Caribbean Parade with Michelle Wu

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This past Saturday, I spent the day walking with Michelle Wu at the Caribbean Carnival parade. We had a great turn out of volunteers and campaign staffers in getting Michelle’s name out there. The weather was bright and sunny but not too hot, perfect parade weather. The parade trek was about two miles, not too long. However, by the time we reached the finish line, I was exhausted. Fortunately, our positive team boasted a strong, energetic, and motivating spirit all the way through the walk that kept us going. We definitely Wu Wu Wued throughout the entire journey. The team passed out campaign literature on what Michelle plans to do for the city of Boston. We also reminded people to vote for Michelle on September 24th.

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  I really applaud Michelle though. She was walking in heels first of all compared to the rest of us in sneakers and flip flops. Michelle did not show any sign of tiredness. There was a big smile on her face as she was waving to the crowd. In addition, she ran up to parade watchers (in her heels!) and hugged them and shook hands and took pictures. Michelle truly proves she wants to be people accessible and an active public servant. 

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What I’ve Been Up To…..

Sorry I have taken hiatus since the last blog post. So here is a little update on what I’ve been up to.

I got to see comedian Aparna Nancherla along with the rest of the Totally Biased w/ Kamau Bell cast who is just downright hilarious and amazing talented with the material she comes up with in her act. And she is such a sweet individual in person. She is just confident and has this amazing attitude when she performs and Aparna clearly does not care what others think of her. I was really impressed with her talent!

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And here is why (click the picture)

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And I’m ecstatic that Totally Biased will be airing five nights a week on FXX!

I’ve also been volunteering with the Michelle Wu Campaign. Michelle Wu is currently running for Boston City Council at Large. I first met her at an Ed Markey Campaign event when he was running for the Senate at the time. I remember sitting in a corner chair, staring at my phone while waiting for Ed Markey to speak. She then came up to me and introduced herself and stating she is running for Boston City Council at Large. Michelle further identified herself as South End Resident who is a legal guardian of her two younger sisters. I was personally impressed that she just came up to me, not knowing who I was, and just introduced herself.

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I met her again at a women and politics event. She impressed me more with her determination, confidence and dedication to the city of Boston. She has actually worked for Boston Mayor Tom Menino and was Elizabeth Warren’s law student at Harvard and has been a small business owner (Michelle is only 27!). So I decided to learn more about her and what she plans to do as Boston City Councilor.

Here are some of her plans:

  • Expand early childhood education in the Boston Public Schools Introduce healthy & locally grown foods in Boston Public School lunches
  • Support safe spaces to fight LGBT youth homelessness
  • Advocate for late night public transit.
  •  dedicated tech czar within CIty Hall could help coordinate resources for entrepreneurship, promote this city as a hub of innovation, and facilitate conferences and reporting to strengthen our innovation ecosystem.

After reading some of her plans and attending her Campaign HQ Launch Party and being inspired at her goal of being an effective public servant at the local level, I decided I want to do my part in helping her out and volunteer and spread her message! And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. Expect to see more blog updates on Michelle’s campaign.

Meeting Mark Takano

I had the unique opportunity of meeting U.S. Representative Mark Takano of California at a campaign event for Massachusetts State Representative Carl Sciortino on May 28th, 2013. Rep. Sciortino is currently running for Ed Markey’s congressional seat and Rep. Takano was giving him, his formal endorsement.

Takano’s election made history in 2012 when he was elected as the first gay Asian American to the U.S. Congress. He also became the first Democrat to be elected in California’s 41st District, one of the state’s highly Republican districts, in a long time. His district primarily includes Riverside and Moreno Valley.

During the event, Takano and I discussed the current immigration bill being debated in the U.S. Senate. He expressed his confidence that the bill will pass because of the significant Republican votes. Although they do not like the bill, Republicans are being pressured by their interest groups such as the Chamber of Commerce to vote for it. However, Takano, being part of the gay community, voiced his disappointment about the LGBT couples exemption component not being included in the final bill. He did have high hopes that the US Supreme Court could take action in overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, despite concerns whether the institution of marriage could go back to the states.

In addition to immigration, the Representative is passionate about social security, and Medicare/Medicaid issues as well as education.  When he entered Congress, he and Congressmen Alan Grayson drafted a letter stating they will vote against cuts to Medicare/Medicaid issues and social security.  Furthermore, as a former teacher in the Rialto Unified School District, Takano plans to focus his work on increasing access to education for minority students.  He has co-sponsored the House Version of Student Loan Fairness Act, Equal Access to Quality Education Act, and Project Ready STEM Act.

Overall, I felt very honored to meet him and look forward to see his future actions in Congress.

Time Magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People

Here are some of the big names identified on such a prestigious list! We definitely agree!

Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California

Andrew Ng, founder of Coursera

Perry Chen, CEO of Kickstarter

Erica Kochi, Co-Lead for Tech Innovation at UNICEF

and…..

Mindy Kaling, creator and star of the Mindy Project!

for full list click here:

http://time100.time.com/2013/04/18/time-100/slide/all/

 

What’s Going On?

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus introduced the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act 

Elementary has been picked up for a Second Season!

In his lifetime, film critic Roger Ebert defended Asian American Cinema  

Dr. Mindy Lahiri and many other female Physicians and Surgeons like her deserve a pay raise! And get recognized!

Massachusetts State Representative Donald H. Wong

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet with Massachusetts State Representative Donald Wong or the state’s northern cities, Saugus and Lynn. In his time at  the Massachusetts State House, Rep. Wong serves on the Joint Committee on the Financial Services and the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. Before coming to the State House of Representatives, Donald served on the Saugus Town Meeting Member and the Saugus Board of Selectmen. He was elected to the MA State House in 2010.  Furthermore, Donald is a third generation Chinese American and is a successful owner of a 60 year restaurant business, Kowloon Restaurant.

It was definitely a pleasant surprise to meet an Asian American in the Massachusetts government who represent a district outside the Boston Metropolitan area and he is also a Republican (I later found out after I met him…should have thought of that when he voiced his opposition to a sales tax increase and stated that the state budget was “going down like an airplane”). However, unlike mainstream Republicans we see in Washington nowadays, Donald strongly believes that we as a community need to take care of one another. He is truly concerned about the problems facing his constituents in the Saugus area and addressing the needs of his district. He regularly tries to meet with people in his district and hear their concerns in various community centers.  Donald supported youth and recreational programs and identified himself as a friend and advocate for veterans in Saugus. He managed to secure funding for neighborhood crime watch and police cruiser communication systems as well as facilitated bridge repairs two years ahead of schedule. Furthermore, next year, Rep. Wong plans on proposing a tax deduction for families who are caregivers for members who are elderly and/or disabled.

However, the main intent of my visit was to talk to him about for the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, which is currently facing a one percent cut in funding under the Fiscal Year 2014 State Budget. Donald is a prominent member of the House and Joint Ways and Means Committee.  This committee is primarily handling the MA State Budget in debating on which programs and state agencies should receive either an increase in funding, decrease in funding, or maintaining funding at the same level. Upon learning about his beliefs about the community, I told the representative that it was important that funding for the Disabled Persons Protection Commission should be restored to its original levels at $2.6 million instead of reduced to $2.4 million. Currently, the Commission has a small staff of 28 that answers a significantly rising number of cases is abuse committed against persons with disabilities. In addition, their limited budget prevents them from completing their investigations within a 30 day period and offer protections for the victims. Fortunately, as a result, Rep. Wong assured me he will support for funding the Disabled Persons Protection Commission. In response, I graciously thanked for his support.

Photo of the Day – Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Rep. Judy Chu of California

 at the President’s signing of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act

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