is based. He took us on a tour around the factory where we saw gift baskets, Halloween costumes, and toys from our childhood past. After the quick tour around the office, we had lunch, which was graciously provided by Monica, a former CAUSE intern. As we ate, we discussed the project; Charlie also had some great suggestions for us, including taking a look at not just API statistics, but also general statistics as well. He also brought up some interesting points that none of us had thought about before, so this was definitely a very useful and helpful session. Later, we took pictures in front of the Hello Kitty merchandise that the girls were so excited about. In fact, Charlie was so kind as to gift each of us with Hello Kitty mugs on our way out. We want to thank Charlie for spending a large chunk of his afternoon with us. Thanks for your words of wisdom and we’ll be sure to use the mugs!
What a day. After the meeting with Charlie, we returned to the CAUSE office where we continued to work on our project. Thanks again to Mark and Charlie for providing us with invaluable information and for taking the time to speak with us!
Posted in Blogs on July 07, 2013 by Kim Yamasaki
On Monday, July 1, 2013, CAUSE Leadership Academy interns had the privilege to meet key figures significant to the Chinese community in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. Our group met at the Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA) Los Angeles Lodge.
Posted in Blogs on June 30, 2013 by Edward Truong
During the third week of CAUSE, the interns were given a tour of Little Saigon. Tammy Tran from Southern California Edison facilitated this tour, and through her connections, was able to connect us with leaders and voices of the community. Whether they were from the political or business realm, we learned many lessons and stories that came out from this community.
First, we visited State Senator Lou Correa’s office in Santa Ana, CA. We were given a tour of the office and we learned about Senator Correa’s current issues that he was working on for his constituents. After lunch, we went to Horizon Cross Cultural Center for another tour. It was great to actually see in person the workings of a non-profit organization and learn about all the services they provide. To finalize the tour, we stopped by the communications hub of Little Saigon.
Posted in Blogs on June 22, 2013 by Jimmy Tran
On Monday, June 24th, 2013, the 2013 CAUSE interns had the gracious opportunity to personally meet Judges Dolly Gee and Ronald Lew.
Judge Gee is the first Chinese-American woman appointed to the federal bench. In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated and the U.S. Senate confirmed Ms. Jee to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from UCLA.
Past this information one could access on the internet, however, the CAUSE interns learned much more through the spoken words of Judge Dolly Gee herself. In Gee’s childhood, her mother, garment worker, motivated the young Gee and her brother to become civil servants. While she was attending a student rally at UCLA during her freshman year, there was the assumption that Asian-American students did not actively participate in such activities. “When we are not present, people make assumptions about us,” said Dolly Gee, as the CAUSE interns continued to listen to her intently. From then on, she created a strong presence in the Asian-American community.
If it had not been for Judge Gee, my parents may not have been able to buy more poultry from this location in Rosemead. There was actually a case in which the poultry shop in Rosemead was closed down as a result of a failure to adhere to the city’s sanitation standards. If it had not been for her knowledge of Asian culture and tradition, in addition to her sense of humor, that shop would have been gone for now. Personally, I thank her for keeping that location alive.
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