APAPA Albany Chapter was established in 2016.
APAPA is a non-profit, non-partisan and grassroots organization founded in 2001 by C.C. Yin and a pioneering group of fellow civic-minded friends and community leaders. APAPA was established with the primary mission of empowering Asian Pacific Islander (API) Americans in civic and public affairs through education, active participation, and leadership development.
To accomplish this objective, APAPA developed voter registration events, internships, scholarships, voter education forums, and leadership, mentoring, and networking programs designed specifically for the education, betterment, and advancement of the API community.
APAPA has earned a reputation as a trusted and well-respected organization and is now at the forefront of today’s API leadership and civic engagement movement. Thanks to the dedication and generosity of thousands of volunteers throughout California, APAPA has built a solid organizational foundation and created strong partnerships with many diverse communities, businesses, and governments across the state. APAPA has formally established five chapters as of 2010: the Sacramento Headquarters; the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter; the Central Valley Chapter; the Southern California Chapter; and the Collegiate Council. These chapters enable APAPA to not only better serve the diverse API community, but also educate its broad membership and cultivate future API leaders.
Since the organization’s inception, APAPA has helped greatly increase API representation in state government. In 2001, there were no API state elected officials in California. Thanks in part to APAPA’s efforts, however, in 2009, fifteen members of the API community were elected to legislative and constitutional offices. APIs now hold state constitutional offices, occupy seats in the State Assembly and State Senate, and hold positions across the Executive branch and on the bench in the state Judiciary. In fact, 2010 saw the historic appointment of Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye as California’s first API chief justice. That year also witnessed another groundbreaking victory for the API community with the first Chinese-American woman, Judy Chu, sworn in as a member of the United States Congress from California.
As the organization settles into its new home in Sacramento, APAPA looks to the future with a renewed commitment to further strengthening its community foundation and organizational structure such that it will effectively expand nationwide and empower Asian Pacific Islander Americans across the country to become the local, state, national, and indeed, global leaders of tomorrow.
Help foster opportunities and a brighter future for the API community and all Californians
Oppose prejudice and discriminatory actions against API and other minorities.
Educate API Americans and the general public about public policy.
Provide scholarships and internship training to young men & women who will be our future leaders.
Work in partnership with civic minded community and business leaders.
Engage all sides of the political spectrum while remaining non-partisan.
YOUTH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
APAPA’s established track record demonstrates that we value and support our future leaders and is dedicated to fostering our future through development of our youth.
Internship Program: APAPA created a program to help Asian and Pacific Islander (API) young people to become our future leaders. Each year, we give over $5000.00 in scholarships.
Scholarship Program: Each year, APAPA Albany Chapter places up to 5 college students in Internships with the offices of the Albany Legislature and constitutional officers.
- Albany Mayor’s Office
- Albany County Clerk’s Office
- Congressmen’s Office
- State Senator’s Office
Many of our interns have entered into leadership posts, are helping develop public policy, and are actively serving our community.
2019 Albany Chapter Internship Program
*Photo of our 2018 Intern Celebration
APAPA Albany Chapter provides community members with the opportunity to be proactive, participate, educate, and impress upon the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community that we have a voice in government and public affairs.
Voters Education: Through statewide Voters Education Forum, local Town Hall & Civic meetings, and Voters Registration program, APAPA strives to be the bridge that connects the community to our civic leaders. Our goal is to remind community members that it is our civic duty to represent our community, to engage, and to advance the community by empowering them to make informed decisions about public policy.
Voter Registration: Registering to vote is the first step in civic participation. APAPA works closely with local county registrars and Secretary of State to actively promote the need for more American Pacific Islander (API) Americans eligible voters to register. We offer resources about registering to vote and voter registration drives. Our goal is to help eligible voters begin the process of civic engagement.
Voter Participation: Voter participation is critical for an effective and truly representative government. Once voters are registered and informed, casting that vote on Election Day is the final step in finishing the process. APAPA provides assistance and information to help voters exercise their right to vote including translation.
Civil Rights: We believe that everyone should have a fair chance regardless of race, sex or age. We respond and address social issues such as racism to protect individual rights and liberties. We are collaborating and joining force with other community organizations. Our goal is to help community members learn about social injustice, connect to their Congressional representatives–and take action. We are also dedicated to supporting other organizations that fight for equality. APAPA stands up to social injustice.
Appointments: California has a diverse population. The API community needs balanced representation in State Government–one that more closely reflects our proportion of the California population. APAPA is proud to have established a process for its membership to seek appointments to Boards, Commission, and the Judiciary with the State Government.
Joy Keat (Intern at Governor Cuomo’s Office )
Berkeley Summary: From August 4th to August 6th I attended the 4th annual VNA International Leadership Conference in Berkeley California. The Conference was comprised of lectures by various guest speakers, workshops where we interacted with the other participants in group projects, and mentor sessions. The experience was extremely rewarding because we not only had the opportunity to connect with other APAPA chapters but also international students from China and Taiwan. I found the speed mentor sessions the most beneficial, during this session we had a few minutes to talk to a work professional of Asian descent for a few minutes before repeating the same procedure with another mentor. Each mentor had valuable insight into their respective fields and how they could be successful in their occupations as an Asian individual. The Conference was concluded with the group presentations that we had worked on throughout the duration of the conference. The groups focused on various topics such as increasing civic participation in international Asian students and improving Asian diversity in films and mass media. Overall I not only gained new skills from the Conference such as public speaking and collaboration in a group setting but I also made some friends along the way.
Internship Final Report: This past summer I worked in Governor Cuomo’s office under The Director of Women’s Affairs, Kelli Owens. Initially I expected that I would be primarily be assisting her in emails and communications but my internship experience included much more. Besides aiding her in her emails and overall communications with her fellow constituencies colleagues I also took part in traveling to events as well as conducting research on certain policy issues. I was fortunate enough to travel to New York City to attend the announcement of New York’s Council on Women and girls as well as attend talks were concerned women could voice their opinions on various issues that directly affect them such as work place inequality, pay equity, and affordable childcare. One of the main policy issues that I researched during my time was creating childcare that is affordable for lower income families. My internship experience was more than I could have asked for, it not only opened my eyes to the workings of New York’s government but also the wide array of women’s issues that still need to be addressed.
Chris Du (Intern)
I am very thankful that the APAPA allowed me to have an opportunity to be an intern. I was able to gain so many valuable experiences from it, and without it I wouldn’t be able to have met so many different people. They connected me with the Clifton Park Town Hall and introduced me to the town supervisor, Phil Barrett, and all his co-workers. They were gracious in accepting me, and for that I am very thankful. I also have to give a final thanks to Li Zhang and HP Wang for helping when I had problems and without them I wouldn’t have been able to succeed as I did.
Maida Khan (Intern)
My internship with the Albany County Executive has been an experience I will not forget. My job was a combination of doing desk work and going out and experiencing events myself. Every morning when I came in, I would go to my desk and my boss, Mary, would send me my assignments. The assignments ranged from writing proclamations, media advisories, award letters, talking points and press releases. In writing these pieces I learned how to write in a more conversational manner, as opposed to the style of writing one would use while writing a paper. Sometimes in the middle of writing Mary would come in and say we needed to go somewhere, like a ribbon cutting ceremony or a press conference. Although I did enjoy writing proclamations and award letters, it was nice to get a break from that and go somewhere. During events like ribbon cuttings I would follow Mary around and get photos of the County Executive interacting with people. Sometimes the County Executive would use the talking points I wrote for speeches at the events. The most interesting thing I got to witness was Dan McCoy doing an interview at the YNN station. While he was on air, I stayed in the control room. It felt surreal to see all the cameras and watch everything happen live. Seeing press conferences live was also very interesting because of all the cameras and reporters. My least favorite part of my internship was doing media clippings. I would have to read articles written about the County Executive, determine if they were positive or negative and put everything into an excel sheet. I didn’t necessarily hate doing media clippings, but at times it would get very tedious. Overall, my internship experience was great. Instead of being on the side of the people interacting with the government, I was able to get the perspective of the government reaching out to the people. This internship helped reassure that I want my career to be in government.
Christopher Du (Intern)
My internship was very fufilling, not only in the tasks I did there, but also the skills I learned. The working enviorment at the townhall helped me understand how busy even a town’s government can be. Every department I visited was always worked hard on their computers or taking calls trying to set up plans to start a project or help the residents of Clifton Park. During my internship I would have to organize files in order to let the other workers be more efficient. I also helped scan maps into the town’s digital database so they wouldn’t have to rely on physical copies anymore. In the same vein, I helped the highway department and planning department organize their files into spreadsheets so it was easier to access and would also compile all their documents into one master document. I am glad I was able to help my town be more efficient.
Aaron Zhang (Intern)
Working with APAPA has lead me to experiences I would never have dreamt of and friends I would never have met. While this community is very close knit, it is also very expansive having “family” all over the country. Everyone here helps set a constructive mood and no one lets their individual differences fracture this harmonious relationship. APAPA has been a wonderful experience for me.
Dawn Gao (Parent of Intern)
I am grateful to the APAPA-ALC for being so generous as to accept my son into their internship program. The way they were able to connect him to a local government office made it easy to access for him. In addition, he was able to contribute to our local community. I believe that the opportunity presented to him will have unimaginable benefits for his future. I hope many other kids from our community will take advantage of the opportunity that the APAPA has presented.
REGISTER TO VOTE! YOUR VOICE MATTERS! BE THE CHANGE!
With a government elected by its citizens and that effects every aspect of our lives from schools to health care to homeland security, voting is an important right in our society. By voting, you are making your voice heard and registering your opinion on how you think the government should operate.
Voter registration is one of the most important tasks of APAPA. No vote, no voice. In a recent study on the 2012 Presidential Election Cycle, Asian has the lowest citizenship percentage among major ethnic groups, the lowest registration percentage, and the second lowest voter turnout (slightly above Latino). This is particularly troubling considering that the political involvement usually increases with income and education, at the same time, Asian
are better educated and have higher income than any ethnic group. Another important factor is that Asian is the fastest growing minority as of today. Long-term efforts need to be devoted to keep new immigrants informed about voter registration.
There are significant challenges of educating the Asian community about voter registration. The first one is due to the large number of new or recent immigrants: limited language skills, and more importantly, little knowledge on the political/social system in the US. Secondly, many Asian communities heavily value personal or family advancement, but generally much less on civic engagement. Thirdly, there tends to be a bias towards acting for desirable consequences, rather than taking actions because of this is the right-thing-to-do.
The general tasks of voter registration include promote voter registration by providing deadlines, where to vote during community events; register staff and volunteers; voter registration drive. No endorsement is allowed during voter registration. Staffers and volunteers need to know the local rules, as they are generally different from state to state. For New York State, one has to be a US citizen over 18 years old to vote. Voters can register at your county board of election or State voter registration center or at the Department of Motor Vehicles (in person or online).
With over 30,000 volunteers nation wide, APAPA is one of the largest volunteer organizations in the North America. With the purpose of empowering Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Americans through education, active participation, and leadership in civic and public affairs.
- to make a contribution to the community – 93%
- to use their skills and experiences – 78%
- personally affected by the organization’s cause – 59%
- to explore one’s own strengths – 48%
- to network with or meet people – 46%
- because their friends volunteer – 48%
- to improve job opportunities – 22%
If you are interested in join as a Volunteer, register HERE.
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Chapter Contact Info
Chapter Board Members
HP Wang, Chair
Yu Wang, President
Zhengyu Pang, Treasurer