Trailer: Asian American & Pacific Islander Civic Leadership Summit- Stepping up to 2020

The 2019 Silicon Valley Asian American & Pacific Islander Civic Leadership Summit is a special community event bringing together community-based organizations, public officials, activists, legislative staff, professionals, and students.

With a theme of “Stepping Up to 2020”, anticipated outcomes of the 2019 Civic Leadership Summit will include identification of issues affecting our community, AAPI community involvement for a 2020 Census complete count and voter registration, and increasing civic participation.

Voices from the audiences

AAPI issues in their groups


Summit Event: AAPI & Census 2020 Complete Count, 1:20 pm 

  • Moderator: Edwin Tan, AACI Director of Advocacy & Development
  • Nick Kuwada, Manager, Office of the Census, Santa Clara County
  • Anne Im, Immigration Program Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Kelly Batson, Senior Vice President, Community Impact, United Way Bay Area
  • Discussant: Karthick Ramakrishnan, Director, Center for Social Innovation

The panel discussion focused on the following subjects:

Why does the Census Matter?


  • $ 675 distributed annually
  • California’s share $ 76 billions
  • Funding is distributed based on Census

Political Power:

  • Congressional representation
  • Reapportionment and redistricting
  • 1990 undercounted cost a California Congressional seat

What are some of the barriers to an accurate count?

  • Citizenship question may be intimidating
  • Language barrier
  • Multiple families live under one roof
  • Not enough ethnic volunteers, community outreach persons, paid staff
  • Undocumented status
  • Distrust of immigration enforcement
  • Cultural barriers
  • The census will be taken online which could be a barrier to participants who are less computer literate.

What actions are being taken?

  • Santa Clara County established the Office of Census with a website to inform and to make sure that our communities are not undercounted.
  • United Way is hiring staff and giving grants to ensure the 2020 census is taken correctly.
  • SVCF (Silicon Valley Community Foundation) is engaging in advocacy and grant-making to Bay Area nonprofits as part of the Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative.
  • All the participating organization has websites where you can find more information.
  • AAPI Data has many sources of census information as it relates to Asian Americans on their website.


Summit Event: AAPI Mobilization for Voter Registration, 2:30 pm 

  • Moderator: Richard Konda, ALA Executive Director
  • Mary Ann Dewan, Superintendent, SCC County Office of Education
  • Angelica Cortez, LEAD Filipino

Dr.Dewan mentioned that the Santa Clara County Board of Education and Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) have taken action to improve outreach to hard-to-count populations in Santa Clara County by adopting a resolution that the Santa Clara County Board of Education and County Superintendent of Schools will encourage Santa Clara County school districts to promote participation in the 2020 U.S. Census. “It is an education campaign to raise awareness in our schools, in our neighborhoods and our communities,” stated Dr. Mary Ann Dewan.

Angelica Cortez, Founder of LEAD Filipino, mentioned that efforts are underway. LEAD is pleased to be working in concert with the San Francisco Veterans’s Equity Center, Bayanihan Community Center, Filipino American Development Foundation, and Filipino Advocates for Justice on devising strategies and materials to ensure that the Filipino/a community in the 9-County Bay Area is completely counted in the 2020 Census under the rubric of a Filipino Complete Census 2020 Count Committee.

Michael Chang’s speech in AAPI Civic Leadership Summit on June 8th, 2019

Summit Event: Opening Remarks at 12:30 pm Dr. Michael Chang, APALI Executive Director

Michael Chang formally kicked off the event by welcoming everyone and thanking all the volunteers and participants for attending.

Keynote: BUILDING AAPI CIVIC CAPACITY by Dr. Karthick Ramakrishnan

Summit Event: Keynote Speech, 12:50 pm Building AAPI Civic Capacity

Dr. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Director, Center for Social Innovation

Dr. Ramakrishnan introduced the Center for Social Innovation (CSI) at UCR (UC Riverside) and described the work they do. CSI promotes collaborative research, policy innovation, and narrative change in the inland region (away from the high tech coastal area) of California. CSI tries to understand and to realize the potential of the inland region’s civic activities and to promote philanthropic investments in the nonprofit sector.

CSI has coined the term DNA as an acronym for Data and Technology, Narrative Change (Framing, storytelling, messaging) and Action (Advocacy, Civic Engagement, Social Enterprise) to describe the work that they do. By studying immigrant status in the inland California areas, CSI hopes that the new data will help community service providers to address local needs and assist the lawmakers to use these data to work on immigration policies in the region.

Dr. Ramakrishnan pointed out that 1/7 of Asian Immigrants are undocumented and that” there are many troubling findings about perceptions and barriers related to Census 2020 among communities of color”. ”Asian Americans were the least likely of any racial group to report that they intended to complete the survey form. Only 55% of Asian Americans said they were “extremely” or “very” likely to fill out the Census form, compared to 69% of Whites, and 65% of Latinos, and 64% of Blacks.”

Asian Americans were also the least likely to express familiarity with the census and are the group most likely to say that their answers to the Census “will be used against them.”


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