2024 CA AAPI Governing Power School

May 2024

Organizations that participated in the CA AAPI Governing Power School: Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Asian Solidarity Collective, AYPAL: Building API Community Power, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, California Working Families Party, Chinese Progressive Association, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Hmong Innovating Politics, Jakara Movement, Karen Organization of San Diego, Khmer Girls in Action, LEAD Filipino, Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, Pilipino Workers Center, South Bay Youth Changemakers, Viet Voices.

This month we held the 2024 California AAPI Governing Power School in Long Beach at Khmer Girls in Action’s new building!

For three days, the School served as a convening and training space to:

  • Prepare Asian American and Pacific Islander organizers for the November 2024 elections and beyond
  • Train up new and existing leaders on Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) strategies
  • Explore what it takes to build and win governing power for our communities.

The School included sessions on 2024’s political landscape and introduced governing power case studies from across California. We also held breakouts for strategy sessions and skills development as well as coaching sessions. We closed out our time together mass canvassing with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network.

Through phone banking and door knocking, our Governing Power School participants asked Carson voters if their health or environment has been impacted by pollution or refineries. The Phillips 66 refinery in Carson — one of many refineries in the South Bay (Southern CA) — leaks 200 times more benzene than they report. Benzene is a pollutant that is known to cause cancer.

Training sessions were organized into three tracks to reflect the Three Faces of Power and what it could look like in day-to-day work:

  1. Power to Win: grassroots organizing, voter engagement, lobbying, campaign advocacy
  2. Infrastructure: building coalitions, aggregating forces, skills and capacities, leadership
  3. Meaning Making: reshape dominated narrative, aligned narrative work, messaging, digital paid ads, social media tactics

What is Governing Power?

Governing power is the ability to win and sustain political power. To win governing power, we need to reshape the structure of the government itself, so that it can advance democratic control, redistribution and reparation and serve the interests of our people, rather than the wealthy few

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Khmer Girls in Action for hosting the Governing Power School at their office and welcoming us to their community in Long Beach. They played an incredible job at supporting our logistics planning and coordination of the event. Big ups to AAPI FORCE-EF Executive Coordinator Kelly Wong for managing logistics.

We would like to recognize the AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund Steering Committee who put in additional hours to make the Governing Power School a success: Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ), Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP), Khmer Girls in Action (KGA), and Pilipino Workers Center (PWC).

We would also like to thank all facilitators, trainers, and speakers for making the time to attend the event and share their expertise and skills with us: Amado Uno (Million Voters Project), Amy Horn (AAPI FORCE-EF), Aqui Soriano Versoza (PWC), Ashley Lin (AAPI FORCE-EF), Cha Vang (AAPI FORCE-EF), Claire Tran (Grassroots Power Project), Daisy Maxion (FAJ), Dao Vang (HIP), Emily Lee (Seed the Vote), Erica Maria Cheung (AAPI FORCE-EF), Jane Kim (CA Working Families Party), Jennifer Phung (AAPI FORCE-EF), Joyce Lam (CPA), Karla Zombro (Million Voters Project), Le Tim Ly (Resilient Strategies, Center for Empowered Politics), Lian Cheun (KGA), Lisa Fu (CA Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative), Maggie Tsai (APEN), Marie Choi (APEN), Marisa Moraza (Power CA), Meghana Reddy (Time of Day Media), Michael Lok (AAPI FORCE-EF), Miya Saika Chen (Open Society Foundation), Nancy Xiong (HIP), Nina Long (AAPI FORCE-EF), Rafael Vera (OC Action), Saa’un Bell (Power California), Seng So (APEN), Shania Khoo (AAPI FORCE-EF), Sydney Fang (AAPI FORCE-EF), Tiffany Ng (CPA), Timmy Lu (AAPI FORCE-EF), Vivian Yi Huang (APEN).

Thank you to the Grassroots Power Project for offering thought partnership, guidance, and materials to us on the governing power framework and assessment tools.

Additional Updates

The Budget Power Project

AAPI FORCE-EF is an alliance member of the Budget Power Project which supports the budget advocacy work of 23 local grassroots organizations (including Chinese Progressive Association and Khmer Girls in Action). Through budget training, narrative workshops, and research and coaching support, this project aims to build power within California’s communities of color to advocate for policies that address their most pressing needs. Learn more.

From Our Network

Chinese Progressive Association and Pilipino Workers Center joined hundreds of California Coalition for Worker Power members in Sacramento last week to defend workers rights and strengthen worker solidarity against corporate threats.

Filipino Advocates for Justice led an outreach training session where participants visited multiple care homes in Union City. They went door to door and distributed information about FAJ’s free programs and direct services, PPEs, and worker rights materials to caregivers.

Asian Solidarity Collective joined 63 San Diego organizations in solidarity with students after peaceful protestors were brutalized by UC San Diego administration & over 200 police officers on May 6. Khmer Girls in Action and Hmong Innovating Politics also released statements in solidarity with the student movement for a Free Palestine.

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AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund

A statewide network that builds progressive AAPI governing power in CA through campaign organizing, policy advocacy, IVE, and narrative change.