Wednesday, October 08, 2008

NCAPA Platform for Asian Pacific Americans - National Policy Priorities for 2008

Once again, the nebulous but important National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), a consortium comprising at least 26 major nonpartisan organizations representing widely diverse AA and PI communities, has issued the nation's most comprehensive AA/PI policy platform in advance of the national election.

This coalition regularly undertakes an enormous and often thankless "herding of cats" to compile and distill an accessible listing of the most significant, bottom-line legislative issues of concern to its participants, including most of the largest pan-Asian and ethnic-specific nonprofit and civil rights groups in the country. But this document serves as a vital community blueprint for current and aspiring officeholders, including the next President.

While there are scores of specific recommendations contained in the full document relevant to individual ethnic communities as well as women, LGBT, and other subgroups, a number of these are organized into main sections of general concern: civil rights, economic justice, education, health care reform, and immigration.

An excerpt from the introduction to the Executive Summary stresses some additional key issues "that are relevant to all of the public policy concerns and recommendations that are included in the main body of the Platform:"

1. Data: More accurate data about Asian Americans (AAs), Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders (PIs) must be collected and disseminated.

2. Access: All community members must have equal access to publicly supported Programs and services, regardless of English language ability and other

3. Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Congress must enact, and the President must sign into law, sensible comprehensive immigration reform that keeps families together, provides and path to citizenship, and is fair and humane.

4. White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: The next Administration must support and further develop the Initiative and the Commission, which have worked to ensure that AAs and PIs can fully participate in all aspects of the federal government’s operation.

5. AA and PI Organizations as Resources for the Federal Government: The
next President must direct his or her Administration to partner more fully with
national and local organizations that are rooted in the AA and PI communities in order to most effectively formulate and pursue policies that are in the communities’ interest. NCAPA members stand ready to pursue this course of action with the next Administration.

Read the Executive Sumary and download the full NCAPA Call To Action: Platform for Asian Pacific Americans - National Policy Priorities 2008.